Donald J. Van Gelder
Donald J. Van Gelder, 89, passed away February 22, 2022, in Roseland, New Jersey. He was a devoted and loving husband, father and grandfather.
He was born in New York and raised in Baldwin, N.Y. He graduated from Adelphi University with a Bachelor of Science degree in physics.
Don was a Cold War veteran. He served in Germany and was proud to be a member of the Big Red One. He married Carrie Taylor Ransom in 1956; they were married for 64 happy years.
He spent 31 years with IBM as a systems engineer and was the product planning manager on the original IBM personal computer.
Don lived in Rochester, Minn., and Boca Raton, Fla. He moved to Sun City Center, Fla., in 1992, where he was a member of the community association committee that built the arts and crafts center, lawn bowling building and fitness center. He was on the team that designed and built St. John’s Divine Church and the church annex in Sun City Center.
He is survived by his children Harry W. Van Gelder (Cheri), Cathy Van Gelder Poethke (James) and William D. Van Gelder (Terry), nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Don enjoyed watching the Tampa Bay Rays and tennis. He will be remembered for his sense of humor and generosity.
A memorial service will be scheduled in Michigan during the summertime. To extend condolences or for further information, please visit shookfarmer.com/.
John Ignatius Alessi
John Ignatius Alessi, 92, of Sun City Center, loving husband of Shirley Endicott Alessi, passed away peacefully on March 9, 2022, at home and surrounded by his loved ones.
Son of Joseph and Carmela, immigrants from Sicily, Italy, John grew up in New York City and attended the prestigious Stuyvesant High School. He matriculated at Pace University. John was a corporal in the Army during the Korean War and served eight years as Sargent First Class in the reserves.
John believed in hardwork and loyalty, staying at Central Hudson Gas and Electric for 35 years. He obtained his real estate license and enjoyed meeting people and selling them houses. John was a gregarious man and well liked by everyone who met him. He loved to tell jokes and make people smile.
John was married to Colette Renaud Alessi for 35 years until her death. They raised three daughters together, Catherine O’Hanlon (Michael), Louise Alessi (Patrick Mouial) and Margaret Alessi (Michael Ruffner).
John leaves step-daughters, Kim Domino, Robin Vizachero, Karen Endicott (deceased), (Chris Karlatiras) and step-son, Kevin Endicott (Tami).
Family was paramount to John and he loved his 14 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He also leaves many beloved nieces and nephews.
The date for a memorial service of internment at Sarasota National Ceremony has not yet been set.
Donations in John’s name may be made to Moffitt Cancer Center, http://www.moffitt.org/giving or to Chapters Health System Lifepath Hospice, https://lifepathhospice.chaptershealth.org/GeneralDonation/.