Richard R. (Dick or Dr. Van) Vanderbeek, M.D., of Doylestown, passed away peacefully in his sleep on April 6th at home. He was 85 years old. Dick was the loving husband for 53 years of the late Bernice (Bunny) F. Vanderbeek, who passed last November.
Born in 1931 and raised in Englewood, NJ, he was the son of the late Stewart Ward and Edith Cooke Vanderbeek having lived in Abington before moving to Doylestown in 1965.
Dick attended Englewood’s Dwight Morrow High School, Trinity College and Jefferson Medical School. He spent his intern year at Germantown Hospital and his residency in internal medicine at Abington Hospital. During his long and distinguished career as a doctor in Doylestown, Dr. Van worked in internal medicine in private practice at Doylestown Cardiology Associates spending most of his time at Doylestown Hospital, as well as having served as Medical Director at Neshaminy Manor nursing home in Doylestown.
His patients included James A. Michener, a local well-known artist. Dr. Van diagnosed the first case of AIDS in Bucks County. He founded and was the driving force behind establishing the local hospice program. As founder of this program in 1983, Dr. Vanderbeek felt providing care and compassion to patients at the end of their life was an important part of the continuum of care in a dignified home setting.
Despite his many achievements, Dr. Van will be remembered for his care and compassion, his dry sense of humor that kept a smile on the face of both patient and nurse and his house calls – no longer a part of healthcare today.
His family and friends will remember him as a good husband, father, grandfather, doctor and trusted loyal friend with a great sense of humor.
He was happiest spending time with family and friends playing golf, skiing and tennis. In addition, he enjoyed countless summers on the North Fork of Long Island at his family’s summer house in Southold, especially sitting on the deck having cocktails and going fishing.
He is survived by his three sons: Rob Vanderbeek, his wife, Lisa, and their twin sons: Trey and James, of Mendham, NJ; Paul Vanderbeek, his wife, Penny, and their son, Ben and daughter, Caroline, of Malvern, PA and Brad Vanderbeek of Doylestown. He is also survived by his brother, Ward Vanderbeek, his wife, Edith, of Ballwin, MO
Dr. Vanderbeek’s memorial service will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 29th at Doylestown Presbyterian Church, 127 East Court Street in Doylestown, where the family will receive guests from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Dr. Vanderbeek’s name may be made to: Doylestown Hospital Hospice, 595 West State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901 or at