Dennis “Denny” Van Houten

November 06, 1953 ‒ December 12, 2018

Bellville, Ohio

BELLVILLE: Recognized for wearing his Cleveland Indians batting helmet and large personality, Denny Van Houten was a huge sports fan, especially cheering for the Cleveland Indians and Clear Fork Colts.

The Clear Fork Valley will miss one of its greatest sports supporters, after Dennis “Denny” Van Houten passed away unexpectedly Wednesday December 12, 2018 in Houston, Texas.  He was 65.

The son of Ed and Marilyn (Swank) Van Houten, Denny was born November 6, 1953 in Mt. Vernon and was graduated from Clear Fork High School in 1971.

Denny worked for the Ohio Department of Transportation as a highway technician and more recently as a sign worker.  He retired a few months ago after working 30 years.

A Clear Fork sports enthusiast, Denny attended nearly all of the football, basketball, and baseball games.  He played slow pitch softball in the 1980’s for Dick’s Sohio and the Butler Box. For 30 years, he umpired Clear Fork baseball and softball games.

A hard worker, Denny enjoyed working outside mowing and cutting wood.

He was a member of the Son’s of the American Legion.

Denny is survived by his wife Jeanne Van Houten of Bellville, sons Drew Van Houten of Lucas and DJ Van Houten of Vandalia; grandson Clay Van Houten; mother Marilyn Van Houten; sister Vonda (Bruce) Robinson; sister-in-law Sandra Van Houten; nephew John (Sylvia) Robinson and niece Amy (Andrew) Seward; great nephews and great niece; special cousin Randy Swank.

Along with his father he was preceded in death by his brothers Doug Van Houten and Ed “Spanky” Van Houten, Jr.

A memorial gathering will be held Wednesday, December 19, 2018 from 4-8 pm in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Clear Fork Youth League Baseball and Softball Programs, may be made through the funeral home.

Online condolences to the family may be made by

  • Dear Marilyn, Our hearts go out to you and your family. This is such a tragic loss. May it help to know that you have friends who are thinking about you and sending you our deepest sympathy. Sincerely, Susie and Dick Huggins/Fredericktown

  • Our deepest condolences in your family’s loss.
    We have many great memories at the ball field during summers in the 80’s!
    Good times and great community fellowship!
    May God bless all of you with peace and His consolation.

  • Jeanne, my deepest sympathy and heart felt prayers for you, the boys and Denny’s family. Much love to you my dear friend!

    Susan Snavely Wolford

  • My Condolences to the family Dennis Van Houten always a great guy to work with. One of the more consistently funny people I had a lot of Respect for. Always thinking of others. He loved his crossword puzzles and jumbles RIP Den.

  • My Condolences to the family Dennis Van Houten always a great guy to work with. One of the more consistently funny people. I had a lot of Respect for,Always thinking of others. He loved his crossword puzzles, and jumbles RIP Den.

  • My dad Dave Spellman worked & made a friendship with Denny at ODOT until his retirement years ago. He always had stories to share about their time there. He enjoyed visits or running into Denny, he will treasure their last visit together which wasn’t that long ago. My dads words Denny was a good, hard working man that could always put a smile on my face. I’m fortunate that Denny became a friend and maintained his friendship with my father all these years. He definitely will be remembered and missed by many. Our Deepest Sympathy to his wife, sons, grandson, family and friends.

  • My heart breaks for the Van Houten family. Hope you find peace in knowing how much Denny was loved by so many. He was a great man!

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to you and the family. Wishing you Hope in the midst of sorrow, Comfort in the midst of pain. Denny touched many lives while he was here and will be missed by many.

  • Deepest sympathies to the whole family of this great man. Always enjoyed waiting on him in my wendys days, and playing softball against him. His love of life and outgoing personality made him a friend to so many! I will truly miss him, and pray for your family!

  • Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jeanne and the rest of the family. So sorry for your loss.

