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Robert L. Lee Van Dyke
(1906-1991)

 

Robert E. Lee Van Dyke was born on Aug. 31, 1906 in Strickler, Westmoreland County, PA, the son of Samuel Aaron and Bertha Mae (Minerd) Van Dyke. He appears to have been named after the famed Civil War general.

He was joined in holy wedlock with Sarah Lauffer ( ? -1990).

They made their home in Pleasant Unity, Westmoreland County. Their three children are Robert Van Dyke, Charlotte Allison and Ronald Van Dyke.

The Greensburg Tribune Review said that Robert "was employed by Robertshaw Controls [and] was a member of Christ United Methodist Church, Youngwood." They lived in Southwest, Westmoreland County.

 

Robertshaw plant in Youngwood

 

Sadly, Sarah passed away in 1990.

Robert only outlived his wife by a year. He was admitted to West View Nursing Home in East Huntington, Westmoreland county. He died there at age 84 on April 9, 1991. Rev. Miles McConnell officiated at the funeral, with interment in Westmoreland County Memorial Park, and an obituary appearing in the Greensburg Tribune-Review.

Son Robert K. Van Dyke (1929-1997) is believed to have been born on Aug. 13, 1929. He served as a corporal in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Later, he made his home in Weltytown, PA circa 1991. He died on Oct. 4, 1997, with interment in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.

Daughter Charlotte Van Dyke (1934-2013) was born on June 25, 1934 in Foxtown. In about 1954, when she was 20 years old, she married Floyd N. "Sparky" Allison (March 1, 1930-2012), a native of Millwood, PA and the son of Floyd and Margaret (Vogas) Allison. In all, they were wed for 57 years. The couple's two children were Randy Allison and Tracy L. Baker. Over the years, Floyd was employed as a toolmaker by Westinghouse Research. In his spare time, he was a member of the Hecla Sportsman's Club, and enjoyed hunting, gardening and Harley Davidson motorcycles. Their residence in the early 1990s-2010s was in Southwest, Westmoreland County. Floyd was admitted to Excela Health Westmoreland County where he died at the age of 81 on Jan. 2, 2012. The Greensburg Tribune-Review noted in an obituary that he was survived by four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Rev. Dr. Dale L. Porterfield led the funeral service, with burial in Westmoreland County Memorial Park. Charlotte only survived her husband by a little more than a year. She passed into eternity on April 5, 2013.

Son Ronald L. VanDyke (1938-2013) was born on Feb. 22, 1938 in Greensburg. He was joined in marriage with Dolores "Dee" Spirk ( ? - ? ), daughter of Bernard and Betty (Allen) Spirk of Braddock, near Pittsburgh. The VanDykes were together for 46 years but did not reproduce. They lived in Southwest, Westmoreland County. Ronald worked over the years as a meat cutter for Giant Eagle, a large regional grocery store chain. Following retirement, he was involved with the Laurel Highlands Foundation Group Home in Pleasant Unity. The VanDykes were members of the Christ United Methodist Church of Youngwood. Said the Greensburg Tribune-Review, he was "an avid antique and classic car collector." As his health failed, Ronald was admitted to UPMC Presbyterian in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, where he died at the age of 75 on July 13, 2013. The funeral service was officiated by Rev. Dr. Dale L. Porterfield, and burial followed in Westmoreland County Memorial Park.

 

Copyright © 2000, 2003-2006, 2018 Mark A. Miner
Minerd.com extends its gratitude to the late Anna Belle (Van Dyke) Breegle for sharing material for this biography.