On November 16, 2019, our “Gentle Giant” Eric Anthony VanBrakel, unexpectedly returned to his Heavenly Father. Eric was born June 21, 1967 in Queens, New York, to Cornelis and Katherine Babikoff VanBrakel. He married Jana Atkinson York on November 5, 1987. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Manti Temple on November 4, 1989.
Eric grew up in Huntington Beach, California until he and his mother moved to Utah. He graduated from Provo High School in 1985. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in many callings. He especially enjoyed his callings as Gospel Doctrine Teacher and teaching the eight year old Primary kids.
Eric loved surfing, body boarding, snowboarding, golf and participated in any sport his kids were in to. Eric was strong, he was meek, he was tough, he was kind. He was one of the strongest men we knew. He was a master builder and true craftsman. Anything he touched was built stronger, better, and more beautiful than he found it. Eric treated our mom like a Queen for 33 years. He is an amazing Dad and Papa. I hope Heavenly Father has a lot of building for him to do because he is the absolute best! We miss you already Papa and can't wait to see you again.
Survivors include his wife Jana VanBrakel; his mother Katherine “Kitty” Bair; father, Cornelis “Van” (Janie) VanBrakel; his six children: Kristen York, Kimberly (Tony) Johnson, Karley (Felix) Zevenboom, Trevor (Misty) York, Tyler (Morgan) York, Michael VanBrakel; 20 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday, November 22, 2019 at 11:00 am in the Loch Lomond Ward, 1174 South 1700 West, Saratoga Springs where family and friends may attend a viewing from 9:00-10:45 am prior to services. Interment will be in the Pleasant Grove City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
To send flowers to Eric's family, please visit our floral section.