Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Richard Lee Van Der Ploeg, USAF (Retired)June 28, 1944 – December 19, 2008
Richard Van Der Ploeg, of Eureka, died on December 19, 2008 at Greenwood County Hospital at the age of 64.
He was born on June 28, 1944 in Troy, Michigan, the son of Peter and Helen (Wells) Van Der Ploeg. He was raised in the Detroit area and attended local schools. After his schooling he joined the Army serving in Germany. After his discharge he worked various jobs before he rejoined the armed services during Viet Nam serving in the Air Force. Richard received three distinguished flying crosses during his service. He stayed in the military serving his country with honor and dignity until his retirement. Richard moved all around the country never staying in one place too long. He moved to Eureka in 2003 to be closer to his family.
On March 12, 1966, he was joined in marriage to Elaine Kott in Detroit, Michigan. The family moved wherever Richard’s military career took them. The marriage later ended in divorce.
He is survived by his son, Grant Van Der Ploeg of Reece, Kansas; daughter, Deborah Miller of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; two grandchildren; one sister, Ruth Malone of Fairhope, Alabama. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother and two sisters.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M., Friday, December 26, 2008 at Koup Family Funeral Home with Chaplain Gene Sprague officiating.
A memorial has been established in his name to the VFW #2712 of Eureka. Contributions may be sent in care of Koup Family Funeral Home, P.O. Box 595, Eureka, Kansas 67045.