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Obituary: Remembering Devan VanWitzenburg

The Lincoln-Way East graduate died on Jan. 25 in a car crash in Wisconsin.

Devan VanWitzenburg, 22, died in a car accident in the early hours of the morning on Jan. 25.

VanWitzenburg grew up in Mokena and is a graduate of Lincoln-Way East High School.

Prior to the crash last Friday, she had been living in Verona, Wisc. VanWitzenburg was driving home from work at 3 a.m. when she lost control of her car on an icy country road. The car rolled into a ravine, and VanWitzenburg, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

VanWitzenburg’s family described her as considerate, loving and warm-hearted.

“Devan lit up a room when she walked in,” said Linda VanWitzenburg, Devan’s stepmother. “She left a mark on everyone’s heart that ever knew her.”

VanWitzenburg was born in Oak Lawn and raised in Mokena. She was a student at Summit Hill schools and graduated from Lincoln-Way East, where she was a princess on the Homecoming Court, in 2008.

After high school, VanWitzenburg attended Capri Beauty College in Oak Forest and worked as a hairstylist in the south suburbs.

VanWitzenburg recently moved to Wisconsin, where she was working in advertising for her maternal grandfather’s company, AdMadison.

Family and friends say that VanWitzenburg was an animal lover, with a passion for music, literature and the arts.

“She was the most curious person I’ve ever met,” said Blake Ryan, who was a close friend and high school classmate of VanWitzenburg’s. “She had a lot of depth.”

VanWitzenburg is survived by her parents, Douglas and Linda VanWitzenburg and Robyn Gundersen; her siblings, Lauren, Douglas, Ian, Stephanie and Jillian VanWitzenburg; and many other family members and friends.

Visitation will be held from 4-9 p.m. on Thursday at Kurtz Goodale Memorial Chapel in Frankfort. The funeral service will take place at 8 p.m. Interment will be private.

The family requests that those seeking to offer something in VanWitzenburg’s memory contribute memorial donations to American Cancer Society in lieu of flowers.

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Lucille Josam February 02, 2013 at 03:23 AM
FYI she made sure to always wear her seatbelt. Her front airbag did not deploy, nor would it have mattered if she was wearing a seatbelt because after seeing the condition of the car, no one could have made it through that.
Linda Lehtinen VanWitzenburg February 03, 2013 at 02:03 AM
Devan did not have her seatbelt on. The seat and steering column was intact. By the way, I am her mom. There is nothing anyone can say or do to change any of this tragedy. Please , don't comment unless you know.......
dale evans February 04, 2013 at 04:53 AM
I'm very sorry for your tragic loss, Ma'am. You might be better served not reading these fool comments.
Hartz February 04, 2013 at 05:37 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like such an amazing young lady who touched the souls of so many. Rest in peace angel :-(
Lucille Josam February 24, 2013 at 05:16 AM
You were her stepmom. Her mother's name is Robyn.

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