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Obituary of Charles Van Rensselaer – Wilton, NY

J. Charles Van Rensselaer Wilton, NY – J. Charles Van Rensselaer passed away Monday evening, October 15, 2012 at Saratoga Hospital after a brief illness. He was 95. Charlie was born June 23, 1917, the son of Leslie H. Van Rensselaer of Wilton and Maude E. Murphy of Northumberland. He was a lifelong resident of Wilton and the fourth generation of the family to live in the village of Wilton. His great-grandfather, Abram Van Rensselaer, settled here in the 1850s as a gentleman farmer and built and operated a sawmill in the town of Moreau. His grandfather, Charles C. Van Rensselaer was the first owner of the Wilton General Store and Postmaster. His father, Leslie Van Rensselaer, continued the family business until 1960. Charlie attended Wilton Academy, Saratoga High School and graduated from Skidmore College, class of 1954, where he studied political science and economics. He was a veteran of World War II and served in the U.S. Army in Europe. He served in the NYS Legislature from 1954 to 1977 as Chief Journal Clerk of the Assembly. He married his high school sweetheart Regina M Jornson in 1941. Charlie was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Gansevoort Masonic Lodge, Holland Society of New York, Dutch Settlers of Albany and a founding member of the Wilton Volunteer Fire. Dept., the Wilton Heritage Society and the Senior Center of Wilton. He was a direct descendant of Killian Van Rensselaer, Rensselaerwyck’s first patron, and his son Jeremias, who came here in the late 17th century to manage the tract of land that now extends from Albany and south to Claverack. Charlie became the last patron in this industry, being predeceased by his brother, Stanley Van Rensselaer, former NYS Assemblymen. Charlie enjoyed bowling for many years in various competitions. He also enjoyed playing cards and dancing with his many friends in the area. He followed college basketball, was an avid reader and enjoyed a good crossword puzzle until his recent illness. Charlie was a devoted husband and loving father. He was predeceased by his wife Regina, whom he always called his beloved. Survivors include his daughter, Jan Van Rensselaer Soron and granddaughter, Emma Kate Soron. He is also survived by his nieces, Anne Van Rensselaer Egan, Kristina Van Rensselaer Allen, Jane Van Rensselaer Hines and Wenda Whitford McLaughlin and nephews, Kim McAllister and Neil McAllister and many great-nieces and great-nephews. He had many dear friends in this community. Relatives and friends may call Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes, 628 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs (584-5373). The funeral service will be held at the funeral home at 12 noon. Burial will be in the family plot at Greenridge Cemetery, Lincoln Ave. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the following: Alzheimer’s Association, Northeastern New York Capital District Region, Pine West Plaza, Building 4, Suite 405, Washington Ave. Ext. , Albany, NY 12205, American Cancer Societ, 260 Osborne Rd., Loudonville, NY 12211 or the American Heart Association, 440 New Karner Rd., Albany, NY12205. Online memories may be made at

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