Charles J. “Chuck” Vander Luitgaren. Passed away on November 9, 2019. Cherished husband of Margie Vander Luitgaren (nee Kuyper). Devoted father of Beth (Edward) Franczyk & Jamie Raymond. Proud grandfather of Olivia & Cora Franczyk. Beloved son of Marcella (nee Mickewicz) and the late Peter Vander Luitgaren. Loving brother of David (Donna) Vander Luitgaren, Lynn (Norbert) Wleklinski and Lynn (late Raymond) Tuftedal. Dear uncle and cousin to many.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at the Howard Smiley Johnson VFW Post #4895 1701 Haynes Street (Mosley Street), Clarksville TN at 11:30 am.
Visitation will be on Sunday, November 17, 2019 from 12 Noon until 4 pm at Maher Funeral Home, 17101 71st Ave. (1 block East of Harlem Ave. on 171st Street), Tinley Park, IL 60477. Burial will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials in Chuck’s memory may be made by clicking www.rakkasanassociation.org .
“Ne Desit Virtus” – “Let Valor Not Fail”
Chuck was drafted during the Vietnam War and served with the Rakkasans in Vietnam from September of 1968 through July of 1969, achieving the rank of Sergeant. His awards include: Silver Star, Bronze Star with V Device, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Emblem, Meritorious Unit Emblem, Valorous Unit Emblem, RVN Civil Actions Honor Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with Four Bronze Service Stars, RVN Campaign Ribbon w/device 1960, Combat Infantryman Badge, Sharpshooter Badge w/Rifle and Machine gun Bars, Marksman Badge w/Automatic Rifle Bar.
He is a retired Special Agent, Security Department, from Commonwealth Edison, an electric utility company in Northern Illinois.
Chuck has served actively with the Association. He has held offices in both the Lester Hammond (Illinois) and Torii Chapters (Life Member). After many years of collecting names and addresses of the Vets he served with, he was able to help form the Weldon F. Honeycutt Hamburger Hill Chapter, where he is a Charter Member. He has also worked extensively with the National Archives, compiling a list of names of Vietnam Era Rakkasan Vets to be added to our Pylon. He ia also a proud recipient of the DMOR.
Chuck works closely with the Rakkasans and with 3-187, the Battalion he served with in Vietnam. He has frequently volunteered time to speak to the Soldiers who are preparing to deploy. Additionally, his hobby of woodworking has helped support the Brigade by building wooden Toriis and wooden Memorial Boxes (boxes for the bullet casings after the 21 gun salute) for the families of deceased Soldiers and was responsible for compiling the Rakkasan Association Life Plaques.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charles J. "Chuck" Vander Luitgaren, please visit our floral store.