Ocean Beach 05


Matthew G. Van Vranken

September 19, 1959 ~ May 18, 2019 (age 59)

On May 18, 2019. Matthew Gerrit Van Vranken, of Grand Rapids, MI, passed away peacefully at home at the age of 59. Matt entered into heaven peacefully with his family at his side, surrounding him with comfort and love, as he ended the struggle he fought courageously each day for the past 3-1/2 years. 

Holding him close in their hearts and missing him deeply are Matt’s wife, Kris White, parents, Audrey and Gary Van Vranken, sister, Wendy Dean (PJ ), daughter, Claire, step-children, Lauren, Lindsay,  and Eric White, mother and father-in-law, Greg and Jan Stein, brother-in -law Chip Stein (Missy), Sister-in-law Amy Hamilton (Joe), nieces and nephews Erica Dean Egan(Michael), Vanessa Dean, Brandon Dean, Casey Stein, CJ Stein, Nick Stein, Katy Hamilton, Joey Hamilton, Mary Clare Hamilton and Patrick Hamilton. Many close friends were like family to Matt and will also miss him dearly. While not an all inclusive list, among those Matt held close to his heart are Pete and Moe Ruben, John Zeigler and Fran Falsey.  Enough thanks cannot be extended to Dr. Kevin McCormick, Dr. Iris Boettcher and the entire Spectrum Health Hospice team who provided not only exceptional care, but deep respect and compassion to Matt during this journey.

Matt was born in Holland Patent, NY and graduated from Holland Patent High School.  After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College in New York, and his master’s degree from George Washington University in Washington D.C., Matt began an extensive career as a health care executive at Christian Hospital in St. Louis, MO, Hospitals of Saint Raphael in New Haven, CT,  Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA and finally arriving at Spectrum Health in 2003. At Spectrum Health he served as Executive Vice President  Spectrum Health Delivery System, which included the Spectrum Health Hospital Group and Spectrum Health Medical Group as well as a variety of health system responsibilities.  In addition, Matt sat on, or chaired, several local boards. Among them the Fifth Third Board, Frederik Meijer Gardens and West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology. 

Matt leaves behind a legacy for love of family, friends, colleagues and a lifetime career of leadership in healthcare.  He was a passionate man, dedicated to strategically creating systems that supported the patients and families served, the staff and physicians committed to excellence, supporting education, and championed research and innovation to design the best future in health care. Not only effective in the board room, Matt knew it was crucial to be present at the point of care, rounding in patient care areas with the nurses, physicians and team members, spending time with patients and families, learning what was most important to them and engaging all in creating the best systems possible.  And while his work was so important to him, spending time with loved ones was his top priority.

Matt loved all things sports, none more than his beloved Boston Red Sox and Syracuse Orange basketball.  He was also an active participant in sports and specifically enjoyed golf and running. A good martini, craft beer,  and sharing a good meal and glass of wine with friends and family were among the things Matt enjoyed. He also loved travel, music,  board games and was an avid reader.  Most of all he loved being at home, just talking, listening to music, dreaming and planning for the future.  Matt lived life to the fullest, never sedentary, always engaged, and always experiencing as much as he could.  He was a passionate man, who knew what was most important to him, and clear about what he wanted in life. 

Finally, Matt was always there first and foremost for his family, friends and colleagues who needed advice, opinion or feedback on goals and ideas.  He was not afraid to confront a challenge or adversity, which he took head on.  As best he could, Matt always led with his heart as well as his head, to do what he believed to be best, and always enjoyed the opportunity to learn and grow. He lived a full life , but was taken far to soon from those who loved him so deeply.  

Our Matt will be dearly missed more than words can say, but we know his spirit, the lessons we learned from him and the love he shared in everything he did will remain with us forever.  He will be our angel watching over us, forever in our hearts, guarding and guiding those who loved him, until we meet again.

Following Matt’s wishes, a memorial service will be held 2pm on Friday, May 31st at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.  The family will greet friends just prior to the service from 1-2pm.  Black attire is not required, spring colors welcome!  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Bethlehem Intergenerational Center at 250 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503, or to Spectrum Health Hospice.


Donations may be made to:

Bethlehem Intergenerational Center
250 Commerce Ave SW, Grand Rapids MI 49503
Tel: 1-616-456-7509
Web: http://www.bethlehemintergenerationalcenter.org

Spectrum Health Hospice
750 Fuller Avenue NE, Grand Rapids MI 49503
Web: http://www.spectrumhealth.org

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