Benjamin F. Van Vliet Jr.
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AGE: 80 • Weston, VT
Benjamin F. Van Vliet Jr., 80, died suddenly on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013. Ben was born Oct. 2, 1933 and lived his early life in Shrewsbury, NJ. He was a graduate of Red Bank High School and the University of Miami with a degree in journalism. Preceding his college years, Ben enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served during the Korean War in Amarillo, TX, Savannah, GA and Sidi Slimane, Morocco. Ben's career as a journalist started at the Asbury Park Press where he covered politics and the courts in Freehold NJ. He then went on to work at the Daily Register (formerly the Red Bank Register) where he was the Red Bank bureau chief. When the paper ceased operations, he went to work for the State of NJ, first as a speechwriter for then Commissioner of The Department of Environmental Protection, Daniel O'Hern, and later as public information officer at the New Jersey Department of Fish, Game and Wildlife.
In 1990, Ben left his job with the State of New Jersey to join with Claudia Ansorge, in the launch of a new community newspaper, Two River Times, in Red Bank, NJ. Claudia served as Publisher while Ben served as Editor In Chief of the publication. In the mid 1990's, Ben retired from the Two River Times and continued to work as a freelance journalist until Ben and his wife Barbara moved to Weston, VT in 1997. There he enjoyed tending to his perennial gardens, playing the piano and playing golf.
Ben is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Barbara Banta Van Vliet; their son, Peter Windsor Van Vliet and his wife Kelly Hulsey Van Vliet of Richmond, VA. He is also survived by children of a previous marriage, Benjamin F. Van Vliet III of Ahoskie, NC, Katrina Brady and husband Tom Brady, Stephanie Downey and husband Matthew Downey (all of Wall Township, NJ) and Christaan Van Vliet of Southern Shores, NC. Ben leaves behind 12 loving grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at the First Congregational Church of Manchester, VT. Arrangements are by Mahar Funeral Home in Manchester, VT. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the Weston HIstorical Society, Weston, VT 05161 to honor Ben's involvement in and devotion to historical preservation in Weston.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Nov. 20, 2013