Luanne E. Vandenberg

February 16, 1935 ~ October 28, 2018 (age 83)

Luanne E. Vandenberg, age 83, of Appleton, passed away at her home Sunday October 28, 2018 with her husband by her side. She was born February 16, 1935 as Evelyn Marie Smits to Louis and Elizabeth (Hendrick) Smits. She was child 6 of 7 and grew up on a farm south of De Pere WI. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy Green Bay WI in 1953 and shortly thereafter joined the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Milwaukee and became Sister Luanne Smits. She graduated from Mount Mary College with a BA in Elementary Education. Luanne taught for 16 years at Catholic Schools in Appleton, Beaver Dam, Darlington, Milwaukee and Green Bay. In the next phase of her life she attained a graduate Degree in Religious Education from Mundelein College Chicago IL and St Norbert College DePere WI. Luanne was Director of Religious Education in several WI and MI parishes. She also worked as Pastoral Consultant for the Diocese of Green Bay. While entering in yet a further phase of her career life Luanne married the love of her life Gene Vandenberg on June 5 1992. After receiving her Masters Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Loyola University she served as Chaplain at St Elizabeth Hospital. Then finally working for Home Instead Senior Care.

She will be remembered for her love of life, her infectious laugh, and the many lives she touched through her many years of service to others.

Luanne is survived by her loving Husband Gene Vandenberg. Her Step Children Michael (Wanda) Vandenberg, Kevin (Erin) Vandenberg, Rebecca (William) Kasper, Ellen (Michael) Safford. Her 11 Grandchildren Michael, Alex, Samuel, Theresa, Caleb, Lizzy, Burkley, Kurtis, Kevin, Emma and Grace. Great Grandchildren Isla Rose Vandenberg and Baby Fellers. Her sister Delores Novachek, Brother Richard Smits. Many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, brother Omer, sisters Bernice, Millie and Betty.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 3, 2018, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 404 W. Lawrence Street, Appleton, with Fr. Jim Leary officiating, and Fr. Ken Smits (Luanne’s cousin) concelebrating. Visitation will be at the church on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of the Mass. Interment will be in St. Nicholas Cemetery, Freedom. For online condolences, please visit

The Vandenberg Family would like to include a special thank you to the many friends and co-workers in the Faith Community who have been such an important part of Luanne’s life. Also to her Niece Linda for her ongoing help and support.

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