Van Ross Wade

July 11, 1930 ‒ April 26, 2017

Bellville, Ohio

BELLVILLE: Van Ross Wade loved nature.  He loved plants, gardening, trees, and the beauty of his family’s thriving rural Bellville landscapes.  More importantly Van was a man generous in spirit, who gave more than he received.

A lifelong Bellville area resident, Van Ross Wade, loving husband, dad and grandpa, passed away Wednesday evening, April 26, 2017 in Ohio Health Mansfield Hospital following a brief illness.  He enjoyed life for 86 years.

The son of Cye A. Wade and Martha B. (Ruckman) Claypool, Van was born July 11, 1930 in Bellville and graduated from Bellville High School in 1948.  As a senior in high school, Van began courting fellow classmate and homecoming queen, Shirley Varner.  On July 23, 1950 the two were married at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bellville.

Even as a teenager, Van worked with his family at Wade & Gatton Nurseries.  In 1950, Van began operating Wade Christmas Tree Farms, growing christmas trees on his property.  In 1962 after the passing of his father Cye, Van and Shirley took over operations of Wade & Gatton Nurseries.  The nursery was his life, and Van grew the nursery beyond perennials, conifers, shade and ornamental trees, to include 1,500 varieties of daylilies and 2,500 varieties of hostas.  Van’s collection and selection of hostas ranged from dwarf to giant types in all shapes and colors-including many of his own hybrid varieties.

He was a member of the American Hosta Society, Midland Hosta Society, and Ohio Nursery & Landscape Association.  He was a life member of the Richland Area Beekeepers, and chairman of the Bellville Shade Tree Commission.  Van was a lifelong member of St. Paul Lutheran Church.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of nearly 67 years, Shirley Wade of Bellville; children Steven (Margaret) Wade of Bellville, Tom (Robyn) Wade of Bellville, Brian (Cheryl) Wade of Bellville, and Linda Wade (Nat Chillemi) of Bellville; grandchildren Mark and James Wade, Adam and Ethan Wade, Daniel Wade, Rebecca Mdivanian, Julia Wade, Christina Ute, Jennifer Ute and Kelli Basinger; great grandchildren Mackenzie, Macy, Kennedi, Dylan, Andon, Ava, Julian, Mason Van Ross, Grant, Riley, Carter, Ejheni, Zahven, Xander, Max, Gracie, Brookelyn, two great grandchildren on the way; step great grandchildren Michaela and Chance Barnett; half sister Kim Wade.

Along with his parents he was preceded in death by his grandson Christopher Wade.

The Wade family will receive friends Sunday, April 30, 2017 from 1-5 pm in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home.  Funeral services will be Monday at 11 am at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 48 Church Street, Bellville, Ohio.  Pastor Doug Pretorius will officiate and burial will follow in Bellville Cemetery.

Memorial contributions to the Jefferson Township/Bellville Rescue Squad or the American Cancer Society may be made through the funeral home.

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  • Our sympathy to the Wade family upon the passing of Van Ross.
    The Wade Family, under the leadership of Van Ross leaves each of us with a life time of memories.
    One cannot travel through our communities without seeing the beauty and results of the trees and plants evident along the streets and homes.
    That is what we will enjoy as we remember the past, enjoy the present and look toward the future.
    Thank you Van.
    God Bless you. Dale and Mary Lou Shafer

  • Our world has breathed a heavy sigh on the news of Van’s passing.
    We will always remember his good-nature, generosity and grace, which made it a pleasure to do business with Wade & Gatton Nurseries, but most importantly, mentor and special friend. The twinkle in his eyes and passion for life will be sorely missed.
    Tracy and I both are deeply saddened, but smile when we remember how much we enjoyed knowing him, and how he touched our lives. We send our deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to his family. Please let us know if we can do anything to help.
    Even though this is a sad day, we can’t help but always smile for knowing him.
    Rest in Peace dear man.

    Mike and Tracy Crommes
    Granville, OH

    • Patsy & Roger Johnston Our sincere sympathy To Linda and kelli and jenni and christy and other family

  • We are so saddened to hear of your great loss. We send all of our Love and Prayers!

    Dolly Wade
    Gina Wade Ritter

  • Our family is very saddened to hear ofVan’s passing our thoughts and prayers are with Shirley and the entire Van Ross Wade Family. Just last weekend Edd and I were visiting a local nursery, we began telling them about The Wade-Gatton Nursery and all the special Hostas and Lilly’s. I will not forget all the beautiful gardens surrounding their Beautiful Home. Van always had such a beautiful smile for everyone, I always looked forward to see Van Ross and Shirley at the Wade Family Reunion, ever since I can remember The Van Ross Family brought delicious ice cream which Everyone Loved. Van and Shirley always brought Hostas, Lillies and other plants for our Reunion Auction, several are planted in our own flower gardens. Van will be missed by all who knew him.

