William W. “Bill” Vanderwende passed away on Sunday, Sept. 27. He was born in Milford on Aug. 12, 1933 to the late Everett Lane and Barbara Stutzman Vanderwende. He worked hard and did his best at whatever he attempted. He was a community servant, a dairy and grain farmer, and a dedicated family man and friend.

Bill served with many agricultural and community organizations. He was a past chairman of the Sussex County Conservation District Board of Supervisors, a member and past chair of the Delaware Nutrient Management Commission, a trustee with the Delaware Agricultural Lands Preservation Foundation, a director and past superintendent of the Dairy Department of the Delaware State Fair, a past Director of the Southern States Co-op, long with many other farm organizations. He was also a member of the Bridgeville Kiwanis Club, served on the Woodbridge School Board from 1975-1985 and served with the Delaware 4-H Foundation. Bill was baptized on Jan. 5 at Union United Methodist Church in Bridgeville. He was a 1951 graduate of Harrington High School.

Bill was predeceased in Aug. 2018 by his high school sweetheart and wife of over 66 years, Ellen Ann Draper Vanderwende. He is survived by three sons, a daughter and their spouses: Daniel William and Becky; Douglas and Debbie; and James and Donna Vanderwende; and Carla and Garry Killmon, all residing within three miles of the home farm. Bill was blessed with 10 grandchildren: Breck William (Pam), Jesse (Taylor), Cody Lane (Morgan) and Will Vanderwende, Danna (Shane) Carter, Christy (Scott) Wright, Dusti (John) Small, Amber (John) Campbell, Wendee (Tommy) Bull and Bethany (Ian) Wright. The family kept growing and twelve (with three more on the way) great-grandchildren were blessed to call him Pop-Pop Bill: Alanna, Maci, Brielle, Aydan, Chance, Jack, Aydrian, Draper, Everett, Jeri, Van and Vivi Lou. In addition, he is survived by a sister, Viola Vanderwende Taylor and a brother-in-law, William Simpson. He was preceded in death by a brother, Brice Vanderwende.

Many thanks are extended to his wonderful caregivers: Hannah, Betty, Julie, Jules, James and others, who provided loving care during the last year.

A visitation was held on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at Union United Methodist Church, 2 North Laws Street, Bridgeville. Graveside services were held on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 9:30 a.m. at Hollywood Cemetery, Harrington. A memorial service followed at Vanderwende Acres in Seaford. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in his memory to:

Delaware 4-H Foundation, 113 Townsend Hall, 531 South College Ave., Newark, DE 19716 or Union United Methodist Church, 2 North Laws St., Bridgeville, DE 19933.

Funeral services entrusted to the Framptom Funeral Home – Fleischauer Chapel in Greenwood. Share memories with the family at www.framptom.com