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Percival "Bert" Preston
Birth: May 12, 1892
Elmwood Park
Bergen County
New Jersey, USA
Death: Dec. 2, 1979
East Orange
Essex County
New Jersey, USA

The youngest son of
George Albert Preston and
Mary Bridget Hickey Preston.

Brother of
Eva Preston Lewis
Mame Preston Walker
William Harvey Preston
Alden Preston

Beloved husband of
Jessie Marie Gorman Preston

Together the parents of
Virginia Pruett 1921
Marian Curlee 1922
Dorothy Preston 1925
Jean Andrey 1930

Grandfather of Marian, John, Jane, Karl, Eric and Sharon.

Sadly grandson John has joined his grandparents in heaven.

John Clark Hammett 1952

Greatgrandfather of Donna, Robert, John, Gloria, Laura and Dale.

Born in Dundee Lake, New Jersey.

I have always been so very proud of my grandpa. For an old sailor he always seemed crusty, but that was an act. He loved his family and his animals. There was always a hunting dog or cats around. He even had an aligator at one time. I had him for 18+ years and there are just so many memories to share of him. He always claimed to dislike the Christmas season. When he was 9 his mom passed away, his earliest memories of Christmas consisted of the tree being tossed out into the snow, and being replaced by his mother's casket. A pretty hard thing for a little boy to take. But, even with all that he always made my Christmas so very special. My Grandpa, Grandma and Mother never did anything for Christmas ahead of time. Oh the tree would be hidden out behind the garage, but on Christmas eve every year they would put me to bed as early as possible then go to work, when I came down in the morning it was a Christmas miracle. I had to withstand my grandpa threatening to shoot the old fat man in that red suit every year. I used to cry when he said that, so afraid I would be known as the girl who's grandfather shot Santa. He loved to tease me about it every year...but he did it out of love. On my first Christmas my mom got a beautiful angel to put on top of my first tree. I was 2 months old and just fell in love with the beautiful golden angel on top of my tree, so much so when the tree dried out and the season was over, I screamed for two days for my angel to return. My grandpa went and fished her out of the Christmas boxes, went into his workshop and came out with a Angel Lamp. The only time that Angel left my sight after that is when she was put on top of the tree the next year, and every year after that. That was my grandpa.

We shared so much in life, he gave me my first sardine...yuck, and my first taste of beer, at a very early age. My grandma and mom used to love to go to Bingo on Saturday nights. My grandpa would baby sit with me and sardines and beer was his Saturday night snack. He always gave me a taste as we watched Gunsmoke together. My mom couldn't do anything to stop him, and I never got sick or even liked beer enough to become hooked. She knew he loved me and wouldn't do anything to hurt me.

Grandpa and I loved watching TV together. After dinner he would watch the evening news as I did the dishes and then we would watch reruns of I LOVE LUCY together, our favorite show. We would watch those reruns and Truth or Consequences, Gunsmoke, Here's Lucy, Carol Burnett, Mary Tyler Moore, Bonanza, The Rifleman, Have Gun Will Travel, and a few other shows. He loved old westerns, Lawrence Welk, he really enjoyed nature shows like Wild Kingdom and then there was always a good Disney movie on Sunday nights. We loved watching the New York Mets too. Although grandpa enjoyed listening to the games more on the radio. He taught me that to visualize the games in my mind. He would say, "girlie, (yes that's what he would call me) if you learn to visualize the game in your mind you won't be held hostage to the TV". He enjoyed listening in the yard or on our front porch and the TV was just an anchor keeping him from enjoying the outdoors.

Grandpa also enjoyed listening to country music. His radio was either turned into baseball or his favorite country music station. He loved Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wyanette, and his very favorite Crystal Gayle.

My grandparents helped raise me while my mom was at work. When my grandma died, my grandpa always made sure I had a hot meal when I came home from grammar school lunchtime. He made sure I dressed in the right clothes for the season. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do for me. Only one reason why I loved him so much.

I also respected the man. He served his country proudly and was mad when he was turned down for the Korean War, because of his age. He would have been in every war since if he would have been allowed, he loved the Navy and would serve his country when ever he was called. He took what he learned in the Navy and always took care of his own life. My grandma never had to wash his clothes, he wouldn't allow her too. The Navy taught him the right way and no woman could do better than he could. He was very independent in that way. Losing his mother at 9,he learned early that he had to do for himself, he could fix anything and would make use of items that seemed to be of no use.

If I have any hero in my life it would be my grandpa. He was diagnosed with Cancer of the stomach in 1964. At a time when cancer was the BIG C and there was very little hope for recovery. Like John Wayne that same year he fought with everything he had, and won. At one point he was given only days to live, he went on to live 15 years longer. He was a fighter and the most dear man I've ever known.

