Robert Van Why

Van Why

Robert Bob Everett Van Why, 74, of Vermillion passed away on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at Sanford Vermillion Care Center.

Memorial service will be on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 10 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Vermillion with Pastor Trisha Boese officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior from 9 to 10 a.m. at the church.

Bob was born on May 25, 1937 in Springfield, OH to John and Elizabeth (Everett) Van Why. He lived in Michigan in 1950 before moving with his family to Vermillion in 1951. He graduated from Vermillion High School and was a huge supporter and fan of the Vermillion High School (VHS) athletic program. Bob worked at the University of South Dakotas maintenance department for more than 30 years.

Bob was a great person and a friend to many people. He was very well-known and accomplished many things. He was privileged to receive many awards during his life such as the Friend of Football award from the Football Coaches Association in 1991 and the USD Faithful Servant Award on April 3, 1998. On July 10, 1998, Governor Bill Janklow pronounced that day to be Robert Van Why Day.

Bob was a big fan of Vermillion High School, the University of South Dakota and the University of Michigan, which is where his father attended. He was given a plaque on February 11, 2000 by the USD Athletic Department commemorating his lifetime support of the athletic program. Bob was also a VHS Lifetime Booster, and was named Optimist of the Year in 1986 and 1987.

The Vermillion Community was Bobs home and family. He will forever be missed by all who knew him.

Bob is survived by his sister-in-law Lee (Tom) Raines of Sioux Falls; nephews Scott (Laura) Van Why of Wisconsin and Kent Van Why of Iowa; nieces Joan Vrieze of Iowa and Jane (Eric) Pattison of Indiana; three great-nephews; four great-nieces; special friends Pat (Jerry) Pratt and Mary Lea (Jay) Hennies; and many other close friends near and far.

He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Elizabeth Van Why; and brother John Van Why.

Condolences may be posted online at

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