Gregory Vandenbroucke, 73, of Niles, passed away at his home on Monday, February 22, 2021, following a brief illness.
Gregory was born on January 7, 1948, to the late French Colonel Gilbert and American Ph.D. Ursula Frances (Marks) Vandenbroucke in Paris, France. His mother wrote her doctoral dissertation, under the direction of French philosopher Gaston Bachelard, on the work of painter Gauguin. Later, Gregory’s parents purchased the former residence of Dr. Gachet, painter Van Gogh’s friend and physician in Auvers-sur-Oise, where Greg spent his adolescence and which is now an art museum.
On May 2, 1999 he wed Notre Dame Professor Catherine Perry, originally from Lausanne, Switzerland, at a ceremony in Bloomington, Indiana.
After graduating from high school, Gregory pursued a Master’s Degree in Political Science in Paris. He was a life-long learner who could always be found with a book in his hand. His love for French and European History could only be matched with his passion for current politics. Gregory enjoyed talking, debating, and predicting politics. He and Catherine thoroughly enjoyed time together at the residence they designed and transformed from a house to a home and shared with their cats. In his later years, Gregory worked at the Lexus dealership in Mishawaka where he became a trusted and respected Lexus automotive broker.
With his wife Catherine, who researched and published on the early 20th-century French poet Anna de Noailles, Gregory dedicated nearly two decades to building a large collection of books, autographed letters and photographs around Anna de Noailles and other writers in her world. These documents needed a home to protect them from being further dispersed and ultimately lost, ideally one where researchers could benefit from them. In 2016, Greg and Catherine donated their collection to Notre Dame's Hesburgh Libraries (https://archivesspace.library.nd.edu/repositories/3/resources/2030). Gregory also spent years independently collecting hundreds of books by classic authors published in Gallimard’s prestigious Bibliothèque de la Pléiade.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Gregory is survived by his wife Catherine; son, Gregory Vandenbroucke, Jr. of Paris, France; daughters, Victoria and Valarie Vandenbroucke of Virginia; brother, Lucien Vandenbroucke of South Bend, Indiana; his grandchildren Arthur, Antoine, Agathe, and Clémence Vandenbroucke of Paris, France; and many extended family members and close friends.
In keeping with Gregory’s wishes his family will lay him to rest privately at Porter Rea Cemetery, Potato Creek State Park in north Liberty, Indiana.
Memorial contributions may be made in Gregory’s memory to a charity of your choice.
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