He lived 87 years and in that time he saw the little town he was born in, Dundee Lake, New Jersey change its name twice. From Dundee Lake, to East Paterson to Elmwood Park. He was the oldest living citizen of the town when he passed away in 1979. The only time he left his town was to serve his country. A Veteran of WWI and WWII among other conflicts. He served on the USS Duncan, the USS McKee and the USS Vermont. He was also a survivor of the sinking of the USS Leedstown. In late September 1942, the ship headed across the Atlantic to Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she joined a force preparing for the invasion of North Africa. In the early evening of November 8th, she was attacked by German planes and torpedoed in the stern. The following day, the immobile ship was near-missed by three bombs and hit amidships by two more torpedoes. Bombed again later in the afternoon of November 9, 1942, USS Leedstown sank off the Algerian coast with the loss of eight men out of more than five hundred on board when "abandon ship" was ordered. I'm very thankful that my grandpa was able to survive the ordeal. While in a Belfast hospital after the sinking, he met a young Irish nurse that he would think about the rest of his life. Not as a love interest, but because of something she said to him. Many years later, in the 1970's he was hospitalized in a Veteran's hospital, again another Irish nurse had an impact on him. The same words, spoken in 1942 and also as a young child by his Irish mom. "Now that wasn't so bad, was it?" Those words, with a strong Irish accent remained with him all his life. Always an angel of mercy letting him know he was going to be fine. Maybe I get my angel spirit from my grandpa, for he believed that his mom was with him all his life in the form of an angel.
He loved his town, and his country and his family. Missed dearly by his granddaughter.

Bert passed away on a Sunday morning in the East Orange Veteran's Hospital. I had to work that day and my mom chose not to tell me he was gone until I got home that night, but I had already known. Driving home that night from work I had to pass the funeral home. A deep chill came over me and I knew that someone I loved dearly was in there. When I walked in my mom's words were I'm glad you're home, I didn't want to upset you with a long drive home, but....I finished her sentence with my words, but grandpa died today. The feeling I had was so strong, and I said I know he's already at the funeral home. She was amazed that I knew and that she had picked the funeral home she did. We had never had a family member at that home before. My grandpa and I always had that connection, I think we always will.

Even after being diagnosed with Cancer he continued to smoke his pipe and cigars. Always saying he was too mean to die. He loved his Prince Albert tobacco, his Dutch Master's cigars and his pipe. When he was put to rest he wore his WWII uniform, and I made sure the pipe, his tobacco pouch, and matches were put with him. Even at 87 he looked just as he did in the first photo shown on this page. Handsome, brave and ready to serve. I hope the Good Lord has found that service for you grandpa. I love you.

Bert was my wonderful grandfather

My grandfather was very special to me, he was also very special to my cousin Eric. Eric made my grandpa proud by joining the Navy when he was old enough. I know that meant the world to my grandfather, he was so very proud of his grandson always, the fact he followed in Bert's footsteps was only part of it, they had a special bond, one different than the one he and I shared, but both bonds are still strong and Eric and I still think of him as a great man. Grandpa we love and miss you.

Update from September 2009. Grandpa I know you would be happy to hear not only did I speak with Eric and Corky, I've recently contacted Bobo. She sounds wonderful and misses you very much. Seems like the common opinion of most of your grandchildren is that we adored you. I think Eric and Corky got a lot of your mechanical smarts. Bobo (she's cut it to Bo) and I just plain think the world of you. I think you were both our boyfriends growing up. There wasn't anything we wouldn't have done for you. We miss you so very much. Not a day goes by that I don't remember you and I know the boys and Bo feel the same. You have lived on in our hearts. One day I hope I can make your great grandchildren understand the special love your grandkids had for you. Always missed by Eric, Corky, Bo and Sharon.

A special Thank you to Dennis Deel for his sponsorship and for the picture of the USS Leedstown. Dennis you are a special person and I'm sure my grandpa would have enjoyed getting a chance to meet you.

Family links: 
  George Albert Preston (1841 - 1924)
  Mary Bridget Hickey Preston (1851 - 1901)
  Jessie Margaret Gorman Preston (1898 - 1969)*
  Virginia Marie Preston Pruett (1921 - 2000)*
  Marion Preston Hammett Curlee (1922 - 2011)*
  Dorothy Caroline Preston (1925 - 1927)*
  Jean Muriel Preston Fortsch-Andrey (1930 - 2002)*
  William Harvey Preston (1869 - 1942)*
  Alden Preston (1873 - 1873)*
  Mary Josephine Preston Walker (1876 - 1931)*
  Eva J. Preston Lewis (1880 - 1961)*
  Percival Preston (1892 - 1979)
*Calculated relationship
Cedar Lawn Cemetery
Passaic County
New Jersey, USA
Plot: Section 16, Lot 562
Created by: An Angel Above
Record added: Jan 10, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7067921
Percival Bert Preston
Added by: An Angel Above
Percival Bert Preston
Added by: An Angel Above
Percival Bert Preston
Added by: An Angel Above
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- Marian and Richard--Rest in Peace
 Added: Jan. 4, 2015

- Marian and Richard--Rest in Peace
 Added: Jan. 3, 2015
Just found this one
- Marian and Richard--Rest in Peace
 Added: Jan. 2, 2015
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This page is sponsored by: Dennis Alan Deel

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