DURHAM – William E. Van Pelt, age 90, of Durham, passed away quietly on Thursday August 29, 2019, at home surrounded by his loving family. He was born September 21, 1928 in Jersey City, NJ, the son of Charles Bernard Van Pelt and Katherine Hailfinger Thynne.
He was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Eileen Maher Van Pelt, infant daughter Eileen, brother George B. Van Pelt, sister Loretta V. Stefco.
He is survived by his four children: Gale A. McCarty, MD of Santa Monica, CA, Caryn V. Richards of Durham, Francine V. Clark (Steve) of Durham, William G. Van Pelt (Texene) of Hillsborough; Grandchildren E. Wayne Clark (Aleah), Cristin G. Clark, Ashley R. Hill (Aaron), Brandon K. Loudermilk (Taylor), John A. Richards, III (Sarah), Lindsay M. Richards (Jesse), Clayton L. Loudermilk, and Gracie M. Van Pelt; and great-grandchildren Jackson S. Richards, Landon K. Loudermilk, Maverick S. Loudermilk, Gaia Braade and Shepherd A. Hill.
William moved his family to Durham in 1962 to accept a promotion in packaging design with Mead Containers, ultimately retiring from Weyerhauser (Mead) after 40 years. He was very active in the Immaculate Conception Church. He also served 30 years in the Knights of Columbus holding many offices including Grand Knight and running the Columbus Club of Durham, his special passion. An avid train collector, William held numerous offices, including President, of the Train Collectors’ Association, Southeastern Division, over the last 25 years.
All knew William as a selfless individual, always giving at the expense of his own needs. He will be sorely missed. Thanks to his caretakers Mim, Steve, Emily and the Liberty Hospice Staff. His children extend special thanks for making his final year very comfortable. A Celebration of William’s Life will be held September 21, 2019. Donations can be made in Williams memory to Immaculate Conception Church, 810 W. Chapel Hill Street, Durham, NC 27701.
The Van Pelt family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service.