John J Vander Maten passed away peacefully on May 20, 2021, surrounded by his loved ones, beautiful weather, and a colorful spring garden.
The man couldn’t be (and wouldn’t want to be) defined by just one occupation. Whether it was touring the country with a mime troupe, starting a business, or running a foster home, he was always doing life his own way in his own time. To keep it simple, he’d tell you “I’ve done absolutely everything I’ve ever wanted to do.”
Although his list of career paths was extensive and eclectic, it would go without argument that he was most known for his love of gardening, planting, and otherwise making things grow. Everywhere he went in life, a garden would shortly follow. They were a sight to behold; expansive, colorful, and always a place of peace.
In the best kind of way, he’s survived by a list of people too long to mention; a direct effect his loving life had on those who were lucky enough to cross paths with him. So, to those who have felt his love, his mentorship, his guidance; may the celebration of his life be the most important piece of wisdom he leaves us with:
Plant a passion, and your love will grow.