Hans Vandervlugt
Mar 01, 2012 | 2349 views | 2 2 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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REFUGIO — Hans Vandervlugt, 75, of Refugio died Feb. 19, 2012. A commercial pilot for 40 years, he was the manager of Vanair Services at the Refugio County Airport.

He and his wife, Ruth, came to Refugio to manage the county airport in 1972.

Over his career, Vandervlugt accumulated more than 70,000 hours of flying time.

He was born May 10, 1936 in Holland.

He is preceded in death by his parents.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth Hodge Vandervlugt of Refugio; one son, John Vandervlugt of Round Rock; one stepson, Billy Michelson of San Antonio; and a sister, Erna Fentener Van Vlissingen of Amsterdam, Holland.

A memorial service for Vandervlugt will be conducted at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, 700 S. Upper Broadway Street in Corpus Christi on Tuesday, March 6, at 11 a.m.

Memorial remembrances may be made to the charity of your choice.
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March 02, 2012
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ruth and family members at this difficult time. As a former flight student, I cherish the time spent with Hans and Ruth and will forever feel fortunate to have been part of their lives. Hans was one of the most memorable persons in my life. The entire community has lost a very special person.

Russell & Linda Mahoney
March 03, 2012
Dear Ruth,

It is an amazingly small world that I should happen to make contact with you 50 years after Hans and I wiled away so many hours flying in Northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. Although I had searched for his name during the time I was writing the story about one of our flying experiences, nothing ever came up. While I am saddened by the tragic circumstances of his death and the loss that you and your family must face, I am heartened by the fact that since I flew with Hans while he was in his 20s, I now know that he has had not only had a wonderful life of flying, he has also had a life partner and family that have been by his side for so many, many years. There is nothing more that we can ask than to do what we love and to be surrounded by people that we love and who love us.

If by chance you have an opportunity to send a few photos (also of you and Hans and the family) I will add them to the flying post on McNeill Life Stories blog.

Over the next few months, I intend to add a few more stories of those early years. I will alert you when they are posted.

The very best from my wife and I here in Victoria. Perhaps one day we shall have a chance to meet and you can take me flying (I need a good pilot to guide my hands as I have let my licence lapse). We shall be down you way (well, New Orleans in February 2013). You never know might be worked out).

Many thanks to Dan Mahoney for making the effort to call Canada and tell me about the accident and our sympathies to the other family that also suffered such a great loss in the accident.