Robert M. Van Benschoten, 95, long-time resident of Florham Park and WWII veteran, passed away peacefully at his home on December 2, 2020.
He was the beloved husband of the late Denise Van Benschoten. He was the devoted father of Karen, Brian and David and leaves David’s wife Tisha, Brian’s long-time partner, Marlene Brooks of Rochester NH, and Daughter -In-Law Nancy VanBenschoten of Dover NH. His grandchildren are Jennifer VanBenschoten Jesse Voss, Lenore Benoit, her husband Jonathan, Jennifer, David his wife Lauren Gonzalez, Rob and Amy VanBenschoten. He also leaves great-grandchildren Caleb, Annabelle, Emerson, and a new baby expected in May.
Bob was a communicant of Holy Family Church, a devout Catholic who lived his faith daily. He was an early and long-time member of the Putnam Valley (NY) Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which remains vibrant to this day, and Scout Master of Troop 41 in Putnam Valley. Following retirement, Bob volunteered in the Florham Park area to help children to read, and was active in Holy Family church, Florham Park Ambulance Corps, other volunteer work and social organizations.
Bob was born in Yonkers NY where he lived until enlisting in the US Army at age 17 in 1943. He served in combat with the 511th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 11th ABN Division on the Philippine Islands of Leyte & Luzon where he was severely wounded in April 1945. He was awarded 3 Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart, several Campaign ribbons and a Distinguished Unit ribbon. After a lengthy recovery he completed High School, graduated from Syracuse University and went on to a successful career in Microbiology at the ‘Sugar House’ in Yonkers, NY. He kept close relationship with friends from company G of the 511th, extending to our families, as well as attending 511th reunions and exchanging letters well into his late 80’s.
Bob was able to remain in his home, living and then dying in peace. He gently cared for Denise through their long marriage and most intensively in her later years at remain home. Over the years Tisha provided real support for Bob to an extent that cannot be overstated. Bob was most grateful as are his children for that. Most recently Bob’s 24-hour care was provided by Anthony Osei, an agency employee but very much more. Anthony is a truly remarkable man.
Bob was a gentle, thoughtful, and loving man who will be remembered, and greatly missed.
A memorial mass will be held on Saturday, December 12, 2020 at Holy Family Church in Florham Park at 10am.
Donations can be made in Robert’s name to the Market Street Mission by visiting marketstreet.org, or the St. Labre School by visiting give.stlabre.org/donate.
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