H. S. van Buren Jr.

Harold Sheffield van Buren, Jr., 91, Inventor and Sailor Harold Sheffield van Buren, Jr. of Harwich Port, MA, died on March 4, 2014. He was born in Boston on June 28, 1922. He attended the Glendale, Ohio Public School, the Lotspeich School, and the Cincinnati Country Day School where he was First Scholar. His summers were spent sailing in Harwich Port, Cape Cod. From 1937-1941 he attended St. Paul's School in Concord, NH, and Harvard College from 1941-1945. In 1942 he helped Harvard win the Intercollegiate Sailing Championship as high point co-skipper. He graduated from Harvard with honors in Ancient Greek History. During the war, in 1942-1944, he worked in the mold loft of the U.S. Navy Yard in Charlestown, MA. He joined United-Carr Fastener Corporation in 1947 where he designed thousands of fastening devices. He had 65 U.S. Patents and 175 Foreign Patents when he retired in 1982. He married Elizabeth Peabody Prince in 1944 and they had two sons: Harold Sheffield van Buren III (1945) and Clement Thorburn van Buren (1947). The marriage ended in divorce after 16 years. In 1985 he married Alice Hathaway Buffington (nee Hall), which he described as a "joyful and happy period" of his life. His major pastime throughout his life was sailing and cruising. From the time he was five years old, he sailed extensively, including Nova Scotia, the Bahamas, the Intracoastal Waterway to Florida, and the Caribbean. When he was 60, he took up tennis and became an enthusiastic player. He loved music and singing, which gave him enjoyment throughout his life. He leaves his wife Alice, sons Harold Sheffield van Buren, III of Cambridge, MA, and Clement Thorburn van Buren, of Arlington, MA; sister Mrs. Elsie P. van Buren, of Peterborough, NH; and grandson Jesse C. van Buren, of Brooklyn, NY. His brother, Paul M. van Buren, died in 1998. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Cape Cod Hospital Foundation. A memorial service will be held in the spring.


Published in The Cape Codder from Mar. 15 to Mar. 22, 2014