Cover photo for André Egmont Jansen van Vuren's Obituary
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André Egmont Jansen van Vuren

August 18, 1946 — June 29, 2024


André Egmont Jansen van Vuren

A Celebration of André’s life will be held on 07/12/2024 from 4PM till 8PM at 16 Bow Lane in Barrington Hills. Eulogy will be at 6PM. All are welcome to attend. 

André Egmont Jansen van Vuren, 77, of Barrington passed away on June 29, 2024. He was born on August 18, 1946 in Luckhoff, South Africa to the late Daniel and Maria Jansen van Vuren.

Dad moved around a lot as a kid growing up. His parents managed various hotels for South African Breweries (SAB) and never stayed in one place for very long, moving from school to school, often multiple times per year.

His parents finally settled in Bloemfontein, South Africa managing the Grand Hotel where he started attending Grey College, a school that would have a profound impact on him for the rest of his life. During his time at Grey he earned Honorary Colors for his athletic achievements. After completing high school in 1964 he went on to work for Romeo Abud as a buyer on the Bloemfontein produce market. Dad took a job at Lever Brothers (Unilever) in 1966 and excelled in sales.

He met our mother while she was studying at the Teachers College in Bloemfontein. They were married in 1968. Dad took a promotion and moved our family to Cape Town in 1974 where our youngest brother Morne was born in 1975.

He worked for Lever Brothers till 1981, sold everything and moved us to Pietermaritzburg, Natal where he went into the custom furniture business with his oldest brother Rudi. Dad grew restless and moved us all back to Bloemfontein where all 3 sons attended his Alma Mater Grey College. Getting settled he engaged in a few endeavors, Max Auto Electric, Kimmel’s Butchery with his great friend Willie Jansen, Samules Properties, back to Kimmel’s Butchery and then went on to run his own SPAR Meat markets for several years.

Later down the road he went into business with his middle son Jaun when they opened Van Vuren Butchery. These were some of his fondest memories of all time. Dad immigrated to the US in 1998 to be near his sons. He worked in various capacities in the companies his sons owned, contributing immensely to the growth and processes. He retired officially in 2019 to dedicate himself wholeheartedly to taking care of our mother.

His sons moved them to Barrington area to be close to home and family in 2021. Dad loved family, cars, fishing with his grandchildren, Formula One racing, NASCAR, NFL football with Tom Brady and the Patriots being his absolute favorites, the cold blue mountains of Coors Light Beer [Chris Ordway], braaivleis, nature programs, animals, South African bushveld, get-togethers with family, politics and was very informed. His all-time favorite day of the year was the 4th of July. He had an incredible green thumb, helped manage endless projects and handled Van Vuren real estate in IL. He was always ready to assist with any project. He loved to be outside in the sun. 

André will be deeply missed by his wife Marna, his sons, Andre, Jaun and Morne and daughter in law Kristel, his grandchildren Jordan, Savannah, Jaunie, AJ, Alexander, Maximus and Riley. His brothers’ family, Tannie Estelle, Tannie Antje, Estee, Rudi [Boetie], Henri [Fielies] and Antje Marie [Kudu].

He loved his extended family in South Africa and would often talk about the early days and the incredible memories he held so dearly. Gielie and Marietta Nieuwoudt, Marius and Elmarine Uys, Kobie, Ruan, Dewald and Ekzelda Buys, Boet, Georgie and Letitia Nieuwoudt, Zelda, Vince, Tannie Inatjie Bergh, Tannie Ziets, Elsie, Rohan and DW DeVilliers, Oom Jannie Du Toit, Oom Deon and Daphne and so many more.

All of his friends and acquaintances that he made in Barrington. Andre Sr was preceded in death by his brothers, Marius, Henri and Rudi.

Words from his Grandchildren.

Oupa was like no other. He was kind, tough, charismatic, compassionate, and devoted. I will never forget the days as a young child when he would pick me up in his white Chevy pickup truck from Einstein Academy and Harvest with a smile on his face alongside a fresh bag of apple and peach ring candy. He would always tell me that he came straight back from freshly picking them off the apple or peach tree. On our car rides home from school we would talk the entire time about all the little things in life and how our days had been. One key memory that I will never forget is driving down the road we always passed on the way to my house and seeing this really old, abandoned house on the side of the road. While I pointed it out, he corrected me by my usage of the word old and told me to say dilapidated. Ever since then every time we passed that house, I would call it dilapidated. I liked the sophisticated word so much I would use it frequently in and outside of school and Oupa was so proud. A core memory I will also miss is the days in Dundee as a kid when we would go to the small mart beside the Fox River and buy bread to feed the ducks. I thank Oupa for being such a great mentor and grandfather to me and my brother. He will truly be missed. Oupa being gone has left a big gap in our hearts and his memory will continue to live on with us forever. -Savannah van Vuren

