Richard “Jeff” Van Slyke, 64, of Forest City, Iowa died Aug. 4, 2014, at his home due to natural causes. A gathering of family and friends was held Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, at the Petersen Lund Funeral Chapel, 505 North Clark St., Forest City, with a time for sharing memories. Cremation has taken place and Inurnment will be at a later date.
Richard “Jeff” Van Slyke was born Nov. 27, 1950, in Mason City, Iowa, the son of Richard and Shirley (Reynolds) Van Slyke. He attended school in Clear Lake, graduating from Clear Lake High School in 1968. Jeff furthered his education at Waldorf College in Forest City after he returned from the service. He then enlisted in the United States Army and served in the Green Beret Special Forces. Jeff served from 1968-1971 with the Company C Airborne Ranger 75th Inf. 173rd Airborne Brigade RVN. He received the following decorations: Outstanding Trainee AIT, Expert- M14 and M16, National Defense Service Medal, Parachute Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Army Commendation for Heroism and the Army Commendation for Meritorious Service.
He enjoyed fishing, camping, the outdoors, writing poetry, and playing with Vanessa. He will be missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Jeff is survived by his wife, Teresa Van Slyke, of Forest City; children, Alyson (Thomas) Finley, of Des Moines, Iowa, Jesse Van Slyke, of Mason City, Iowa, Eli Wood, of Clear Lake, and Vanessa Van Slyke, of Forest City; two grandchildren, Phelan and Lochlan Finley; mother, Shirley Van Slyke, of Ankeny, Iowa; sisters, Lisa Van Slyke (Mike Handy) of Pinehurst, Tex., and Jeri Tracy of Des Moines; and several nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, Richard Van Slyke.