Jon J. Vanderburg passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at the age of 76. He was the beloved husband of Lois A. Divine Vanderburg with whom he shared 51 years of marriage.
Born in Kingston, PA in 1943, he was the son of the late Francis and Alberta (Austin) Vanderburg. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter Jill Russell (Ron); a sister, Gail Frew (Bill); two grandchildren, Kourtney and Hunter Russell and an adoring border collie Lily who kept watch over him while he was ill.
Spending most of his younger life in West Pittston, PA, Jon attended Luzerne Elementary School and West Pittston High School before leaving for Millersville University where he met Lois on the second day after she arrived. She was a freshman and he was a senior. They dated for five years before marrying on August 10 of 1968 in West Chester, PA. In November of the following year, their daughter Jill was born. She was and continues to be a blessing to all.
After graduating from Millersville University with a degree in education,
Jon secured a job teaching fifth grade science and math at Unionville Elementary School in Unionville, PA in the Unionville - Chadds Ford School District. When the Unionville Middle School opened, now Charles F. Patton Middle School, he
became their first guidance counselor. He had been working to acquire his Master’s Degree in Counseling from Millersville University.
Some years later when Lois began teaching at the Middle School, Jon became one of Unionville High School’s counselors, and worked there until his retirement in 1997.
He thoroughly enjoyed his years as a teacher and also the feeling that he could guide the students he was assigned to and met with as a counselor. He was content with the profession he had chosen for his life’s work.
Jon enjoyed playing tennis, even into his senior years, and was an excellent player. While teaching he coached both the boys and the girls tennis teams.
He was also quite an outdoorsman. He loved to hunt and fish and belonged to the Buckhorn Hunting Lodge in Forkston Township, PA where his father was one of the original title holders. His son-in-law has recently joined and they have enjoyed spending time there together.
Jon was an excellent woodcarver, carving both large and small ducks, shore birds, and swans. He never wanted to sell his carvings, just enjoying giving them to friends. Jon and his wife collected decoys and attended many Decoy Shows.
Over the years the family has adopted and were given many cats and dogs. All were dearly loved, especially those given to them by Jon’s sister and brother-in-law who bred and raised prize - winning Maine Coon Cats. But Jon’s best buddy was his beloved black lab Libby who went everywhere with him, hunting, fishing, and to Baily’s Farm. She was a real companion.
Lois and Jon loved Hatteras Village, NC and spent many years visiting Hatteras Island with their friends and later with their family who all grew to love it just as much. It felt like home to them.
The family would like to extend its sincere thanks to the Longwood Fire Company and to the physicians who were so kind to them in the Emergency Room at the Chester County Hospital.
A visitation will be held from 9:30 AM until 11:00 AM on Saturday February 15 followed by a service at 11:00 AM at the LONGWOOD FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION OF MATTHEW GENEREUX, 913 East Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA. Burial will be private.
We request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, P.O. Box 417005 Boston, MA 02241-7005 or the American Lung Association National Direct Response Headquarters, 1200 Hosford Street Suite 101 Hudson, WI 54016-9316.
To send flowers to Jon's family, please visit our floral section.