Michael J. Vandenplas, 63, passed away Friday, March 10, 2023, after a brief battle with cancer. He was born May 10, 1959, to Albert and Roselyn (Schott) Vanden Plas Jr. He grew up in the New Franken area, living among many first cousins in a place that has come to be known as “Schottville”. As a youth he enjoyed helping out at his Uncle’s farm in Denmark, working alongside his favorite cousin, Dave “Aligan” Dvorak. During high school he was very active in FFA (Future Farmers of America), serving as the President of the Preble Chapter and represented his Chapter at Local, State and National Conferences. He graduated from Green Bay Preble High School in 1977.
After high school Michael attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Platteville in 1981 with a degree in Agribusiness. After college he began his career as a loan officer with Federal Land Bank, which later became Farm Credit Services. Michael retired in 2017 from Investors Community Bank, in Manitowoc, WI.
Following retirement, he became an avid gardener and outdoor enthusiast. He loved spending time at the Vandenplas family farm, growing plenty of tomatoes, beans and pickles to use in making homemade salsa, his famous “Dilly Beans” along with numerous flavors of pickles and sauces. Michael was also famous in the family for his “Santa-Beard”, his many “Mike-isms” and for giving his many nieces and nephews his “words of wisdom”, particularly Ethan and Riley who spent many countless hours in his garden, by his side, hauling and spreading compost.
He is survived by his mother, Roselyn; nine brothers and sisters, Albert Steven (Jane) Vanden Plas, Daniel Vanden Plas, Jeffrey (Kay) Vandenplas, Mark Vanden Plas, Cheryl (Darrick) Coisman, Susan (John) Gross, Paul (Deana) Vanden Plas, Patrick VandenPlas, Timothy (Krissy Boucher) Vanden Plas; two godchildren, Amanda Vanden Plas and Justin (Loren) Vandenplas; 19 nieces and nephews; many great-nieces and great-nephews; along with many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father Albert Jr.; grandparents, Albert and Mabel Vanden Plas Sr.; Theodore and Florence Schott; a great-nephew, Daniel Albert Ponton and numerous aunts and uncles.
Visitation will be held from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15 at Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St. There will be a parish wake service and sharing of memories at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the funeral home.
Visitation will continue from 2:30 to 3:50 p.m. on Thursday, March 16 at St. Kilian Catholic Church, 2508 St. Kilian Road, New Franken. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday at the church with Rev. Carlo Villaluz officiating. Entombment will be at the Shrine of the Good Shepherd. To send online condolences visit www.prokowall.com.
Jeane Smits is serving the family.