(Wednesday - October 21, 2020) - Jeffry A. VanLaanen, age 64, of Iron Mountain, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, October 18, at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital.

Jeffry was born in Iron Mountain on March 20, 1956, son of the late A. Peter and Elizabeth "Beth" VanLaanen. He was a lifelong resident of the area graduating from Iron Mountain High School in 1974. Following graduation, Jeff worked at Dickinson Homes and the Tilden Mine. On June 10, 1978 Jeff married Ellen Rapaich at St. Mary and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Iron Mountain. After their wedding, Jeff and Ellen moved to Lansing while she attended medical school at MSU and he worked in the automobile industry. They returned to the area in 1982 and he took a position as office manager at Khoury, Inc. In 1986 as Jeff & Ellen started their family, he gladly gave up employment to be a stay at home dad. He found his greatest joy in caring for and educating his six children. As the family grew up and he had more time, he was always available to help family and friends with anything from watching children and pets to providing transportation for the medical appointments or vacations to just being available to fix anything. Jeff served on the Iron Mountain city council and was elected mayor for a period of time. His many hobbies included tending to the family farm, ATV riding and camping trips with friends and family.

Jeff was preceded in death by his father in 1991, and his mother in 2018.

Left to cherish his memory are wife, Dr. Ellen VanLaanen of Iron Mountain; children, Hannah (Sonny) VanLaanen Lee of Manhattan, Kansas, Colin VanLaanen (Kristi Isaacson) of Houghton, Russell VanLaanen (Allie Barczak) of Iron Mountain, Seth VanLaanen (Victoria Huber) of Denver, Colorado, Grace VanLaanen of St. Joseph, and Dominic VanLaanen of Albion; siblings, Mary Meerschaert of Rome, New York, Michael (Vicky) VanLaanen of Still Water, Minnesota, Shane Van Laanen (Kelly Goodreau) of Mauston, Wisconsin, Jim VanLaanen (Lois Branback) of Kingsford, Sarah (Michael) Stelmaszek of Kingsford; brothers and sisters-in-law, Mark (Elisa) Rapaich of Westfield, IA, Diane Rapaich of Royal Oak, Michigan, Amy (Bruce) Moser of Madison, Wisconsin, and Lisa (Jim) Carollo of Iron Mountain; his great friend, Bill Pummill; as well as many nieces, nephews and other family and friends.

Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 services will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dan & Cecille Rapaich scholarship fund at Iron Mountain High School.

Condolences to the family of Jeffry A. VanLaanen may be expressed online at:

The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home with the arrangements.

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