Arnie is the son of Joe and Jeanette VanDam, of Dickey, North Dakota. Arnie's father had emigrated from Holland in 1916, while his mother and the rest of the family came in 1918. Arnie was their first child to be born in the United States.
Irene is the daughter of Henry and Lena Beckman. She received her early education at Corwin Rural School, and graduated from Ypsilanti High School. She married Bill Randall in 1942, and they had four children.
After Bill's death, Irene married Arnie VanDam in 1971, and they lived on the farm where Irene had been raised. In 1982, when the Ypsilanti Community Centennial Book was published, Arnie had retired from being a rural mail carrier at Montpelier, North Dakota, and He and Irene were still living on the farm.