  • Shirley and family. Van will truly be missed. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. May he rest in peace..

  • Our condolences to Shirley and family on the passing of Van. He was a family and community man.
    He has done so much in beautifying the valley with trees and plants. We have been blessed by
    his life.

  • Condolences to Shirley and all of the family. There is much evidence in the CF Valley of Van’s generosity and hard work. So much has been given to help beautify our special area here and around the world. Much love and prayers.
    Don and Sue Thomas

  • Our thought and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.
    Kristi and Troy

  • The Valley has lost an icon! We were Blessed to have known him. Our prayers for the entire Wade family.
    Jerry & Jan

  • You are in our prayers today. Don’t know of ever not knowing him. Been great neighbor for 50 years or more. will be missed. The Levingston family. Paul,Richard,Henry (Moochie), Debbie,Codey,HenryII and Samantha

  • He was such a kind and caring person. When I decided to leave my job as editor of the Bellville Star, Van stopped in the office and I was pleased to see him. He looked at me and said, ” is their anything I can do to change your mind and you would stay?” my heart was touched..I told him I was getting too old to work 60 hours a week, and Corp would not send anyone to help. He looked at me , smiled and said, ” you know, I do have some influence there”.( Corp published his huge hosta catalog) I will never forget his kindness to an ” outsider” of the valley…..he will be missed by everyone…prayers to his family.. Annie Rozell and husband

  • Dave and I send our deepest sympathy to Shirley and all of the family on your loss. Van was kind, funny, a wonderful family man and generous to a fault. He has shared heart and soul and many donations with the plant and gardening community for decades. His contributions have positively impacted tens of thousands of people across this country and beyond. He will be greatly missed; he will never be forgotten, but will be remembered fondly. I wish we could be there in person, but are unable to make it from Michigan. Our thoughts are with you.

  • Condolences to all the Wade family on the passing of Van Ross. I worked at the nursery and sold Christmas trees to help pay for my college education about 40 years ago and I will always remember Van’s kindness shown to everybody. Today we hear about all the Go Green initiatives at companies all over the world and how they want to save the environment. Van was green all along. All of you are in my family’s thoughts and prayers.

  • Our deepest sympathy to the entire Wade family.
    Van always greeted Bill and I with a friendly hello, followed by, “How’s your Mother doing? We went to school together, you know.” That’s been a few years back, but we still often mention his thoughtful query. I imagine him now asking her for himself since they are both now at Home with the Lord.
    Our landscape is filled with many of his lilies and trees as well as many of the other Valley homes. We always retoured the grounds before shopping around when visiting the nursery. It was always so beautiful out there.
    We were blessed to have known Van and will miss seeing him.
    May God bless your family with His peace as we lift you in prayer during this difficult time of loss.

  • Our deepest sympathies to Van’s family. Van, you will be greatly missed!

    John and Caroline Bletner and the entire staff at Possum Run Greenhouse

  • Tom, Robyn & family: So sorry to learn of your loss–Always enjoyed talking to Van in V & M, Landon’s, Hursh Drug–or wherever I would meet him in Bellville. A Great person!! My Dad even worked for him for a few years after retiring & always spoke highly of him!
    My thoughts & prayers are with you all! Catherine J.(“Kitty”) Black

  • Our sincere sympathies to family and friends of Van. I met him during Dr. Steve Still’s perennial OSU field trip 25 years ago and was so impressed with his knowledge and enthusiasm for plants. Over the years we have taken our Inniswood volunteers to visit and we were always welcomed with a smile and great kindness. He made sure we walked away with plants he wanted to share. Additionally, we are proud to have an incredible collection of hostas that he donated to the Gardens. He was a special person and will be greatly missed.

  • Our deepest sympathies to Shirley and the family on the passing of Van. He was very kind to us personally – taking us out for chicken dinners after we shopped and always giving everyone a free hosta – the “Friendship Plant”.
    He was very generous to the Michigan Hosts Society with many plant donations to our auctions over the years at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan and he usually personally attended. Of course he was equally generous to the American Hosta Society. Van was a giant in the world of hosta and in the hearts of hosta people. He will be greatly missed.

  • Sorry to hear of Van’s passing. What a great guy! He always seemed to have time for everyone. He also gave me work when I was at Ohio State selling Christmas trees over winter break, a great help for a young man paying his way through school. My condolences to Mrs. Wade and family.