Vincent Thomas Van Sickel, 90 of Lawrence, passed away on May 8, 2011 at Bridge Haven Memory Care Residence in Lawrence. Vincent was a member of Mater Dei Parish in Topeka (formerly Holy Name) for 37 years.
He was born on March 21, 1921 in Abilene, KS the son of Thomas and Margaret (McCormick) Van Sickel. He graduated from Abilene High School, received an Associate of Arts from St. Joseph’s College and Military Academy in 1941, a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University, 1947. He was President of the Kansas Asphalt Pavers Association.
A lifelong Army officer, Vincent served in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. He was awarded the bronze star for actions taken in WWII. During WWII, he served in the First US Army and saw action in the Battle of the Ruhr. In the Korean war he was a commanding officer with the 17th infantry regiment, 7th division which crossed the 38th parallel six times and was the first to reach the Yalu river and the Manchurian border.
He married Mary Freda Morrow on May 22, 1943. She preceded him in death April 27, 2007. He traveled with his wife and 4 children all over the world before settling in Topeka in 1970.
He leaves to celebrate his life, his children James Van Sickel and wife, Leslie of Topeka, Chris Girard and husband, Tom of Perry, Steve Van Sickel and wife, Chris of St. Louis, MO, John Van Sickel of Lawrence, seven grandchildren, two great-granddaughters, and three great-grandsons, his brother-in-law John Morrow and wife, Darlene of Council Bluffs, IA and several nieces and nephews.
He was called ’Poppy’ by his grandchildren and was known for taking them for rides to get ice cream, building dollhouses and swing sets, telling stories and rocking them to sleep. He was not fond of camping or picnics as he "had enough" of sleeping and eating on the ground in all types of weather throughout his military career, a comfortable kitchen or nice restaurant would do quite nicely. He will be dearly missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10a.m. Wednesday May 11 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church 1229 Vermont Street. Graveside committal service with military honors will follow at 4:00 p.m. at St. Gregory Cemetery at Marysville, KS.
Vince will lie in state after 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS.
A Parish Rosary will be recited at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with family visitation to follow until 8 p.m. at the mortuary.
In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to the Alzheimer’s Association or Wounded Warriors and may be sent in care of the mortuary.