Vander Monroe, 77, departed this life Monday, April 18, 2022, at his home surrounded by family who loved him. He was born September 9, 1944, in Scotland County to the late J.B. and Carrie Lee Monroe. He graduated from Carver High School in Laurel Hill, NC. After graduation he moved to Mt. Vernon, New York and began working while attending New York Institute of Photography and that is when he began his career as a professional photographer. He returned to North Carolina and continued school, prom, and nursery school pictures. Later he accepted a job (Microfilm Supervisor) with the New York Times at The University of Microfilm which transferred Vander and his family to Ann Arbor, Michigan. He retired in 2009 with the electronic publishing company ProQuest. Afterwards he started Van’s Lawn Service which he continued until 2015 when moving back to North Carolina to enjoy retirement.
He was a member of Calvary UMC in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he served in different capacities.
Vander is survived by his wife, Thelma Verbal Monroe of Southern Pines, three children, Vander Monroe II of Cary, Delacy Oates of Georgia, and Selena Omogbai (Abraham) of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Two sisters, Gloria Bouldin and Mamie Allen (Bobby Wayne) both of Southern Pines. One brother, James Monroe (Stacey) of Byron, Georgia. One brother-in-law, John Verbal and one sister-in-law, Patricia Verbal both of Aberdeen. Other relatives include grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and the Family Gathering of Monroe, Jordan, Lytch and Nichols.
He was preceded in death by his father, “J.B.” Monroe; mother, Carrie Lee Monroe, sister, Vivian Monroe and brother, Samuel Monroe all formerly of Laurel Hill.
What can anyone not say about Vander? He was kind, loving, full of laughter, full of stories, and had a great heart. Above all, he loved family. From family reunions to family birthday parties, Vander made sure his presence was there. He was there to lend an ear, a hand, a shoulder, whatever the family member needed at that time, he was there. A friend to many, Vander knew NOT ONE stranger.
Vander was also well known in his community. He hired the neighborhood kids (and sometimes their parents) to work with him during his time as a landscaper. Anyone who worked with him, family or friend, learned valuable life skills as he taught them about hard work and God. He occasionally threw in a funny story about his dad and brothers.
One thing we will miss the most about him is that he always wanted his family members to succeed in life. If a family member fell on hard times or was in trouble, he always tried to find ways to help them. He was a helper. He was a peacemaker. He was made to make us laugh and think. He was made to love God, and that is what he did every day of his life. We will miss him, but he is victoriously sitting in the presence of God.
A visitation will be held from 3 to 5p.m. Sunday, April 24 at McPhatter Funeral Home, 9701 Malloy Ave., in Laurel Hill. A graveside service will be held at 11a.m. on Monday, April 25, at Patterson Cemetery on Old Wire Road in Laurel Hill.