Van Ross Wade

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, and two great grandchildren on the way; step great grandchildren Michaela and Chance Barnett; and 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 p.m. in the Bellville Snyder Funeral Home. Funeral services will be Monday at 11 a.m. 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.

Online condolences to the family may be made by

To plant a tree in memory of Van Wade as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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