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Burnett Peter "Pete" Van Deusen
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Birth: Nov. 10, 1913
Albany County
New York, USA
Death: Oct. 31, 1993
Morris County
New Jersey, USA

Burnett Peter Van Deusen (1913-1993) aka Pete Van Deusen. He was a magnetic ink salesman at Sun Chemical in Jersey City, New Jersey. (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 (1782-1862), who was the 8th President of the United States of America from 1837 to 1841. Burnett's ninth great-grandfather was Abraham Pietersen Van Deusen (1602-c1670) 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. He was named after his paternal grandmother, Catherine Burnett (1845-1926).

Burnett was the son of Benjamin Spencer Van Deusen I (1872-1937) and Lynette Mae Curlhair (1872-1942). Benjamin was the son of Peter B. Van Deusen (1845-1926); and Catherine Burnett (1845-1926). Lynette was the daughter of Freeman C. Curlhair (1834-1910), a cigar store merchant and harness maker; and Lydia A. Gaige (1837-1903)

Burnett was born in Albany, Albany County, New York on November 10, 1913.

He had the following siblings: Lillian Van Deusen (1898-1961) 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 S. Van Deusen II (1903-1972) who was a banker, that married Helene Elizabeth Bentley (1905-1999).

New York to New Jersey:
Around 1922 the family moved from Albany to Jersey City and they appear in the 1930 US census living there.

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 "committeeman", 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". 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. The ceremony was officiated by Reverend "J. Preuss" at Trinity Lutheran Church in Jersey City.

An undated newspaper article circa 1935-1940: "Trinity Lutheran Church to present sacred cantata. A sacred cantata entitled 'The Resurrection' will be presented tomorrow evening at 8, in Trinity Lutheran Church, under the direction of Peter Van Deusen."

Jersey City:
Pete and Naida lived at 538 Bramhall Avenue in Jersey City. On November 24, 1936 he filled out his Social Security application and he was living at 194 Seaview Avenue in Jersey City. His friends and neighbors in Jersey City were: Samuel Kirkpatrik (1887-1970) and his wife, Charlotte Kirkpatrik (1885-1982) aka Daisy Kirkpatrik.

He worked for the Eagle Printing Company division of Sun Chemical in Jersey City. Initially he was a color tester and would adjust the colors of batches of their inks. When they needed a salesman for their new line of magnetic inks used for bank checks, they moved him into the sales position and he reluctantly took the job. Magnetic inks sales grew rapidly and he said: "I don't have to sell the ink, I just record the sales, it sells itself."

Caldwell, New Jersey:
Around April 17, 1960, he moved out of Jersey City and bought a house in Caldwell, New Jersey. He joined the Holy Trinity Church in North Caldwell.

Saved boy from drowning:
While on vacation in Georgia around 1963, Pete saved Silas Simmons (1961- ) 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." A 30 second interview with Pete was broadcast on local television in Georgia and a VHS copy of the interview exists. The transcript: Peter Van Deusen: "... You just act. The thing happens and you jump, or do whatever you have to do. I believe you have to think later, you don't have time to think. Its like when your playing ball, I guess, and if your pitching and the batter hits one straight back at the box. Its an instinctive thing to put the glove up to protect yourself, you don't have time to think, you just act first. Interviewer: "How does it feel to be a hero now?" Peter Van Deusen: "I don't feel like I'm a hero. I mean there were a lot of people mixed up in this. There was the woman that hollered, the man that gave him mouth to mouth, the rescue squad. It took a lot of us to really do the job. I just happened to be the one that was in the pool."

He died on October 31, 1993 while having dinner at the wedding of his grand-daughter. He was eating his dinner at the main table, when his head when down into his plate. Someone said "What's the matter with Pete?" and 911 was called.

His obituary appeared in the Star Ledger, Tuesday, November 02, 1993, page 44: Van Deusen - B. Peter, of Montville, formerly of Fairfield and Jersey City, on Sunday, October 31, 1993, husband of Naida Freudenberg Van Deusen, father of N. Lynn Bode of West Milford, Joan E. Schwendel of Lake Hopatcong, and S. Penny Linson of Kinnelon, grandfather of David, Diana, Craig, Toni Lynn, Mark, Paul, Beth, Tracy, Christy, April and John, great-grandfather of Amanda, Sean, Kris, Erik, Lauren, Paul, A.J. and Craig. Funeral Service in the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, North Caldwell, on Wednesday at 10:30 am. Visiting in the Farmer Funeral Home, 45 Roseland Avenue (at Eagle Rock Avenue) Roseland, today at 2-4, 7-9. Interment Restland Memorial Park, East Hanover, NJ. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Memorial Fund of the Trinity Lutheran Church would be appreciated.

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."

Memories about Burnett Peter Van Deusen:
Penny Van Deusen wrote on March 25, 2011: "I think my dad sang on The Horn and Hardart Children's Hour program which was on the radio back in the 40's or 50's."

Burnett Peter Van Deusen (1913-1993) was married to the aunt of Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ).

Researched and written by Richard Arthur Norton (1958- ) for Findagrave starting on July 4, 2003. Updated on December 5, 2008. Updated on March 25, 2011 with information on The Horn and Hardart Children's Hour.

Family links: 
  Benjamin S. Van Deusen (1873 - 1937)
  Lynette Mae Curlhair Van Deusen (1872 - 1942)
  Naida Muriel Freudenberg Van Deusen (1915 - 1998)*
  Lillian Katherine Van Deusen Reeve (1898 - 1961)*
  Mildred Lynette Van Deusen Smith (1901 - 1968)*
  Benjamin S. Van Deusen (1903 - 1972)*
  Burnett Peter Van Deusen (1913 - 1993)
*Calculated relationship
Restland Memorial Park
East Hanover
Morris County
New Jersey, USA
Plot: Grave 2, Plot 183, Elm Section
Created by: Richard Arthur Norton (1...
Record added: Jul 04, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7655149
Burnett Peter Pete Van Deusen
Added by: Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )
Burnett Peter Pete Van Deusen
Added by: Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )
Burnett Peter Pete Van Deusen
Added by: Richard Arthur Norton (1958- )
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3rd cousin 2x removed
- Cindy Coffell
 Added: Feb. 11, 2014

 Added: Jul. 12, 2003

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