Henry (Hank) Joseph William Vanderminden III, 83, passed away peacefully with his family by his side and went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at the Glens Falls Hospital from unexpected circumstances.
He was born on May 12, 1925 in Brooklyn, New York. The family moved to Granville, NY in 1932. He is predeceased by his parents, Henry J.W. Jr. and Cecile (Huelsman) Vanderminden.
Hank attended Vermont Academy. He was drafted in 1943 and served in the US Army during WWII in the 83rd Infantry Division as a radio operator. He spent 18 months overseas with 11 months during combat. He was awarded a bronze star for valor. Other awards include the Good Conduct Medal, EAME Service Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge. He served in six major battles in Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge and Normandy. He was discharged in 1945 with the rank of T5 corporal. After readjusting to civilian life at home he enrolled at Colgate University. He was a member of Sigma Chi, graduated in 1950 with a BS degree in business and joined the family business, Telescope Casual Furniture. Hank married Marie Augusta Clarkson on May 6, 1961 in Short Hills, New Jersey. They made their home and raised their children in Granville, New York.
Hank was the third generation to lead the family-owned Telescope Casual Furniture Inc., which celebrated its 100th year of business in 2003. He was active for 51 of those years. He acquired a passion for the furniture business at an early age and joined his father, two uncles and brother in the business. During his years at Telescope he designed the “original mini-sun chaise” that has been and still is Telescope’s most popular beach chair. He enjoyed marketing and was instrumental in setting up an in-house print shop. He was at the cutting edge of printing and inserting full color, four page photo advertisements in magazines in the 70’s when black and white line drawings were the norm. This revolutionized marketing for the company. In 1954, he coined the name “director’s chair,” a term that is now known universally for the folding wooden “deck chair.” He retired in 2001, having served as President since 1971. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Casual Furniture Industry in 2003 which acknowledges individuals who have made exemplary contributions to the furniture industry and to their communities. This award is given by both the manufacture and retailer associations demonstrating that not only his customers, but also his competitors recognize his achievements. He was honored for this award in Chicago and his extemporaneous speech left the audience of 1,200 people emotionally charged and reminded that laughter and enthusiasm for life’s passions are what defines success.
He has been the past president of Summer Casual Furniture Association; former director of the Emma Lang Stevens Hospital; 25 years as director of the Evergreen Bank; past master of the Granville Masonic Lodge #55 and is a deacon of the Granville Baptist Church.
He was an active golfer and enjoyed Monday night bowling league. Hank spent summers on Lake St. Catherine in Poultney, VT where he was able to enjoy his life long love of boating. He also enjoyed boating, picnics and fishing on Lake George. He spent March and April with his family in Stuart, Florida. He is well known for his hundreds of jokes and fast quips. His interests included stamp and coin collecting and grilling his famous chicken and roast beef. In the winter months he was an avid snowmobiler, ice-fisherman and skier and took pleasure in the fact that he was able to ski for free at age 70, but was disgruntled that he still had to pay for his younger bride. Spending time with his family was his most important interest.
Hank is survived by his wife of 47 years, Marie Augusta Clarkson Vanderminden, and his four children; Cynthia Vanderminden, of Pottersville, NY; Henry J.W. Vanderminden IV and his wife Christina of Glens Falls, NY; Arthur (Andy) A. Vanderminden and his wife Melissa of Bedford, NH and Charles (Chip) C. Vanderminden and his wife Jennifer of Wells, VT. Affectionately known as “Papa” he is survived by his eight grandchildren, Patrick and Brianna Daley; Rachael, Henry V and Carter Vanderminden; Arthur (Alex) and John Vanderminden and Zachary Vanderminden. He is also survived by his brother, Robert D. Sr. of Granville, NY.
Friends were invited to call from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Robert M. King Funeral Home, 23 Church Street, Granville, NY.
A funeral service was held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, at The Granville Baptist Church, 23 Quaker Street, Granville, NY. Interment followed in the Mettowee Valley Cemetery.
Donations in the memory of Hank may be sent to Disabled American Veterans Association, DAV Memorial Program, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 or the Granville Rescue Squad, Potter Avenue, Granville, NY.