H18-1993.10. Vande Water, Randall (1930-2018). Papers, ca. 2018. Digital.


Hope College

Document Type



Randall (Randy) P. Vande Water was born March 5, 1930, in Zeeland, Michigan, to William H. and Kathryn (Kitty Van Ry) Vande Water, and moved to Holland in 1937. He graduated from Holland High School in 1948. A 1952 Hope College alumnus, Vande Water was a recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1986. He did graduate work at the University of Michigan and UCLA. He edited the Fort Bliss, Texas News from 1952-1954 during the Korean conflict and announced the Fourth Army Boxing Tournament on the Armed Forces Radio Network. In 1948, he started announcing the Holland Evening Sentinel local news on WHTC, continuing through his college years. Vande Water rejoined the Sentinel as sports editor in 1954 and daily WHTC Sentinel news. Spending four decades at the Sentinel, Vande Water was sports editor, city editor, editorial page editor and managing editor. Since 1992, when he wrote the first volume of On the Way to Today, he wrote 15 books on Holland area history. During those years Vande Water gave numerous illustrated lectures to civic, church and college groups on various subjects relating to the area’s history. He authored a four-volume series of Holland Happenings, Heroes and Hot Shots, Millennium Memories, Holland the Tulip Town, Zeeland, A Walk Through Time, 100 Years of Hope College Basketball, A Century of Heinz Holland, Holland Furnace Company and the Holland American Legion Band. In 2015, he co-authored with his wife, Mary, Holland: An Illustrated Book of the Community’s Last Half Century. In 2009 Vande Water was honored by Resthaven Care Community, which established Encore!, a biennial event to honor seven individuals, or couples, over age 70 who contribute to the betterment of the community in their retirement years. He was a member of the Holland Film Group in 2017 that produced the motion picture Wilderness to World Class, an 80-minute documentary illustrating Holland’s 170-year history. Vande Water served on the Trinity Reformed Church consistory and represented Christ Memorial Reformed Church for six years on the Holland Reformed Church Classis. He was past president of the University of Michigan Press Club and on the board of directors of the Michigan Associated Press. He was a Paul Harris Fellow in the Holland Rotary Club. Active in the community, Vande Water served as president of the Herrick District Library board, Holland Area Historical Society and Good Samaritan and was named A Friend of the Museum while on the Holland Historical Trust board. The collection includes one of his presentations titled “Holland Baseball Before Jackie: A Look at Holland and Hope College Baseball from 1872-Today,” created ca. 2018.


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