Cover photo for Robert B. Van Dyke's Obituary
Robert B. Van Dyke Profile Photo
1949 Robert 2016

Robert B. Van Dyke

September 18, 1949 — September 12, 2016

Robert Barkley Van Dyke, 66, of Rindge, NH, beloved husband and father, was called to his Savior’s side on September 12th, 2016.

He was born in Neptune, NJ on September 18th, 1949, the son of Reinhardt and Mildred (Dunham) Van Dyke. He graduated from Ridge High School in 1967 with a scholarship in wrestling. Growing up his family enjoyed camping, fishing and vacationing in NH and Maine. Bob’s love for the woods, lakes and ocean brought him to Franklin Pierce University, where he met his wife of 42 years, Kathleen (Foley) Van Dyke. In 1972 he graduated with a B.S. in Economics & Accounting with his senior thesis concentration on Real Estate in NH.

Bob tried the 9-5 white collar job after college but he couldn’t sit still, he needed action. Bob was a visionary and he decided to use New Hampshire as his canvas. At age 20 he purchased 200 acres of land in Rindge, which included a small hunting lodge and a stream. Over the next 30 years it developed into a 3,500 SF house for his 7 children and wife enjoying a 20-acre excavated lake complete with island, gazebo, damn, covered bridge, and sandy beach.

In the mean-time, Bob went on to build subdivisions, roads, new homes, and apartment buildings that are integral to our communities. Bob enjoyed new challenges. Near the age of 30, the town wanted to tear down the historic Abbot building in the center of Jaffrey. Bob campaigned against it and decided to renovate it himself and open a restaurant which he managed for 6 years.

When Bob accepted Jesus as his Savior he carried this same energy and talents to his church. Thirty years ago he performed the site work for the JBC addition. Later he worked as a leader in Awana, lead men’s bible studies and men’s conferences, was a leader of discipleship, a deacon, and member of the finance committee. He was also a member of Gideons international and a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International.

Ask anyone that knew him and they would agree that Bob was unique. He would push you to the limits of frustration and melt you with a smile, he would tease and joke, he would be hysterical in near-death experiences, he loved finding deals and buying things in bulk, he was tenacious and perseverant in all pursuits, he was beyond loyal, he was principled no matter the sacrifice, he had a tremendous capacity for juggling large amounts of information, but most of all he loved big. That included all of his family, extended family, church family, friends, employees, foreign students, and beyond.

Bob was the master of prankery. If you sat with anyone in his circle of friends and family, they would all have a story about Bob. These would often include putting spicy pepper on your food when you weren’t looking and laughing hysterically when you were searching desperately for something to wash it down, lighting a firecracker under your chair on 4th of July, or teasing you relentlessly if you happen to be Irish. All in all Bob always went against the grain and was anything but ordinary in all things style, cooking, business exchanges and raising his children.

Bob’s physical features were intimidating. His hands were like a bear’s paws and you could not out-squeeze him in a handshake. Yet his heart was the warmth of a Teddy bear, pure understanding and caring. Every day he was doing something for one of his children or church family or acquaintance. Bob loved all people without judgement and demonstrated his love through the generous giving of his time, talents and treasures. The structures that Bob built over the course of his life may fade overtime but his legacy which has impacted so many will carry on through the generations.

Bob is survived by his wonderful wife, Kathleen (Foley) Van Dyke, his children Jamison and his wife, Mikella, Joshua and his wife, Erjona, Jared and his wife, Colleen, Ashley and her husband, Kenyon, Chelsea and her husband, Matthew, Jonathan and his wife, Ellen; his brothers Reinhardt and John; his grandchildren Lazara, Carter, Sadie, Capri, Maddox, Kenli, Paxton, Clara, and two more on the way. Bob was predeceased by his parents Reinhardt and Mildred, his brother, Garret, and his son, Justin.

Family and friends are warmly invited to calling hours on Thursday, September 15, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Jaffrey Bible Church, 133 Turnpike Road (Route 124) Jaffrey.

Funeral Services will be held on Friday, September 16, 2016 in the Jaffrey Bible Church at 10:00 a.m. Burial will take place later at the Hillside Cemetery on Goddard Road in Rindge.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in support of Bob’s favorite cause, Little Lambs International Christian Orphanage, PO Box 25, New Ipswich, NH 03071.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert B. Van Dyke, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Thursday, September 15, 2016

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, September 16, 2016

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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Hillside Cemetery - Rindge

31 Goddard Rd, Wyandotte, MI 48192

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