Richard “Dic” VerHage, 90, went home peacefully to be with the Lord on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. The only child of Helen and Everet VerHage, Dic, also known as “Rich”, was born and raised in Prospect Park, NJ. He graduated Hawthorne High School in Hawthorne, NJ, class of 1950. In 1953, the US Army stationed him at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. While there, he became lifelong friends with some of his closest Army buddies with whom he kept in contact even up through his most recent birthday. He met his wife, Ruth Markus of Hawthorne, NJ, at Hawthorne High School where she’d spied him across the gymnasium. They married in 1954 and spent the first year of their marriage at Fort Campbell while still in the armed forces. After his discharge they moved briefly to Hawthorne, then to Wyckoff, NJ to start and raised their family. Dic was employed by Singer Kearfott as a Contract Administrator in the Aerospace division. He stayed with the company for 48 years. When their children were still little, Dic graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with a B.A. after attending years of night school. Dic, Ruth, and their girls loved having their many friends, families and neighbors spend holidays and special occasions together. More lifetime friendships bonded and there were numerous fun years of going down the shore and on camping trips with those special friends. They also cherished the years of Christmas caroling with their neighborhood families. Dic and Ruth loved to travel which included California, Wisconsin, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, most of the US eastern seaboard, Florida and the Caribbean. In the early 1990s, they had the opportunity to visit Germany and meet some of Ruth’s relatives. Sadly, after 41 years of happy marriage, Ruth passed away in 1995. Dic had many favorite pastimes, always staying busy. He loved singing in the Wyckoff Reformed Church choir, and in his 70s, beautifully sang a number of solos and duets for the first time ever in his life. He was also a member of “Voices of Praise”. He loved every moment of practice and performance with both choirs. His favorite non-hymn was Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”. Coincidentally, his favorite movie was “It’s a Wonderful Life”. He was an avid reader and never tired of learning. He was adept when it came to gadgets and electronics, and was a wiz at Jeopardy. Church was of the upmost importance to him and he was a dedicated and faithful servant to the Lord. He did countless overlapping years of church service, all while working, well into his retirement, and up until his passing. Dic was a Wyckoff Reformed Church Sunday School Teacher and Sunday School Superintendent, an Elder, Food Pantry Director, as well as member and secretary of the Wyckoff Reformed Church Property Committee, maintaining the historical property of the church. In 1998 Dic married Jessie Fylstra of Wayne, NJ. After retiring, they together volunteered at Valley Hospital and the Wyckoff Reformed Church food pantry. Shortly after their marriage, they took a scenic train tour through western Canada. Dic and Jessie enjoyed going to choral and classical music concerts. Year after year they traveled to Pennsylvania Dutch County and enjoyed the experiences of the many “Sight and Sound” productions. Dic also had realized a post-retirement fondness of baking, especially cookies, sharing countless delicious batches throughout the year. Dic is survived by his wife, Jessie, who was always there for him; his daughters Lisa Barkenbush, and her husband, William, and their dogs; and Marcia Carosi, and her husband, John. He also leaves behind his two grandchildren, Thomas “TJ” and Allison Carosi, whom he loved deeply. Dic had a “Dad” sense of humor which made for a lot of laughs (and groans). He had a wealth of beloved friends over his lifetime, some of whom have already passed. He will be sadly missed yet leaves heartfelt smiles because of all the wonderful memories he helped create over the nine decades of his blessed life. Dic had a love of life, was the voice of reason, was grateful, generous and forgiving. Heaven has truly gained an angel. The family will receive friends on Thursday, June 1, 2023, from 4:00 – 8:00 PM at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ 07481. A Funeral Service honoring Dic’s life will be held on Friday, June 2, 2023, 10:00 AM at Wyckoff Reformed Church, 580 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ 07481. As an expression of sympathy, in lieu of flowers, donations in Dic’s memory may be made to the following; Wyckoff Reformed Church or Wyckoff Reformed Church Food Pantry, 580 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ 07481, Eastern Christian School Association, 50 Oakwood Avenue, North Haledon, NJ 07508, Chilton Medical Center Foundation, 97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444 or Christian Health Foundation, 301 Sicomac Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ 07481.
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Wyckoff Reformed Church
580 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff NJ 07481
Wyckoff Reformed Church Food Pantry
580 Wyckoff Avenue, Wyckoff NJ 07481
Eastern Christian School Association
50 Oakwood Avenue, North Haledon NJ 07508
Chilton Medical Center Foundation
97 West Parkway, Pompton Plains NJ 07444
Christian Health Foundation
301 Sicomac Avenue, Wyckoff NJ 07481