Obituary of Robert E. VanDusen
FRANKFORT – Mr. Robert E. “Bob” VanDusen, age 88, of Second Ave Extension, Frankfort, passed away peacefully early Wednesday morning, January 30, 2019, in the privacy and comfort of his home.
Born on September 28, 1930, Robert was the son of the late Joseph and Winifred (Woolnough) VanDusen. He was educated in local schools and was a graduate of Frankfort-Schuyler High School with the Class of 1948.
Upon the completion of his schooling, Bob enlisted in the United States Navy and served for four years during the Korean War. He took part in the invasion of Incheon, South Korea and the Christmas Miracle of 1950 in which US Marines were evacuated from Hungnam, North Korea, signifying the culmination of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Bob received decorations from the President of South Korea as well as the Korean Service Medal and United Nations Medal.
After his discharge from the Navy, Bob took a position with the Bendix Aviation Corp; he began as a material handler and many years later, retired as Manager of Planning and Scheduling. He also spent ten years in planning at International Heating and Air Conditioning where he was the Production Manager.
On June 5, 1954, Bob was united in marriage to the former Rosaline Ann Abdo with whom he shared fifty-five years until Roz’s passing on August 9, 2009. Deeply committed to one another and to their vows, Bob and Roz combined their mutual love for family and their home as the central focus of their lives; a union that was truly admirable.
Bob was elected as Herkimer County Legislator in 1961 and held this position for thirty-four years. During this period, he served two terms as Chairman of the Legislature and Chairman of practically every other committee at one time or another during his tenure. He also served for many years as the Majority Leader. In 2009, Bob was honored to receive a plaque on the Torchbearer’s Wall at Herkimer County Community College, for his role in securing funding for the school.
As a community-oriented individual, he served in various positions throughout the years. He was, at one time, the Assistant Scout Master Troop with the I.B.S.A; treasurer of the Frankfort Free Library; Quartermaster of the VFW Post 4870; and President of the Frankfort Republican Club. As a man of Catholic faith, he was a longtime parishioner and trustee of Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church in Frankfort.
Bob is survived by his daughters and son-in-law, Valerie and John Ackley of Saratoga and Rebecca Frederick of Schuyler; his son and daughters-in-law, John and Penny VanDusen of Frankfort and Diane VanDusen of Schuyler. Always in his heart was the memory of his son, Robert T. VanDusen and son-in-law, Norman Frederick, who preceded him in death. Bob also leaves his beloved grandchildren, Jennifer and Jeff Loeffler of Virginia, Sarah and Tommy Turner of Virginia, Ryan VanDusen and Sarah Bolen of Utica, Matthew Young of Schuyler, Kaylin and Chris FitzSimons of Newport, Patrick and Tyler Young of New Hartford, Shelly VanDusen of Utica and Elizabeth and Kraig Pogonowski of Newport; and his ten great-grandchildren, Livie, Grace, Cole, Gabby, Roman, Emma, Austin, Tanner, Indiana and Dalton, with number eleven on the way. He also leaves his sister and brother-in-law, Charlotte and Tony Laura of Frankfort; and many nieces and nephews, too numerous to mention.
Besides his parents, wife, son and son-in-law, Bob was predeceased by his sister Lula DiCamillo, three brothers, John, Joseph and George VanDusen and numerous in-laws on the Abdo side of the family.
A sincere thank you is extended to Lisa Surace and the employees of ElderChoice Inc. with special mention of his caregivers, Zuzu, Eve, Rosie and Christina; to the At Home Care nurses, with special mention of Pam; and to Hospice and Palliative Care for making Bob comfortable during the final days of his journey.
Friends and relatives are invited to attend Bob’s visitation which will be held on Sunday afternoon, February 3, 2019 from 1:00PM – 4:00PM at the Enea & Ciaccia Family Funeral Home, 4309 Acme Road, Town of Frankfort, Ilion, NY (315) 894-8000. Bob’s funeral service will commence on Monday morning, February 4, 2019 at 9:45AM at the funeral home and at 10:30AM at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church in Frankfort, where his Mass of Christian Burial will be offered by Rev. Paul Catena, Pastor. Spring interment will take place in the family plot in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.
For those wishing to do so, please consider memorial contributions to ElderChoice, Inc., 1 Oxford Crossing #5, New Hartford, NY 13413 OR to At Home Care, 25 Elm Street, Oneonta, NY 13820 OR to Hospice and Palliative Care, 4277 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, NY 13413. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Bob’s final wishes have been entrusted to Harry and Kevin Enea and Martin L. Ciaccia, Funeral Directors. Online notes of sympathy may be left at www.eneafamily.com.