In Memoriam 

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In Memory of:

IN MEMORIAM

 

Kenneth W. Van Auken (August 30, 1954 – September 11, 2001)

 

Kenneth W. Van Auken, a bond trader for Cantor Fitzgerald who worked on the 105th floor of One World Trade Center, was one of many people who didn’t come home on the evening of September 11, 2001.  After the plane struck the building at 8:48 AM just a few floors below his office, he had time to call and leave a message for his wife Lorie.  We’ve been hit by something…I don’t know if I can get out…I love you very much…”  These were the last words his family had from Ken.

 

Son of Warren G. Van Auken and Eleanor Liland Van Auken, he spent his childhood and early years of marriage on Staten Island. He and his wife have resided in East Brunswick for the past ten years.

Ken attended SUNY Cortlandt from 1972 to 1976, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. He met his wife, Lorie Schafler Van Auken while attending college, and they married in 1985.

 

Ken was an attentive father who loved his two children, Matthew, age 14, and Sarah, 12.  He spent his time devoted to the affairs of his family, whether helping Lorie in the garden, Sarah with a math problem, providing sound advice to his son Matthew or one of his sisters, or assisting his father with business concerns. 

 

He was gifted in many ways – not only as a bond trader, but also as a skilled carpenter who could build anything from an idea.  He was a man who was kind to everyone, willing to give his time and his love to people, modest about his many accomplishments, a faithful son, husband, father, brother, uncle and friend. 

 

Ken leaves his family with many happy memories, the gifts of his handiwork, and greatest of all, the example of a good man, which is a legacy for his children.  Besides his parents, wife, and two children, Kenneth is survived his sisters Karen Renzo of Nutley, NJ and Janice Booth, of Glen Ridge, NJ, and also a brother-in-law, Craig Booth, and two nieces, Natalie and Emily Barbato, all of the Glen Ridge address.

 

A memorial service was held for Kenneth on September 20th at Brunswick Funeral Home in East Brunswick, NJ and was attended by hundreds of mourners from the large community of friends and family whose lives had been touched by his warmth.

 

We will always love you, Kenny.  We will never forget you. No one can ever replace you.  May God hold you in His arms; and may you always rest in peace.  

Karen Renzo
KRenzo@mellon-investor.com

The fund for donations is:

The Van Auken Family Fund
Temple B'nai Shalom
PO Box 957
East Brunswick, NJ 08816


In Memory of:


 

In Memory of:

Web posted Tuesday, October 2, 2001 Holland Sentinel, MI

photo: local

 
Overisel Township firefighter Gail VanAuken pictured during Fire Prevention Week at Bentheim Elementary School in Hamilton about two weeks ago.
Photo courtesy of Bentheim Elementary School
Tribute to firefighters will remember local volunteer
Gail VanAuken among hundreds to be honored posthumously in Maryland

By NATE REENS
Staff writer

Three weeks after a terrorist attack on New York shed a media spotlight on irefighters killed trying to save others, a national organization will pay tribute to those who died in the line of duty during 2000 -- including Overisel Township volunteer Gail VanAuken.

VanAuken, 41, was killed last November while racing to fight a fire at a Salem Township turkey farm. VanAuken and her husband, Richard, both Overisel first responders, were headed to the fire when the water tanker they were riding in collided with a pickup truck. The tanker rolled over, killing Gail and injuring Richard.

This weekend friends and family of 101 firefighters killed nationwide will gather at Emmitsburg, Md., honoring the estimated 300 from the World Trade Center attacks and others who risked their lives to serve a community.

President George W. Bush is expected to lead a ceremony at which Richard VanAuken, Overisel Fire Chief Jim Mentzer, Overisel volunteers Tim Scholten, Ron Horsting and Mike Jurries and the Rev. Jerry Alferink, Overisel's chaplain, will join thousands of others in remembrance.

"It's going to be bittersweet," Mentzer said. "We're going to act as the honor guard for Gail and pay our respects for everything she did and that's great, but it's still hard to talk about and I don't think that's going away soon."

Mentzer said the weekend's events will be very personal in light of the Holland area's loss of VanAuken and of the national tragedy. VanAuken's name will be engraved on a plaque and placed on a permanent memorial, Mentzer said. The memorial is located at the National Fire Academy.

"I think because of what's occurred it's only going to be more moving," Mentzer said. "There is no difference between Gail and the others who died in the attacks. They all deserve the same recognition and Gail earned this."

Richard VanAuken, who could not be reached Monday, will be presented with an American flag in memory of his wife and be asked to place a red rose at the national memorial site, Mentzer said.

The Overisel members at the

ceremony will wear recently purchased dress uniforms -- something Gail VanAuken advocated the department buy -- at the memorial weekend. The firefighters will don a suit coat, hat, white gloves and a new department patch in honor of VanAuken, Mentzer said.

