Dick Vandel comes from Grand Parents who homesteaded in the Goshen area in the early 1900’s. When it became apparent the homestead was not going to support the family’s needs Granddad moved the family to Torrington and began working for the Burlington & Chicago RR. When Dick’s Dad became of age, he bought a small farm west of Torrington and that’s where Dick grew up. Dick managed to keep his noise clean through-out the school years and graduated from Torrington High in 1958. Being a good student, Dick decided to attend college and graduated the University of Wyoming in 1961 with a major in Animal Production and minor in Business.
At that time, when college students graduated, Uncle Sam was right there handing out draft notices, so it wasn’t long before Dick found himself in Officers Candidate School (OCS) of the United States Navy! Newport Road Island was certainly different than home in Wyoming, but not to worry because the Navy had a plan for Dick and he found himself a brand new ensign, assigned to the USS Hancock, an Essex–class carrier. Dick spent the majority of his Navel career on the Hancock and was discharged in 1965, to return home to Torrington.
Once back home, Dick did a short stint with a local agricultural chemical company, but soon took a position with a local bank, servicing agricultural loans. It was during this time Dick met and married Jeanine, and started a family. Ten years later Dick moved to the Production Credit Corporation as branch Manager, once again servicing the local agricultural financing requirements. During these years, Dick found the time to obtain his RE license. By 1986 the area agricultural operations had fallen on hard times and Dick could see the writing-on-the-wall and decided to open his Windmill Realty business 1986. Having lived in the area all his life [except for the Navy years] and his work with Ag financing brought him familiarity with the properties and owners in the entire Torrington area.
Business was going well, and Jeanine joined him in Windmill in 1991. Dick and Jeanine raised four daughters and have lived on the same farm two miles North of Torrington since 1973. As Dick tells it, it’s been an enjoyable ride all these years working with the farmers and ranchers of the area, and he wouldn’t trade all those experiences for “anything”.
Dick sees the RE market changing in the area and knows that Windmill needs to change along with it. Because of this, he is de-emphasizing his day-to-day involvement in Windmill and has brought on younger agents to continue the business. Curtis [Dick’s Son-in-Law] and Terry will be happy to assist you in whatever your RE needs are, and of course, if background is needed on any property, Dick will be available to provide all the details needed.