Henry “Hank” Van Kooy

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Henry “Hank” Van Kooy passed away on Friday, Jan. 25 with Audrey and his four children by his side.

He was born in Clifton and grew up in Kearny.

Hank graduated from Kearny High School in 1945 and enlisted in the Navy that December.

He went to electronic technician school and was stationed at the submarine base in New London, Connecticut.

He was discharged in in October 1947 and started college in February 1948 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

He received his BS degree and went on to receive his Masters in Engineering three years later.

His first job out of college was as an Air Force Inspector at Kearfott Navigation before he moved on to Curtiss Wright for the next 20 years.

He specialized in flight simulation and worked on simulators for 707s, C141s and DC-8s.

He travelled to Air Force bases throughout the country providing on-site support and training.

Hank grew uncomfortable with his indirect efforts supporting the Vietnam War and left the industry when his division of Curtiss Wright closed, instead of accepting a transfer to a new location.

He went back to school and received his teaching certification. He was a substitute teacher in the Bronx until he secured a full time teaching position at Bergen County Vocational and Technical High School in Hackensack.

During his time at Bergen Tech he taught in the classroom, spearheaded a new program for students to receive a two-year college degree, developed a technical working program for women and developed a program for electricians to earn their electricians license.

Hank retired from Bergen Tech in 1990 after 20 years of service.

He was raised in the Presbyterian Church and was ordained as Elder when he was 24 years old.

He served on the Board of Session at the Norwood Presbyterian Church for many years and was a member of the choir until 1996.

He also served as a member of the Palisades Presbytery in areas regarding Social Justice and Personnel.

Hank raised five children with his wife, Sheila, and lived in Norwood for 39 years.

Sheila passed away in 1996 and a few years later Hank met Audrey Mooney at an Easter vigil, introduced by their respective pastors.

Hank and Audrey eventually married and enjoyed life for 21 years together in West Milford.

Hank and Audrey were very involved in the West Milford Presbyterian Church, both serving as members of the choir and Hank also a member of the search committee for their previous pastor. He also headed up the “Two by Two Couples and Friends” club, arranging social activities for members and friends of the church.

Surviving are his wife, Audrey Van Kooy, three sons, Mark (spouse, Mary), David (spouse, Kathy), Henry (spouse, Frank Avella), daughter, Karen (spouse, Robert Rosenberg), stepsons, Donald (spouse, Susan) and Scott Mooney (spouse, Jeannine), stepdaughters, Cheryl Cahill (spouse, Jay) and Diane Mooney, son in law, Michael Pakaluk, sister, Rita Wregg, brother in law, Harry Wregg, niece, Sharon Brown, nephew, Kenneth Wregg, niece, Donna Crowe, cousins, Barbara Lawson and Richard Van Kooy, grandchildren, Jay, Alex, Maxwell and Emma Van Kooy, Joanna and Alison Rosenberg, Michael, Maximilian, and John Henry Pakaluk, Maria Almeida, Sarah Blanchard, Sophia Barrows, Kyle, Connor, Justin, Mikaela Mooney, Jay Cahill, Niall Rupp.

Predeceased by first wife Sheila Maxwell Van Kooy, daughter Ruth Pakaluk, grandchild Thomas Pakaluk.

A memorial service will be held on Feb. 17 at 1 p.m. at the West Milford Presbyterian Church. Refreshments will follow the service in Fellowship Hall at the church.

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