Joseph Richard Vander Pluym, age 62, of O’Fallon, died on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at his home in O’Fallon, Illinois.
He was born on November 18, 1951 at St. Joseph’s Hospital, in Breese, IL. He was the youngest son of Loretta (Sellers) Vander Pluym and Richard Vander Pluym. He grew up most of his life in Clinton County and then moved to Arizona when he was a child, where his family lived for several years. At that time, the family came back to their roots to settle in Breese, IL, where their hearts always remained. He graduated from Mater Dei Catholic High School in 1969. There, his love of music and the arts flourished, and he also met the love of his life, Janice (Sautman) Vander Pluym. They married on January 7, 1971.
He is survived by his soulmate and loving wife, Janice; 2 daughters – Amber (Vander Pluym) Rigsby and husband Michael of Bloomington, IL, and Lauren Vander Pluym and partner Joe Tiberio of Chicago, IL; 2 brothers – John Vander Pluym and wife Cathy of St. Louis, MO, and Jerry Vander Pluym of Arizona; sister Jan (Vander Pluym) Petersen and husband Pete of Reno, NV; 2 sisters-in-law – Gayle (Sautman) Warnecke and husband & soul brother Phil of Carlyle, IL and Angie (Sautman) Schoendienst of Bel Air, MD; and several nieces and nephews and their children who he loved dearly.
He was preceded in death by his beloved parents – Richard and Loretta (Sellers) Vander Pluym; brother-in-law & soul brother Dick Schoendienst, and mother-in-law – Rosalind (Winkeler) Sautman.
Joe was a lifelong retail industry executive. Since early 2014, he was the Senior Vice President of Sales at Scrubs & Beyond in Brentwood, MO. Previously, Joe was the Chief Operations Officer for Bakers Footwear Group in St. Louis, MO. Joe put his heart and soul into building Bakers, where he worked for over a decade. Joe began his retail career at Merry Go Round Enterprises of Baltimore, MD. His career with MGRE is a testament to his hard work and dedication, as he started out as an hourly employee on store floors as a nineteen-year-old, and over the years, worked his way up to Executive VP of Operations. During his time at MGRE and Bakers, Joe made lifelong friends who are now part of his family. Joe inspired many careers throughout his lifetime, and he touched the soul of every colleague. He loved them all dearly in return.
Joe was a creative soul in every sense of the word, and he passionately shared his many talents with the world. He was an incredible visual artist, specializing in charcoal drawing and screen-printing. He built beautiful additions of his own design to his family’s home that they will cherish forever.
His family knows that Joe was put on this Earth to share his musical gifts with the world. He was an incredible, self-taught bassist, guitarist, harmonica player, and vocalist. Additionally, he spent his life building a state-of-the-art home recording studio, where he wrote and recorded music with countless artists. In this way, he shared a special bond with his daughter, Lauren, who frequently wrote songs with him and sang on many recordings. His wife, Janice, also sings beautiful harmony. Janice and Lauren often sang with Joe in his many band performances. His daughter, Amber, and Joe shared a bond through her work in radio. Janice and her daughters are music lovers and will always be Joe’s biggest fans.
Joe left a beautiful legacy of recorded music, including his heartfelt homage to Southern Illinois life in Breese, IL: Breese to the Blues, which was played by his closest friends and family – all area musicians – under the name of The Vanders. Joe donated all proceeds of this album to the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association in honor of friends and family who have passed on, and his family will continue this tradition. You can honor Joe by downloading this album on iTunes at: http://bit.ly/1i2FW5p.
His heart always belonged in Breese with his best friends and fellow musicians. Through the years, Joe played in numerous bands with countless musicians across the United States, including The Livin’ End, Arem Bay, Mr. Wizard, Quasi, Native Creative, Back Down 50, and so many others. Most recently, Joe played bass and sang for Gypsy Jones and Lucky Dog Band. This family of musicians inspired and fulfilled him all of his life.
His fulfillment in life was not limited to music. Joe lived his life as a true humanitarian. He gave so much to friends, family, people in need, and many charitable organizations, such as Catholic Charities, The American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association, and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. He will always be remembered for his generosity and kindness.
There was not a soul that Joe encountered that he did not impact in life-changing ways. He will be missed and loved by so many forever.
Rock on, Joe.
The family will hold a visitation on Monday, April 21 from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at Zieren Day Funeral Home in Carlyle, IL. During the last hour of visitation, musicians are invited to bring instruments for a musical celebration of his life. Visitation will also be held on Tuesday, April 22, from 8:00 – 10:30 A.M. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Tuesday, April 22, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Carlyle, IL. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a charity of your choice in Joe’s honor.