Anchorage Daily News February 6, 2002
Eagle River residents JOHN E. AND CATHERINE VANDEN DRIES died Feb. 1, 2002, in Eagle River. A memorial service was at Saint Andrews Church in Eagle River, with the Rev. Leo Walsh officiating. Interment was in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the U.S. Air Force Academy Cemetery.
Mr. Vanden Dries was born Dec. 19, 1952, in Montgomery, Ala. He earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, and a master's in political science from Auburn University. In 1970 he joined the Air Force, and retired with the rank of colonel in 2000. Mr. Vanden Dries had been employed by Southwest Airlines since September 2000.
Mrs. Vanden Dries was born April 17, 1953, in Bryan, Texas. She earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1975 from Colorado Women's College, and a master's in education in 1996 from the University of Michigan. She had taught first and second grade for the Anchorage School District for the last four years. In 1992, they moved to Alaska. They later left the state to live briefly in Pennsylvania, and then an Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan. They returned to Alaska in 1998. They were both members of St. Andrews Church in Eagle River. Their family wrote: ''Catherine was an essential volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America. During his military career, John had earned the National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, Humanitarian Service Award, Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He had accumulated over 4,000 hours of flight time in service to his country and in the private sector.''
Mr. and Mrs. Vanden Dries are survived by their sons, Sean Vanden Dries at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, and Drew Vanden Dries of Anchorage; three nieces and five nephews. Mr. Vanden Dries is also survived by his mother, Aileen Vanden Dries of Las Vegas; father and stepmother, John E. Sr. and June Vanden Dries Sr. of Corvallis, Mont.; brother and sister-in-law, Brian and Jeannie Vanden Dries of Boise, Idaho; and sister and brother-in-law, Anne and John Zaiss of Las Vegas. Mrs. Vanden Dries is also survived by her mother and stepfather, Patty and Don Shaw of Toledo, Ohio; father, Bill McClelland of Los Angeles; and brothers and sisters-in-law, Paul and Debbie McClelland of San Jose, Calif., and Justin and Wendy McClelland of Africa. Family requests memorial donations to the John and Catherine Vanden Dries Memorial Scholarship Fund, Account No. 1002016101, Wells Fargo Bank, 320 W. Fifth Ave., Suite 168, Anchorage 99501. Arrangements by Evergreen Memorial Chapel.
Colonel, U.S. Air Force, Class of 1975; Loving husband and father
Catherine Vanden Dries
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