  • Dear Marilyn – I am so very sorry for this unexpected loss of your son. I hope all the good memories you have with him will bring you comfort. You and all who loved him are in my prayers. Hugs to you.

  • Jeanne, my heart aches for you. I’m here for you, always and all ways. Much love and prayers for strength and supernatural peace and comfort.

  • I had the pleasure of playing right field for the baseball team at Clear Fork. Denny always stood and leaned on the right field fence during the games. Nearly every time I ran to my position, I got to hear a funny, playfully sarcastic comment from Denny. One of my favorite memories with Denny was when I hit a home run ball 30 ft over his head. The next half inning when I ran out to right field, I’m greeted by Denny in a chuckling voice saying “Hey Liberti! Is that all you got?! You can’t hit it any farther than that?!?”. I’ll never forgot that. It hurts but I’m smiling as this I write this. He loved his colts. His colts loved him. The valley lost one of their best. He will be desperately missed. Prayers for the family.

  • Marilyn, Jeannie and all the Vanhouten family, Tom and I send our condolences. Den will be so so missed by all in the valley. It won’t be the same not seeing Denny in the back of his truck watching the home baseball games when we were driving by to go to the girl’s games. We’ll all miss his quick wit and smile. We’ll all miss Den.

  • Marilyn and family,
    My deepest sympathies on the loss of your son. I remember all the stories you shared about Denny through out the years at your nail appointments.

    With love,

  • Jeanne, Drew & DJ,

    Sheri and I had a tremendous amount of respect for Denny. We are so sad to hear of his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Mark and Sheri Blanchard

  • my heart goes out to you and your family Marilyn, did not know Denny personaly but he was one person everyone knew

  • Marilyn and family, what a loss, our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time.
    Cherish those memories
    Love you
    Ted and Paulette

  • Marilyn and the Van Houten Family,
    Our deepest condolences for the passing of Denny. Even though it’s been a good number of years since we volunteered with you and them at the Fairgrounds, both Spanky and Denny and their dad are fondly remembered to this day. Very playful and always smiling…this is how we will remember them.
    Judy Bogner and Janice Edwards

  • Marilyn, Jeanne, and family- Larry and I are so sorry for your loss. Denny was one of a kind. He was always so friendly and caring. He will be greatly missed. Your in our prayers.

  • Marilyn and family members, so sorry to hear of the loss of Denny. Many blessings and prayers at this time of sorrow.

  • So sorry for your loss! Denny was just a great guy he would cut my Dad’s grass all the time and check on him before he passed! Denny will be missed greatly in Bellville was just a great guy! So sorry jeanee and family for your loss

  • Marilyn and family so sorry for your loss of your beloved son and husband it is such a great loss for all of you my heart goes out to all of you

  • Dear Marliyn,Jennie ,Drew and DJ I’m sorry for your lost he will truly be missed he was my coach my team mate and a very great friend to me and my family over the years and I’m so thankful to have had so many special times and memories with Denny to look back on cherish ! Godspeed Denny !

  • The Valley lost a very special person. Never met anyone so devoted to baseball and the children of the Clear Fork Valley. May you Rest In Peace faithful servant. Praying for the family and friends who will suffer from his loss.

  • My condolences and prayers for the family and friends. Denny was always larger than life. He will be missed by the Clear Fork Valley.

  • We are so sorry. My Husband and I worked with Denny at ODOT when we were in the Traffic Department. He always made me laugh. He signed his work papers “RCF”. I said to him, “What’s that stand for?” He answered, ” Richland Counties Finest!” and THAT HE WAS! We both loved working with him, he was strong as an ox. He was a really Great Man. We are so very sorry for the whole Families loss. PRAYING FOR THE PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING.
    Bruce and Carla Simpson

  • Dear Van Houten Family
    You are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Denny was truly one of the good guys. We will miss his teasing ways and bigger than life personality.
    Larry and Luey Dill

  • Dear VanHouten family,

    We are sorry for the loss of your loved one. Our heart goes out to you at this difficult time. Just know you are in our thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort in the days ahead.