Shawn VanderWerff

Obituary of Shawn Michael VanderWerff

Shawn Michael VanderWerff, a lifelong resident of Dutchess County, passed away unexpectedly this week. 


Shawn was born on October 12, 1976 at St. John’s Hospital in Yonkers, NY to Maureen Walsh VanderWerff and the late Peter Charles VanderWerff. He was born the younger brother to Lisa Ann, and eventually the family welcomed Bridget Michele. The three siblings shared a lifetime of connectedness, full of love, loyalty, and copious amounts of humor through the years.


Shawn was only 23 when he put his ambition and persistence to the test, founding Xtreme Detailing. Entrepreneurship suited Shawn perfectly; he was a natural at building and cultivating relationships, excelling in his work, and constantly seizing new opportunities over the past 20+ years. More recently, Shawn had ventured into the world of real estate redevelopment. He had a knack for house-flipping and was passionate about the entire process. With all his success, Shawn made sure to quietly focus on giving back, and never for the accolades. Feeding the homeless and taking care of others was always a private priority. 


Shawn is survived and will be greatly missed by his children, Jacob Michael, Jalina “Nina” Michele, and Emma Rana, his adoring fiancée, Andrea Galletti, and her daughter, Nikki Rose. He is also survived by his loving mother, Maureen Walsh VanderWerff; maternal grandmother, Carolyn Walsh; his sister Lisa Petershagen and her husband, Harold; his sister, Bridget Cahill and her husband, Chris; his two nephews, Edward “Eddie” Petershagen and Carter Thomas Cahill; and many wonderful and beloved aunts, uncles and cousins. Shawn was predeceased by his grandfather, Edward Thomas Walsh; his father, Peter Charles VanderWerff; and his niece, Megan Carolyn Petershagen. 


Shawn would be the first person to tell you that his life’s most meaningful work was that of being a father. His children were the driving force behind everything he did. He loved them fiercely.


The family finds great solace in knowing that Shawn had recently found his life’s true love and they had become engaged. The couple shared only three short years together but by all accounts, were perfect for one other and looked forward to sharing the rest of their lives together.


Shawn will be remembered as a man of his word. He was a magnetic, bright light in any room- impossible not to notice. For those of us who were lucky enough to be inside his light, we felt his warmth and protection. We will remember his unwavering generosity, his silly sense of humor, and that wonderful, genuine, one-of-a kind laugh of his. 


Calling hours will be held on Thursday, June 3 from 4 to 8 P.M. at Straub, Catalano & Halvey Funeral Home, 55 E. Main Street, Wappingers Falls, NY 12590.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Friday, June 4 at 11 A.M at St. Martin de Porres Church, Cedar Valley Road in Poughkeepsie.


In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in Shawn’s honor to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, an organization that provided remarkable compassionate care to the VanderWerff family when they needed it. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shawn VanderWerff, please visit Tribute Store


4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Straub, Catalano & Halvey Funeral Home
55 East Main Street
Wappingers Falls, New York, United States
(845) 297-2610

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am
Friday, June 4, 2021
St. Martin de Porres
118 Cedar Valley Road
Poughkeepsie, New York, United States
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