Friday, March 17, 2006

Burnett Peter Van Deusen (1913-1993) biography

Burnett Peter Van Deusen (1913-1993) aka Pete Van Deusen; Magnetic Ink Salesman at Sun Chemical (b. November 10, 1913, Albany, Albany County, New York, 12208, USA - d. October 31, 1993, Montville, Morris County, New Jersey, 07045, USA) Social Security Number 058077827.

Burnett Peter Van Deusen (1913-1993) was a third cousin, six times removed, of Martin Van Buren (1837-1841) the 8th President of the United States of America. Burnett's ninth great-grandfather was Abraham Pietersen Van Deusen (1602-?) who emigrated from Haarlem in the Netherlands and settled in New Amsterdam which is now Manhattan in New York City.

Burnett never used his first name and he always went by his middle name which was "Pete". He was always known as Peter Van Deusen, or Pete.

Burnett was born in Albany, New York in 1913 to Benjamin Spencer Van Deusen I (1872-1937) and Lynette Mae Curlhair (1872-1942).

He had the following siblings: Lillian Van Deusen (1898-c1962) who married Clarence Ethan Reeve I (1888-1960) aka Ethan Reeve; Mildred Lynette Van Deusen (1901-1968) who married Reed Edison Smith (1899-1980); and Benjamin Van Deusen II (1903-1972) who was a banker, that married Helene Elizabeth Bentley (1905-1999).

High School:
He graduated from Lincoln High School, Jersey City, New Jersey in 1934. He was the business manager for "The Quill", the school yearbook. He was voted "committeman", and was secretary of the Glee Club in 1933 and 1934. He participated in the Constitution Day Program, and participated in the musical comedy "Kathleen" in 1928. Pete was living at 63 Madison Avenue in Jersey City at the time.

On Saturday, October 26, 1935 Burnett married Naida Muriel Freudenberg (1915-1998) and they had three children.

Saved boy from drowning:
While on vacation in Georgia, Pete saved a boy who was drowning in the motel pool. The story was written up in the local paper:
"A 3-year-old Macon boy who fell into a motel swimming pool in Atlanta Monday afternoon was saved from drowning by two bystanders, police said. The child, identified as Si Simmons, was seen floating face down in the pool at Holiday Inn, 1810 Howell Mill Road, by Pete Van Deusen of Fairfield, New Jersey, who jumped in and hauled the boy out. A physician who examined the boy, said he would recover."

The following is from Pete's eulogy:
"We give thanks for the life of Burnett Peter Van Deusen, born on November 10, 1913 in Albany, New York. He and Naida transferred their membership from Trinity Lutheran in Jersey City to Holy Trinity, North Caldwell on April 17, 1960. He died on October 31, 1993, after a faithful membership in his church, involved on Church Council, Church School Teacher, many years as Choir Director and soloist, on Witness and Evangelism Committee, Stewarship Committee, Helping Hands visitations, LAFF Group and many more. Surviving are his wife Naida Freudenberg Van Deusen, three daughters; Mrs Lynn Bode, Mrs. Joan Schwendel and Mrs. S. Penny Linson, 11 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren. The pall bearers: David Dahl, Craig Dahl, Mark Dahl, Paul Schwendel, Tony Falletta and John Linson. Committal at Restland Memorial Park, East Hanover, New Jersey. Many will remember him over the years as a dedicated choir director, soloist, avid coin and stamp collector [and] family photographer. He was an avid fan to all the grandchildren, whatever sport or activity they were involved with. He encouraged them in every phase of their lives. He kept in constant touch with each one, whether near or out of state. He was loyal to friends and family, never forgetting a birthday, always there to lend a helping hand. For many years the Van Deusen Christmas card list numbered 300. As children, we remember all the summer vacations, from the farm in Cobleskill, New York to the Jersey shore, to the relatives in Binghamton, New York, and Burlington, New Jersey. This encouraged us as we became parents, to continue this practice of yearly vacations with our children, whether to a resort or a relative's home. Dad believed in family first. He passed this belief down to us. Most recently in August, one son-in-law suffered a stroke, and Dad and Mom visited daily at the hospital, bringing newspapers, magazines and offering encouragement. Then a few weeks ago, his other son-in-law's father was seriously injured, and Dad faithfully called North Carolina 3 or 4 times a week, speaking to the family about his condition, and then calling each of us with the latest update. He was concerned with everyone's problems, was joyful with them when they were happy, celebrated with their successes. He was our champion in so many ways. His devotion to his wife, our mother, was almost beyond his endurance these past few years. But 58 years as husband and wife was his life and he continued on as he had lived."