Obituary of James P. Vanderbeek
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James Peter Vanderbeek was born May 10, 1955 to Hattie (Borman) and Courtland Lake Vanderbeek in Elizabeth, NJ and spent the first few decades of his life in Roselle Park. He passed away suddenly on Saturday, March 26th, 2022 at his home in Cream Ridge, NJ. He is survived by wife of 23 years Patricia (Gerke) Vanderbeek, son Matthew and daughter Iryna as well as brother Robert and sister Margaret as well as sister in law Danuta, cousins Shirley & Don Underwood, Tim King, and Tim & Kim Borman. Jay was a graduate of Vermont Technical College, majoring in Computer Programming in the 1970’s, mastering Main Frame and large systems in the early days up to the present. He worked as a Courier in
NYC before landing a career with St Luke/Roosevelt Hospital’s Computer support dept, which then became Continuum, Mt Sinai Hospital computer support before moving to NJ State Judiciary Computer Support. A strong love of helping others was witnessed by early years of volunteering at Johnsonburg Presbyterian Camp, where lifelong friendships were formed and treasured. Summer volunteer trips to Maine to work on the homes of those less fortunate in Franklin County and the greater Farmington area through Mission at the Eastward (MATE) was an annual highlight each year. A deep commitment to
liturgical music was seen in his devotion to the Roselle Presbyterian Church Choir and later, after marriage, Church of the Assumption choir in New Egypt. He loved singing in his deep voice! He also loved playing dulcimer at the Pinelands Folk Music shop in Rancocas Woods, which is where he and his wife met. Other musical talents with spoons, digeridoo and bones were often shared there. His other passion was model trains. A lifetime member of the National Model Railroad Association and the North Jersey Model Railroad Club gave him years of satisfaction and joy. Many years of friendships
were formed there, with weekly diner stops between sessions. His collection of trains was a passion based on what state or Gauge was represented. Railroads trips wherever he could take them were frequent, and this love for all things trains served as the inspiration for our latest cat’s name Chessie, who reminded him of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad mascot. During married life, he loved supporting his children in scouting events and sports competitions through
travel teams and Varsity athletics. He enjoyed spending time bonding over Star Trek marathons with his children, and liked Star Wars as well. He was a faithful Jeopardy fan to the end. A strong interest in cooking was seen in his specialty baked ziti, the best homemade cole slaw (or broccoli slaw), ribs on the grill, and porkroll and egg sandwiches. Many years of photography can be seen in the volumes of slides and albums he assembled. Outdoor
activities, when he could, included hiking, canoe or kayak trips and enjoying scenery in places near and far. Gifford’s Ice Cream in Maine will be remembered as a favorite destination. Plus, he never met a roller coaster he did not want to take on as a challenge. The world was a better place thanks to Jay!
A Memorial Mass for Jay will be held on Tuesday, April 5 at 10:30 AM at the Church of the Assumption Chapel, 76 Evergreen Road, New Egypt, NJ 08533. Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10:30 AM at the Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to support his family at this time. Please go to the Tribute Wall on this page for the QR Code to donate.