Todd Jay "TJ" Vrooman, 57, of Edwards, NY passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, in Scottsdale, Arizona after a valiant battle with prostate cancer on Sunday, January 31, 2021.
Todd was born on April 28, 1963 in Gouverneur to Duane and Sheila (June) Vrooman. He was a 1981 graduate of Gouverneur Jr./Sr. High School. He served in the U.S. Army as a telecommunications specialist and sharpshooter. He was a finished carpenter and he drove tractor trailer across the country. He was an avid outdoorsman and always had a good hunting or fishing story. Later in life, he enjoyed prospecting and was well-known in the gold mining industry in Arizona.
While it's hard to say goodbye to those we love, Todd learned what it meant to live life to the fullest. Since his diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer in 2016, he lived his life in a manner that went to the heart of family and what family meant to him. He was able to travel and dig for gold with the love of his life, Melinda. He was given precious time to spend with his dad and brother Mel, so many talks and memories shared. He was so proud of his daughter Lindsey and watched her grow into a smart, inspiring woman and loving mother and will always "love her more." He was able to reconnect with his daughter, Kristen. He was able to share his passion of gems and wood working with his step-son Caleb. He was given 5 more years to watch his grandchildren Taryn and Tessa grow into talented, strong willed teenagers and watch Laken and Lahna experience so many firsts in life.
He fought a courageous battle. He climbed mountains, traveled to new places, and danced in the rain. His love for hunting and fishing remained through to the end. He loved passing on his passion for hunting to his daughter, Lindsey, as his dad did with him. He always enjoyed his trips to Yellow Lake and he even held the record for the biggest fish caught for a few years. He will always be remembered for his love of music, dancing and especially playing the air drums. He loved the Annual Pig Roast and gathering of family and friends that later led to a yearly celebration of life for his step-son, Omar. He was a great cook and shared his recipe for Fire House Beans so when you make them, remember him and smile. His favorite NASCAR driver was Jimmie Johnson and so much fun and memories were made at the races both in Phoenix and Watkins Glen. He leaves behind his faithful dog, Sasha who joined him on many adventures. Though his time on earth has ended, his hope would be that his family and friends continue pushing forward together. Each moment matters, so make it count. He will always be with you, until you meet again.
Surviving are his life partner, Melinda Serrano of Edwards, NY; his daughter Lindsey Vrooman LaTray (Jordan Goodwin) and her mother, Deb Billups all of Groton, NY, a daughter Kristen Harmer of Waterville, NY; a son Jesse Vrooman of Michigan; a step-son Caleb Serrano (Sarah Taber) of Edwards, NY; grandchildren Taryn and Tessa LaTray; and Laken and Lahna Serrano; his father Duane Vrooman of Hailesboro, NY, his brothers, Melburn Vrooman of Congress, Arizona and Kevin Vrooman of Hailesboro, NY. He will also be remembered by his aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He joined in his Heavenly home, family whom he dearly missed: his beloved mother, Sheila; maternal grandparents Neil June and Frances Durant; and paternal grandparents Melburn and Beatrice Vrooman; and step-son Omar Serrano.
The family will be taking a final walk up the mountain to one of Todd's favorite places in Arizona where a part of him will always remain. A graveside service with military honors and a celebration of life will be held in New York at a later date.
Should friends desire, contributions in Todd's memory may be sent to: Southwest Oncology: Gordon Grado, MD, 2926 N. Civic Center Plaza, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. Dr. Grado's Practice in Arizona, provides to the indigent and uninsured patients who need care.