Michele N. Van, beloved mother, sister and friend passed away suddenly on February 1, 2023. She was the daughter of the late Wilbert Van and Ruby Van-Pettit. Michele is survived by the apple of her eye, daughter Erin Sterling Van-Casey, Grandville, Michigan; sister Regina Slade, Raytown, Missouri; brother Steven Van, Kansas City, Missouri; and a host of family and friends.
Michele was a 1973 graduate of Paseo High School, Kansas City, Missouri. On May 17, 1978, Michele received a degree in Counseling from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas. While attending KU, Michele pledged and became a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Delta Chapter. She later joined and was an active member of the AKA graduate chapter of Mu Omega.
After graduation, Michele worked in the Student Affairs Department at the University of Kansas. She worked at the Kansas City, Missouri Job Corps for nine years. Michele worked as a Paraprofessional at Raytown South High School. She worked closely with her teacher Ms. Tracy Colin helping to educate young minds in the school’s Special Education class. The education of youth was a major commitment for Michele. Her philosophy was that her students needed caring adults who were invested in them and their learning. Michele believed that this was the only way to make this world a better place, to teach amazing little people with committed passion, who would in turn grow up to be amazing big people. Michele retired from the Raytown School System in 2021.
Despite her accomplishments, her role as a mom to Erin and grand-fur mother to Khloe and Blu was her greatest joy in life. She delighted in watching animal shows, an expert bird watcher, reading Stephen King novels and was known to bait her own hook while fishing for catfish. Michele was a passionate sports fan and could be heard loudly cheering for her favorite teams, the KU “Rock Chalk Jayhawks” and the Kansas City Chiefs. She was the ultimate armchair quarterback.
Michele will be remembered for her infectious laugh and demeanor. She never met a stranger and made everyone she encountered feel at ease in her presence.
Michele will be sorely missed by immediate and extended family and friends.
Visitation will be 12-1PM, with memorial services to follow at 1PM, Saturday, February 25 at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd., Kansas City, Missouri.Service Information:
Visitation will be 12PM, with memorial services to follow at 1PM, Saturday, February 25 at Park Lawn Funeral Home, 8251 Hillcrest Rd., Kansas City, Missouri.