Tim Scholten said Gail VanAuken would appreciate the tribute and be pleased to see the men dressed in the uniforms, but the firefighter hopes he doesn't have to wear it again.

"As far as I'm concerned these can sit in the closet and get dusty," Scholten said. "But Gail always believed in the uniforms and I'm honored to have the opportunity to pay our last respects."

Scholten said the ceremony may bring a degree of closure, but that he'll never forget the four-year veteran firefighter who helped implement the department's education program.

VanAuken is one of four Michigan firefighters who died last year in the line of duty and who will be honored at the Maryland memorial service on Sunday.

Ronald Haner, 61, a deputy chief of the Portage Fire Department, was killed Dec. 18 of smoke inhalation while battling a fire in his own home.

David Maisano, 38, a volunteer captain of the Tri-Town Fire Department, died April 8 after being hospitalized for injuries sustained in a fall from a fire truck while securing ladders.

The final fallen firefighter honored is David Sutton, 27, of the Fraser Department of Public Safety. Sutton died while trying to rescue an elderly woman from an apartment building fire in March.


 

In Memory of:

  Helen Van Aken Perry of San Clemente, California, died on October 10, 2001.  A long-time resident of Covina and West Covina, California, she founded Perry Employment Agency which she built into one of the leading employment agencies in the San Gabriel Valley.  Twenty years ago, she and her husband, Hillard (“Bud”) Perry moved to San Clemente where they fulfilled their dream of living in a coastal town.  Bud Perry died in 1989.

Born on August 5, 1923 in Ilion, New York, Helen and her sister, Phyllis, were the daughters of George Farr Van Aken, a businessman in New York City.  During the Depression her father returned with his family to his home town of Jamesburg, New Jersey where he purchased and managed the family farm and engaged in real estate other business activities.  Helen, a tenth-generation American on her paternal side, was a descendent of Marinus and Pieternelle De Pre Van Aken who sailed from Cadzand, Holland to New Netherlands (now New York State) in 1683 and settled in Esopus (later Kingston).  Just prior to the Civil War, Helen’s great grandparents, John and Jane Gulick Van Aken, settled in New Jersey along with her great uncle  Rev. Enoch Van Aken who studied at Rutgers University and Princeton Seminary and later served for fifty years as pastor of the Bloomingdale Reformed Church in New York City.  Helen’s mother, Flora Anderson Van Aken, was born in Scotland.

 Helen attended college at Cumberland University in Tennessee and, just after the outbreak of World War II, married her first husband, Richard Anthony Tullis, and moved to Southern California.  During the early years of the American occupation of Japan, Helen lived in Tokyo where her husband worked as a government lawyer.  They had one son, Richard.  Following a divorce, she married Thomas E. Sarazin with whom she had two daughters, Charette and Antoinette.

 Helen was loved and admired by all those who knew her.  Her funeral was held on November 10, 2001 and her ashes were put to sea from the deck of the Helena.  She is survived by her son, Richard G. Tullis of San Rafael, California; two daughters Charette Sarazin Larson of Lake Oswego, Oregon and Antoinette Sarazin Criger of Kansas City, Kansas; a stepson, James L. Perry of Laguna Beach, California; a stepdaughter, Susan Perry Crowe of Spokane, Washington; and six grandchildren and one great grandchild. 


John Sumner Van Aken and Gertrude Cowdery Van Aken

Mrs. Gertrude Cowdery Van Aken, 91, wife of Mr. John Sumner Van Aken and a long-time Bartlesville resident, died at 3:50 a.m. on Saturday in the Jane Phillips Medical Center.

Funeral services for Mrs. Van Aken will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday in the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. The Rev. Robert Evans and The Rev. Dr. T. Lee Stephens will officiate. Dedication of the grave, committal prayers and interment will be directed in the Memorial Park Cemetery by The Arnold Moore Funeral Service.

Memorials in Mrs. Van Aken’s name have been established and may be sent to either the Jane Phillips Medical center, Geriatrics Section, c/o Bluestem Regional Medical Foundation, 3400 E. Frank Phillips Blvd., Bartlesville, Okla. 74006, or the Jane Phillips Hospice, 219 N. Virginia, Bartlesville, Okla. 74003.

Gertrude Cowdery Van Aken will lie in state in the Drawing Rooms of The Arnold Moore Funeral Residence where friends may call for their visitation until he is removed to the church for final rites on Tuesday morning.

A native of Kansas, Gertrude was born in Lyons on December 7, 1911. He was the son of the late Herman R. and Blanche (Charles) Cowdery. John was reared and received her education in the Lyons, Kansas Public Schools and was graduated Valedictorian of the Senior Class of 1929 from the Lyons High School. She attended Kansas State University and was graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in General Sciences.  Following her education, Gertrude was a teacher in the Lyons Public Schools and taught the 5th and 6th grades.  She and John Sumner Van Aken were united in marriage on December 12, 1936 at Lyons, Kansas, and they made their first home there. In April 1937 the Van Aken family moved to Bartlesville and Mr. Van Aken was employed with the National Zinc Company where he served as the Plant Manager and was a Vice President and the manager of Gas Field Operations.  He was retired in 1982 and they have continued their residence living in retirement in Bartlesville.

