Guy Vander Jagt Obituary

Former Congressman Guy Vander Jagt, 75, passed away in Washington, D. C., on Friday, June 22, 2007 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Known as one of the finest orators in the U. S. Congress, he represented Michiganís 9th Congressional District for 26 years, from 1966 until 1993.

He was chosen by Ronald Reagan to give the keynote address at the Republican National Convention in Detroit. He also served as Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee for 18 years and laid the groundwork for Republican control of the U. S. House of Representatives for the first time in over 40 years.

Born in Cadillac on August 26, 1931, he was the son of Dutch immigrant Harry Vander Jagt and his wife, Marie (Copier). Vander Jagt worked his way through Hope College and continued on to Yale Divinity School and Michigan Law School. During his early law practice at the firm of Warner, Norcross & Judd, he met his future wife, Carol Doorn. Shortly after their wedding, he was elected to the Michigan State Senate, and then two years later to the U. S. House of Representatives, where he began his long career of national service. President Nixon tapped Vander Jagt to be his personal representative to Asia to outline the "Nixon Doctrine" and later sent Vander Jagt on missions to eight African nations.

Vander Jagt was also one of the architects of much of the international trade legislation of the 1980ís and a top negotiator of the federal tax reductions championed by President Reagan. Throughout his time in the House, Vander Jagt worked passionately for his Michigan constituents. Some of his happiest times were spent at his beloved Lake County home on the Pine River. After his years in Congress, Vander Jagt returned to his legal career and was named "Of Counsel" to the national law firm Baker, Hostetler.

He will be deeply missed by his wife, Carol, his daughter, Virginia, as well as his many friends in Michigan, Washington, D. C., and throughout the world.

Funeral services will be held at the Dimnent Memorial Chapel on the Hope College Campus in Holland, Michigan, at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, June, 28, followed by a reception in pantlind Ballroom at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids at 4:30 p.m.. Arrangements will be handled by the Notier-VerLee-Langeland Funeral Home in Holland. There will be a private burial in Cadillac, Michigan, and a memorial service to be scheduled later in Washington, D. C. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his honor to the "Hope College-Vander Jagt Endowed Professorship", or to the "Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center", Washington, D. C.

Transcriber: ES
Created: 23 November 2007