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George Richard “Ricky” Vanderlip

George Richard “Ricky” Vanderlip


George Richard “Ricky” Vanderlip, 52, of DeLand Florida died on April 14, 2024 at Advent Health Orlando in Orange County.

Ricky was born in Hollywood, FL on January 6, 1972 and was raised by parents Ronald and Jacalyn “Jackie” (Johnson) Vanderlip. His childhood activities included being in Boy Scouts of America, serving in the Catholic church as an alter boy, as well as participating in choirs in middle and high school. He graduated from Cooper City High School in 1990 before joining the military that same year.

Serving our country was important to Ricky and the allure of being stationed overseas was a way to meet his goal of traveling after high school. Immediately after his AIT training, to become an ammunition specialist, he found himself serving on the front lines in Desert Storm with the 3rd Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment in the US Army. Once stationed in Siegelbach (Germany), he continued his love of music by singing in the base chapel choir. Ricky made the most of days off by traveling all over Europe. After an honorable discharge in 1993, when his term of service was over, he used the GI Bill to become a Registered Nurse and begin his career at Broward General Hospital.

As an adult, Ricky continued to perform musically with the Ft Lauderdale Lambda Chorale. He was often asked to perform at weddings due to his incredible voice. A recent video shared of him signing at a wedding, he mentioned “I always try to make it personal for each individual” as it was his gift to each couple. Never losing his love of travel, he took many domestic and international trips with family and friends. Some notable trips include New York City to see multiple Broadway shows, backpacking across Europe twice, and a memorable trip to Japan.

He became fully disabled at the age of 30 due to Gulf War Syndrome. The last 22 years, Ricky lived full time in the care of his parents with the assistance of his family and friends. Ricky’s journey has allowed the family to become skilled in “nursing 101” as Jackie jokingly calls it, how to be an advocate, and the importance of family, friends and community. He never lost his sense of humor or enjoyment for spending time with loved ones. The family made sure he was included in all activities whether being out around town or traveling on family vacations despite his physical challenges. He is survived by his parents, siblings with their spouses, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

There will be no formal funeral services. However, the family is looking forward to a celebration of life party on June 8, 2024. More details will follow on the family’s social media accounts. If you are looking to donate in Ricky’s honor, the family recommends Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids and/or Paralyzed Veterans of America.

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George, Puddin, Mz.Puddin, you are loved beyond belief! I will never forget all the fun times that we had together. Rest easy my angel and please hug my sweetie Linda tight. Love always, Mz. Velveeta ❤️

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