As sure as the wind moves the sand in the Kalahari, was the love Oupa had for those he held close. I have not met a man so filled with integrity, character, wisdom and the gift of hospitality. I am grateful to have been able to spend the amount of time I did with my Oupa. He was involved in my sister’s and I’s endeavors and daily life from a very early age. I can see clearly now the true blessing it is to be able to have such a relationship with immediate family, as I learned so much from my Oupa about our family history, South Africa, and life. The greatest part of it all was his involvement in my life. Oupa spoke to me in Afrikaans and showed me the ways of the culture where our roots stem from. Oupa took me fishing and taught me how to bait a line for carp and catfish, in which we shared some of our best memories as the sun would set a vibrant flame on the shallow wake of the water we fished. I will miss him pulling in the drive just to say hello, and make sure all is well at the homestead. Oupa was a man of many talents who knew how to navigate this life on earth while putting his trust in God. Not once was a task too daunting or difficult, in fact he took pride in the work he did and the family he raised. Oupa was the most capable man I have known, whose love for his family was great. His memory and fond impact will only strengthen us and strive to meet his excellence in the life he led. Oupa fought hard to be his very best in all he did and provided for his family. Oupa’s legacy and name will be carried on with pride, courage and love. -AJ van Vuren

Oupa was so loved. He had all the right values he instilled in me and all of his grandchildren. He was patriotic, hospitable, and put his family and his time with his family above all else. A storyteller, a giver, and a strong man—physically and mentally. He always showed up. He was the man who showed up in his robe at 5 am because you needed him. My favorite memory with my oupa comes from when I was a child and would spend the weekends with him and my ouma in the Dundee home. Oupa loved his yard lights, he was talented at setting them up to light up a property in all the correct ways. In Dundee he would have me stand inside looking out the back window and say, “lights on” and the outdoor lights would light up the property like no other. Then, I'd say “lights off” and the yard and trees disappeared into the night. I was so shocked and amazed every time. Turns out oupa would just have the remote for the lights in his jean pocket and would be as amused at my excitement and awe as I was with the lights being voice activated. Every weekend spent there he always had something fun, pictures or household decor from our roots in South Africa that he was proud to show me. Other core memories with my oupa are the family dinners and discussions we had and him every week and every holiday. He would lean on me for directions to go places and the internet to look things up for him all of the time. At the time I would laugh, say, "Why won’t you just get an iPhone?" but now I’m grateful he never did. I’ll miss answering the phone to his cute “hey Jordy, it’s oupa!” as if I wouldn’t have his contact saved. My oupa brought laughs and love into the lives of everyone he met. He didn't have an easy life, but he had fun and he was a social butterfly. So many people within our Barrington Community knew him that I didn’t even know! My oupa was a perfect example of what it means to be a family man. He will be missed, but his legacy will live on in his family. Now that his work on earth is complete, may my grandfather's soul rest in peace. I love you oupa. – Jordan J van Vuren

Oupa was a man like no other. He exceeded the capabilities of many his age and stayed strong until his very last day. Although he is now gone, every one of his friends and family members will live on with a piece of him in their hearts. I wish I could list all the amazing memories I made with him, but this would become a book. From the day we moved to Barrington, we started seeing Ouma and Oupa more often and I finally got to see the great man that he was. I worked in the yard with him, I watched races with him, I ate good food with him, I shared the heartiest laughs with him, at the end of the day he was really the perfect Oupa. He raised me as a son, and I only realized it so recently. Every celebration he was there by my side. He guided me and motivated me to make my parents proud and I really couldn’t thank him enough for that. He always made me smile. He told me if I don’t smile for at least an hour a day I would forget how to. I took his word for it, and I think it’s going pretty well. I’m so thankful for the time I got to spend with oupa. He will continue to motivate us to be our best selves throughout our lives through God. I love you so much oupa, rest easy. -Alex Jansen van Vuren

Oupa I love you so much. You are my legend. Your legacy will forever live on through those you’ve touched. A man of so much character, pride, and integrity. A true lion mentality, stay strong and keep on moving forward. You passed with an impact greater than any of my words can describe. The lion lives on forever. – Jaunie J van Vuren


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