This stepparent day, we want to honor a man who has lived an amazing life of service and selfless giving. That man is the stepfather to our very own Tammy Sue Veldkamp, Executive Director of Faith Hospice.
Speaking about her stepfather, John, Tammy Sue said, “It has been an honor to have him as a stepfather. He didn’t have to treat any of us so well…he chose to!”
“It has been an honor to have him as a stepfather. He didn’t have to treat any of us so well…he chose to!”
—Tammy Sue Veldkamp
After her late husband was diagnosed with cancer, John became a constant presence at her home in Oregon, where Tammy lived at the time. “They (John and her Mom) desired to spend all the time they could supporting us. John would fly out often in the coming years, helping with many maintenance issues that, as a young widow, I was unable to handle.” She could give example after example of projects and sacrifices John made for her and her sister over the years.
John and Tammy Sue’s mom spent their early retirement years as nomads with the Methodist Church, serving in church and camp projects around the country. They now live locally in the Grand Rapids area. Recently, they received the unfortunate news that John was diagnosed with cancer. “When he was diagnosed with cancer and decided against pursuing treatment, I recommended he get on hospice right away,” Tammy Sue said. “So many say they couldn't work in hospice and deal with death all the time, but at this time in my family's journey, it is even clearer that hospice is about honoring life. My stepfather has served so many and deserves all the resources and options at his disposal to thrive and be comfortable at this phase.”
Tammy Sue’s husband recently told John that he was the most generous person he has known both with his time and money. Tammy Sue added. “I couldn't have said it better myself!”