Vandenberg, Peter Gerard
Peter Gerard Vandenberg, 75 of Floyd, VA passed away peacefully in his home on February 9, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer. Peter, or “Pete” as he was known to many of his friends, was born on February 26, 1942 in Blacksburg, VA to parents Henry Peter Carl “Van” Vandenberg and Mary Charlsie “Billie” Vandenberg. He was the 3rd of 4 children.
He graduated from Blacksburg High School in 1960, and married his high school sweetheart, Sarah Bell Neily, in 1963. He earned a Civil Engineering degree from Virginia Tech in 1965.
Upon graduation from Virginia Tech, he worked as City Engineer in Radford, VA. In 1966, he moved with his family to Ayden, NC and served as Town Manager until 1971, when he moved with his family to Laurinburg, NC. There, he served as City Manager until his retirement in 1998.
During his 27 years as City Manager of Laurinburg, a job aided by his engineering background, Peter oversaw the rebuilding of much of the city’s infrastructure. He was a Certified Land Surveyor and a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of North Carolina. He served as the Building Committee Chairman for the construction of a new, 7500 seat capacity stadium for Scotland High School, which was dedicated as Pate Stadium on September 7, 1979. He played a key role in the creation of the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency, serving as Vice Chair of the Board of Commissions from 1976 until his retirement in 1998. He served as Treasurer of the Laurinburg/Scotland County Chamber of Commerce from 1972 to 1998.
He was a devout Lutheran and was active in his church community throughout his lifetime, most recently at Zion Lutheran Church in Floyd, VA.
A master woodworker, he hand crafted many custom pieces of furniture for family and friends. He was an avid vegetable gardener, and filled the yards of his homes in Laurinburg and Floyd with rows of corn, tomatoes, and cantaloupe. Upon retirement in 1998, he spent 2½ years living in a small camper affectionately known as his “Chateau Lite,” on 40 acres of beloved land in the Blue Ridge Mountains. During that time, he spent long and happy days building a house that he designed, including the kitchen cabinets and moldings. He lived there with Sarah for the next decade.
He applied his skill as an engineer to every aspect of his work and personal life, and approached all projects with precision and care. There was nothing he could not build or repair, and he made thoughtful improvements to many household and mechanical items. He was patient, wise, and fair in his approach to all things, had an inquisitive nature, and an infectious zest for life.
He loved trains, bread, desserts (especially ice cream), Handel’s Messiah, and he delighted in every aspect of the Christmas season. On weekends, he enjoyed wearing coveralls in his woodworking shop, listening to classical music, chewing tobacco and drinking caffeine-free Diet Coke; but was just as likely to offer his time to others, helping with repairs or building projects.
He is survived by his wife, Sarah, of the home; sister, Charlotte Spahr of Chillicothe, OH; son Charlie Vandenberg (Pam) of Laurinburg, NC, son Peter Vandenberg (Wendi) of Boone, NC, and daughter Meg Pulliam (Andy) of Winston-Salem, NC. He was a loving Pop to Lee (Emily), David, Andrew, Peter, Will, Sam, Sarah, and Alice. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Julie Eckerlin, and his brother, Charles Vandenberg.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 17, at 11:00 am at Zion Lutheran Church in Floyd, VA.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Good Samaritan Hospice (goodsamhospice.com) or Zion Lutheran Church of Floyd, VA in Peter’s name.
Online condolences may be made at www.gardnerfuneralhomefloyd.com or on Facebook @gardnerfuneralhomefloyd. The family is being served by Gardner Funeral Home.