September 24, 1949-October 14, 2019
John Vance DeLeeuw, 70, of Visalia, California went home to be with his Lord and Savior on October 14, 2019 surrounded by family and friends after a yearlong struggle with cancer.
John was born in Artesia, California on September 24, 1949, the son of John and Jeanette DeLeeuw. He graduated from Valley Christian High School in 1967 and entered the United States Air Force Academy. Following his honorable discharge, he then continued to serve in the reserves. John married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Laman, in 1970 and they were married for 46 years until her death in 2016. John graduated from California State University, Long Beach in 1971. He received a Master of Science in Public Health in 1973 and a doctorate in Public Health in 1976 from the University of California, Los Angeles. During his early career, he was a college professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and California State University, Chico. In Chico he switched careers to become the Business Administrator at Neighborhood Church and eventually became the Principal of Chico Christian School for several years. In 1992 John and his family moved to Visalia, California where he served in the role of Superintendent at Central Valley Christian School (CVC) for 23 years until his retirement in 2015.
John had a great passion for Christian Education and continued his involvement after retirement at Hanford Christian School. He also served on the Care Pregnancy Resource Center (CPRC) Board and the Board of Providence College in Pasadena. Spending time with family was a great joy for him and he loved fishing, camping, attending family sporting events, and traveling. His passion for ministry led to many captivating chapels and sermons about Bible characters that he made come alive for his audience. He had a true servant's heart and was beloved by his family, friends, and community.
John is survived by his wife Vera (Grimmius) DeLeeuw; three daughters, Tamara Hausmann and her husband Bruce of Atlanta, GA, Tiffani Taylor and her husband Matt of Sacramento, CA, Tasha Gilbert and her husband Brian of Visalia; nine grandchildren, Amanda, Sage, and Brooke Hausmann, Bethany, Madeline, and Samuel Taylor, Gage, Gabby, and Gracie Gilbert; his two brothers Vic DeLeeuw, Randy DeLeeuw and Randy's wife Judy.
A Celebration of Life Service for John will be held at the CVC Chapel on November 23, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., 5600 W. Tulare Avenue, Visalia, CA 93277. A graveside service for family and close friends will take place at 9 a.m. at Visalia Cemetery, 1300 W. Goshen Avenue, Visalia, CA 93291.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to CVC, 5600 W. Tulare Avenue, Visalia, CA 93277 or CPRC, 916 W. Main Street, Visalia, CA 93291.