College Mourns the Loss of Former Athletics Director VanderWoude

September 9, 2008

vwOn Monday, September 8 Christendom College’s former Athletics Director Tom VanderWoude passed away.

VanderWoude’s son, Josie, fell into a septic tank when the cover collapsed on their family farm. VanderWoude jumped in to save him and drowned in the tank while holding his son's head above the level of the contents of the tank.

Josie survived and is being cared for at Prince William Hospital. Having swallowed a large amount of sewage water, he is in danger of contracting pneumonia and infection.

"Tom VanderWoude was a great man, a devout Roman Catholic, and great friend of the college," said College President Timothy O’Donnell. "He sent his children here and made an incredible contribution to not only our athletics program, but also to the larger life of the community here. Our hearts go out to his family at this time. He will be deeply missed."

Christendom College offered Mass on September 9 at 11:30 a.m. for the repose of the soul of VanderWoude, Josie’s speedy recovery, and for the consolation of the VanderWoude family.

VanderWoude, 66, leaves behind his wife, Mary Ellen, and seven sons, Tom, Steve, Bob, Danny, Chris, Pat, and Josie.

VanderWoude served as Christendom’s Athletics Director for five years, until last year when his son Christopher took over the position.

Eternal rest grant unto Tom, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.

Read the front page story in The Washington Post.

Read the story about his funeral in The Washington Post.


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