Mrs. Van Aken was a member of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Phi Kappa Phi Scholastic Fraternity and the Pi Beta Phi Social Fraternity.

Surviving Mrs. Van Aken are her husband, John Sumner Van Aken of the Bartlesville home; two sons, Stephen Michael and wife, Cheryl Van Aken, Bartlesville; and Mark and wife, Suzanne Van Aken, Henderson, Nevada; a daughter, Mrs. Judy (Van Aken) and husband Geary Taylor, Yorktown, Texas; a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Phyllis Van Aken, Ft. Worth, Texas; a brother, Robert D. Cowdery, Wichita, Kansas; eight grandchildren, John and M. E. Van Aken, Katherine and Scott Somich, David and Dayna Van Aken, Todd and Laura Taylor, Van and Paige Taylor, Sara Jane Taylor, Kelly and Stefanie Van Aken and Cory Van Aken; and five great grandchildren, Reyann Taylor, Ashleigh and Abby Somich, and Morgan and Olivia Van Aken. Preceding her in death were her father; mother; two brothers; a sister; and a son, John C. Van Aken on January 19, 1975.

John S. Van Aken

Mr. John Sumner Van Aken, 91, a Bartlesville resident since 1937and retired Vice President and Plant Manager of the National Zinc Company, died at 1:45 p.m. on Wednesday in Bartlesville.

Funeral services for John Sumner Van Aken will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday in the St. Luke Episcopal Church. The Rev. Robert Evans and The Rev. Dr. T. Lee Stephens will be the officiants. Dedication of the grave, committal prayers and interment will be directed in the Memorial Park Cemetery by The Arnold Moore Funeral Service.

Memorials have been established in memory of John, and those who wish may forward their gifts to either the St. Luke Episcopal Church, 210 SE 9th St., Bartlesville, Okla. 74003, the Bluestem Medical Foundation, 3500 S.E. Frank Phillips Blvd., Bartlesville, Okla. 74006 or to the Continuous Care Centers Bartlesville, 3500 S.E. Frank Phillips, Four Tower, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 74006.

John Van Aken will lie in state in the Drawing Rooms of The Arnold Moore Funeral Residence where friends may call for their visitation until he is removed to the church for final rites on Saturday.

A native of Kansas, John Sumner Van Aken was born in Sterling on September 23, 1911. He was the son of the late Harrison and Susan (Welch) Van Aken. John was reared and received his education in the Lyons, Kansas community and was graduated with the Senior Class of 1929 from the Lyons High School. John attended Kansas State University and received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry. He and the former Miss Gertrude Cowdery were united in marriage on December 12, 1936 at Lyons, Kansas where they made their first home. In April 1937 the Van Aken family moved to Bartlesville and John began his employment with the National Zinc Company. He was employed with the company as Vice President, Plant Manager and the manager of Gas Field Operations until he was retired in 1982. Following his retirement he and Mrs. Van Aken had continued their residence living in retirement. Mrs. Van Aken preceded him in death on January 11, 2003 in Bartlesville.

Mr. Van Aken was a longtime active member of the St. Luke Episcopal Church, a member of Beta Theta Pi Social Fraternity, a past board member of the Jane Phillips Memorial Medical Center; a past member of the board of directors of the First National Bank (now Arvest Bank), a past board member and chairman of the Frank Phillips Foundation, past Chairman of the Washington County Republican Party, past president of the YMCA, a long time member of the Hillcrest Country Club and had served with various other organizations in the Bartlesville community.

Surviving are two sons, Stephen Michael and wife, Cheryl Van Aken, Bartlesville, and Mark and wife, Suzanne Van Aken, Henderson, Nevada; a daughter, Mrs. Judy (Van Aken) and husband Geary Taylor, Yorktown, Texas; a daughter-in-law, Mrs. Phyllis Van Aken, Ft. Worth, Texas; a brother, Harrison, and his wife, Gayle Van Aken, Mesa Arizona; eight grandchildren, John and M. E. Van Aken, Katherine and Scott Somich, David and Dayna Van Aken, Todd and Laura Taylor, Van and Paige Taylor, Sara Jane Taylor, Kelly and Stefanie Van Aken and Cory Van Aken; and five great grandchildren, Reyann Taylor, Ashleigh and Abby Somich, and Morgan and Olivia Van Aken. In addition to his father, mother and wife, he was preceded in death by a brother, David Van Aken and a son, John C. Van Aken on January 19, 1975.


Mrs. Gertrude Cowdery Van Aken