Obituary: Connor Vande Garde
Connor Edward Vande Garde, 20, of Leawood, Kansas, died unexpectedly after a serious accident while skiing in Blue Sky Basin on March 11, 2020 in Vail, Colorado. Connor was born on July 24, 1999 along with his twin brother Nate in Overland Park, Kansas to Blake and Nikki Vande Garde. Connor moved with his family to Charlotte, North Carolina in 2006 where they resided until their return to the Kansas City metro in 2015. After graduating from Blue Valley High School in May 2019, Connor was accepted into the computer engineering program at the University of Kansas where he began his studies in the fall of 2019. Connor worked as a cook and trainer at Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers in Overland Park, Kansas for nearly four years. Connor was especially known for his kindness. Upon graduating high school, he received an award in excellence “in having a scientific mind, great work ethic in flippin’ hamburgers, and possessing a HUGE, kind and giving heart.” He saw people without regard for color, disability, age, education, or any other factor. His laughter, sense of humor, helpful nature, emotional honesty, and compassion will be forever missed. Throughout his life, Connor’s second home was the condominium in the Creekside Building in the Village purchased by his grandparents Larry and Linda Vande Garde more than forty years ago. Connor was an amazing skier who began skiing at the age of three. During the winter, Connor loved nothing more than hitting the slopes early and spending the day in Vail’s Back Bowls and in Blue Sky Basin with his siblings. In the summer, he enjoyed hiking all over the valley and tubing down Gore Creek. The day before Connor’s death, he and his brother met with Vail Ski Patrol to learn the protocol for joining their ranks. Connor enjoyed rock and heavy metal music and attended concerts in the Kanas City metro as often as he could. Connor attended Rock Fest in 2018 and had the privilege of receiving an all-access pass to the venue where he watched Ghost, one of his favorite bands, from the side stage. Connor was also a serious gamer, playing with friends from all over the world who gamed with him on numerous platforms. His favorite games were Call of Duty, Halo, and War Thunder. Connor is survived by his parents Blake and Nikki (Copple) Vande Garde, his twin brother Nate, his brother Caleb, and his sister Hailey, all of Leawood, Kansas; his girlfriend Jhadeya Lewis of Overland Park, Kansas; his grandparents Larry and Linda Vande Garde of Overland Park, Kansas; William and Sandra Lammers of Woodbury, Minnesota; and Hal and Lynnette Copple of Rock Hill, South Carolina; his uncle Trent and aunt Linda of Topeka, Kansas; his aunt Culle of Dallas, Texas; his aunt Jodi Dennison of Kearney, Nebraska; his uncle Chris and aunt Stephanie Copple of Columbia, South Carolina; and his aunt Becky Copple of Charlotte, North Carolina. A celebration of life will be scheduled in the future after the coronavirus has run its course. A scholarship in the spirit of Connor’s huge, kind heart is being set-up in his name. At this time, donations to this fund can be sent to Blake Vande Garde at 8900 State Line Rd # 500, Leawood, KS 66206.