American Patriotic 10

Walter C. Van Lent

July 10, 1936 ~ August 2, 2022 (age 86) 86 Years Old


On August 2, 2022, Walter C. Van Lent, loving husband, father, and proud Marine, died at the age of 86. 

Honoring Walt’s request, there will not be a funeral. There will be a visitation at 10:30 am with a mass at 11:00 am on Friday, September 30, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 244 Waterman St, Sycamore, IL 60178. A luncheon will follow the mass at the church. 

Walt was born to Belgian immigrants in 1936 on a dairy farm outside of Dougherty, Iowa, with a population of 215 at the time. Walt was the sixth of nine children in a family who stayed close all of their lives.

After his death, following the usual custom, Walt became a saint. His demand for scalding hot coffee became charming rather than annoying, his insistence on the rightness of Buicks and the wrongness of all other cars became accepted wisdom, and his parenting was entirely free of mistakes. 

Of course, he wasn’t perfect; no one is. It’s just that pales beside what was so great and pure about Walt; his love of family, his huge heart, tremendous work ethic, loyalty, dedication to fairness, and service to his country as a Marine.

Let his family tell you about Walt:

Walt was an avid driver of Buicks and loved his John Deere tractors. Walter was a man who had a smile that would light up a room. He could dance so well that a crowd would form and watch with amazement. Walt was loved by all of his family and will be deeply missed. The family is very grateful for the hospice team and their warm care during Walt’s end of life.

-- Jacob VanLent LPN; Grandson

Grandfather was renowned for his love of history. I still remember him naming all the presidents one day. I used the encyclopedia to fact-check him and he got them all in order, and all with the correct dates too. 

And he did have an amazing smile.

-- MSgt Nicole Moser; Granddaughter

To know Walt was to love him for his quirky traits; always pour his coffee blisteringly hot and only 1/2 a cup at a time. All his wait staff knew this or quickly learned. If you were to visit him you’d be greeted with a smile from ear to ear and a hug. He loved talking about Hebron, the work he did at that property, his Buick, and his family. He always wanted to hear the newest in my nursing career and he loved hearing about my Jeep adventures, or my next travel plan. He always listened with a big smile. He was a devoted husband which was seen by all. He had a passion for family visits and was always intrigued to learn what the grandkids were doing next. He may have been rough around the edges but without a doubt had a heart of gold. His personality, dedication to family, and huge smile will be forever missed. 

-- Jessica Schlick BSN, RN; Granddaughter-in-law

My Grandfather was a great man.  He was kind and loving to everyone he met. He was a very hard worker and made sure to take care of his family and responsibilities. He understood the value of hard work and showed me how to work hard and take care of my responsibilities and be a better man. He really loved to talk about cars and especially his Buicks. It was always a reliable car that he loved. Grandpa was always willing to help. He helped me get a car (a Buick of course) when my car was breaking down. I was 19 and met the woman who is now my wife and it was very important to me to not drive her around in a busted-up car. Years later when we got married, he and Midge helped me with the down payment on my house and allowed me to pay them back, which is what allowed us to buy the house we raised our kids in and still live today. My Grandfather will always be remembered as a strong man who will be dearly missed.

-- Nicholas Kammes; Grandson

Dad quit smoking and put the money he would have spent on cigarettes in a jar. After three years, he had enough money to buy a boat. That was typical of Dad; he wanted to do something that his family would enjoy. Those were some of our best memories, skiing up and down the Fox River through the Chain O’Lakes.

-- Terry VanLent; Daughter

Walt spent the last four years in a grueling battle with Severe Profuse Peripheral Polyneuropathy and Lymphedema. Walt had an able partner in his wife Midge, who stood by him every step of the way and lovingly cared for him. Together, they faced this tough battle with fortitude and determination, right up until they could fight no more. 

Walt was able to pass away at home, surrounded by his family, due to the extraordinary assistance of Promedica Hospice. We cannot say enough good things about this incredible organization. Every single person that we had contact with was caring, thoughtful, and dedicated to the comfort of Walt’s last days. They succeeded, and we are grateful. 

He is survived by his wife Midge; his children Terry (Jeff Kammes) VanLent, Kim VanLent, Greg VanLent; stepchildren William Barrett, Jr. (Cathy), Ellen Barrett; siblings Joe (Lora) VanLent, Len (Pat) VanLent; ten grandchildren, Jeremiah (Renada Dukalskis) Kammes, Nicholas (Sonya) Kammes, Levi (Rebecca) Kammes, Caleb (Jessica Schlick) Kammes, Nicole (Anthony Wilson) Moser, Matthew (Lindsay Childs) Moser, Jacob (Corry) VanLent, Shannon Barrett, Tomas Barrett, Dallas Barrett; seven great-grandchildren, Shane, Carter, Abigail, Zoey, Trevor, Jacob Jr, Jameson; and many family and friends too numerous to list but not forgotten. 

Walt was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters, Helen Fitzgerald, Mary Murphy, Emily Denson, and Erma Zilly, an infant sister Florence, his brother Ted VanLent, and his ex-wife Bebe VanLent. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to:

ProMedica Hospice

6000 E State

Suite 100

Rockford IL 61107


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