Papa laid his life down for his 20-year old Down syndrome son Joseph… and saved him, but lost his own life in the process.
We are just so, so, so sad.
Please please please pray for Dan’s Mom, Josie still in the hospital, Dan, us and all the VW’s.
Heaven’s gain is our biggest loss.
And we’re feelin’ it.
(By the way, I have better photos — but other than a photo on his knees in front of the Blessed Sacrament, to me this was the man: workin’ hard, with his kids, and his grandkids. We all thought he would die working for his family, but God wanted to give him the gold ticket sacrificing his very life for his family.)
UPDATE: Thank you all for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers during this time. The funeral arrangments have been posted at Seton School’s and Holy Trinity’s websites. Please check in frequently for futher updates.
Joseph is out of the hospital. He still is on oxygen, but he was able to attend part of the viewing on Sunday afternoon.
For those wishing to leave memories or messages for the family, the Funeral Home has an online guestbook.
Potomac News: Thomas Steven Vander Woude
We appreciate all the kinds words from the news:
Washington Post: Father Who Died Saving Son Known For Sacrifice
Manassas Journal Messenger: Man Drowns While Saving His Son
Journal Messenger: Ordinary Heroism and Selfless Sacrifice
Fox 5 News Video
WJLA News Video Story
WJLA: Community Mourning After Man Drowns in Septic Tank Trying to Save Son
News Channel 8: Community Mourning After Man Drowns in Septic Tank Trying to Save Son
Arlington Catholic Herald: Man of faith dies saving disabled son
The Catholic Review Online: Man who died trying to rescue son recalled as devoted father, friend
WTOP Radio: Man drowns in septic tank while trying to save son
Fredericksburg Free Lance Star: Boundless Love
Mark Levin, national radio host, began Sept. 10th’s show. Click on the link to the Sept 10th show.
LifeSiteNews.com: Man Drowns Saving Son with Down Syndrome
Christendom College News: College Mourns the Loss of Former Athletics Director VanderWoude
And thank you for the prayers and kind words from posted all around the Internet and Blogosphere:
4Real Prayer Request
The Corner, National Review: Thomas S. Vander Woude, R.I.P.
The Corner, National Review: Thomas S. Vander Woude
Newsbusters: A Hero’s Story
And Now for Seven: Please Pray
Happy Mama: Yesterday…
Courtney’s Campaign: A Holy Hero
Family in Feast and Feria: Our Heavy Hearts
Waltzing Matilda: Heavy Hearts
The Stump: Please Pray for This Family
In the Heart of My Home: A Life Well-Lived
Catholics 4 McCain: Prayers Needed
Catholic and Enjoying It!: May God Bless his Soul and Grant Him Eternal Light
Steve Skojec: Thomas Vander Woude: Profile of a Hero
Te Deum: 66 Year Old Father Drowns While Saving Son with Down Syndrome
40 Days for Life Ottawa: Life is the Only Choice
God’s Canvas: A Father’s Love
Southern Illinois Catholic: The Sacrifice of a Father
St. Louis Catholic: A Heroic Father
Fun Size: Greater Love than this…
Creative Minority Report: He Gave All
Tales From the Bonny Blue House: A Father’s Love
St. Athanasius Academy: Prayers Please — Revisited and Still Needed
More Precious Than Pearls: A Heroic Death
Dulce Domum: Just Some Thoughts
Dulce Donum: A Lifetime of Giving
Just Another Day in Paradise: We Are So Heartbroken
First Things: An Unlikely Civil Rights Leader
Dymphna’s Road: Here Was a Man
Bucket of Glee: Please pray for the family of Father Thomas VanDerWoude
Legacy Matters: Father Died Saving son
Tom Faranda’s Folly: Father who died saving his disabled son
Home Sweet Heart: The Blessings of a Down Syndrome Child
The Joyful Faith: Important Person in my Life
Crunchy Con: What a Daddy is
Nathancontramundi: Living the truly Catholic, conservative life, even until death
Anjan Ganguly: Greater love hath no man
Hyatt Update: Saturday
Five Feet of Fury: Man drowns while saving son with Down Syndrome
The Western Confucion: A Happy Death
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy: Requiescat in pace Thomas Vander Woude
Christian and American: American and Christian Hero: Thomas Vander Woude
Post Funeral News and Notes:
Catholic Preaching: The Crown of a Life of Self-giving
Whispers in the Loggia: “This Guy Did Something Saintly”
Lux Mea Christus – Musings of a Seeker: A modern St Joseph
GetReligion.org: Of sacrifice and fatherhood
First Things: Something Saintly
The Tail End: Fatherhood”
Cranach: A Father’s Vocation
Transfigurations: Father Who Saved Son Is Remembered For Generosity
Mommy Life: Father dies saving son with Down syndrome
DC and Maryland Burbs Blog: Stop…some things must be shared…..Read it and weep
Aggie Catholics: Fatherhood.
Seeking Justice: Passing of a Good Man
Prattman.com: No Greater Love Than This
Faith and Family Live: A Life Well Lived
My Take on Things: Father rescues son from drowning. Sad story but worth the read
Ladies of 102’s Blog: “The Crown of a Whole Life of Self-Giving”
Cacciguida: Thomas Vanderwoude
Pat Buckley – European Life Network: A story of courage and love
Cause of Our Joy: Senator Sam Brownback’s speech on Prenatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act
Frank Murphy: of faithful departed
Disabled Christianity: A Real Life Metaphor
Ladies of 102: God is using Dad’s witness to touch a lot of people’s hearts
Grow the Heart of a Man: Hero Dad of 7 Sons
Marge Unleashed: Standing with Rick Santorum
Reagan Conservatives: 7 Sons Lay Hero Dad to Rest
Barry Michaels: Saints Someday?
Son Rise Morning Show
Divine Will newsletter
Knights of Columus Obit
Christendom Grapevine: Article by Matt Hadro
Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Ultimate Sacrifice
CSPAN Video Footage:
Senator Brownback told the story with a picture of Dad on the Senate floor in hopes of passing legislation that would create a registry of people willing to adopt Down’s babies and couples who have Down’s that are looking for couples to adopt them — the clip is long, Senator Brownback speaks at 1:04 pm ET.
Transcript of Senator Brownback’s presentation is here.
EWTN Raymond Arroyo World Over: September 26 with Rick Santorum