|Birth: ||Feb. 16, 1924|
New Jersey, USA
|Death: ||Oct. 19, 2010|
William Steven Van Natta, 86, of Vancouver, WA, died Tues., Oct. 19, 2010 at Adventist Medical Center in Portland, OR following a brief illness. He was born Feb. 16, 1924, in Bayonne, NJ, where he attended public schools.
He volunteered for service in the Navy at the outbreak of the war and was an ideal candidate for the submarine service. He served on the R-6 as a diesel mechanic. The R-6 was a training sub for the destroyer escorts which were instrumental in the defeat of the German submarine threat. The sub was also used in research for new naval weapons, and as such was fitted with a snorkel for testing in heavy waters. Unfortunately the test failed and the submarine quickly filled with diesel fumes from the engines. Half the ship died at that moment and the rest were severely injured. He spent six months in the hospital recovering, but was happy to be alive.
At 16, he met Helen Meyers, also of Bayonne, and their romance blossomed during their high school years. It was during the hospital stay when he and Helen decided their fates would be tied together. After serving in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service from 1941 to 1945, he returned to Bayonne. He and Helen were married in December 1947 and their first child, Carol, was born in 1952. Three sons: Wil, Jim and Jon - followed at regular intervals.
During the 1950s, he worked in sales and took night classes at Rutgers University, earning his degree in 1956. He was the first in his family to attend college and he deeply believed in the power of education to change lives.
He was known for his intelligence and wit.
No cross-word puzzle was ever too hard for him.
In 1962 his employer, National Starch and Chemical Co., offered him the opportunity to develop a sales territory in the Pacific Northwest, and the family relocated to Vancouver. Over the next 24 years, he pursued a successful career in industrial sales, retiring in 1986. He and Helen moved to the Vista del Rio retirement community in 1989.
The joys of recent years have included the marriages of their children and the births of their beloved grandchildren. Bill and Helen's nearly 63-year marriage was characterized by an unwavering devotion to each other. Friends, lovers and life partners, theirs was a true and happy union in every sense.
William was the father of Carol, William, James B and me. He had seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren. (And counting.)His grandchildren called him Opa.
William Steven Van Natta (1903 - 1967)
Florence Irene O'Dowd Patrizio (1901 - 1977)
James Buchanan Van Natta (1921 - 1986)*
William Steven Van Natta (1924 - 2010)
Walton Colton Van Natta (1955 - 1997)**
Willamette National Cemetery
Maintained by: Jon Van Natta
Originally Created by: Lori Moody
Record added: Nov 28, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62267444