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Peter Westerhoff

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Peter Detilius, Jr., "Pete," passed away quietly on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 in the Mountainview Gardens facility at Cedar Crest, Pompton Plains, NJ. He was 88 years old.
Peter had suffered from progressive memory loss for years and faced that struggle with as much grace and dignity as any person could.
Peter was born in Unionville, NY on February 15, 1926 to Ruth and Peter Westerhoff. He was raised in Midland Park, NJ with his three younger sisters Ruth Ryan, Betty Artsma and Bobby Mayer. He attended Pompton Lakes High School and was drafted just after his 18th birthday to serve in WW II. He became a wireman in the 45th division of the U.S. Army's 157th regiment and was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts.
After the war, Peter attended Hope College in Michigan, where he met his first wife, Helen Fredricks. After graduating in 1949, Peter went to Med School, graduating in 1955 from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Peter took over the family medical practice in Midland Park, NJ after his father's death in 1957. Peter saw patients in the office attached to the home where he was raised for the next 20 years. In 1977, he left private practice to run the medical department for IBM in Franklin Lakes, NJ until his retirement.
Peter and Helen had two sons, Todd and Scott, whom they raised in Ridgewood, NJ. After Helen passed away in 1972, Peter married his high school sweetheart Della McMichael O'Neal in 1973. Della had four children, Chuck O'Neal, Terry Carbone, Sandy Iaiennaro and Greg O'Neal by her first husband, Charles O'Neal. Together, they raised their combined family in Ridgewood until the kids were out on their own. Pete and Della moved to Montville in 1989, then became pioneer residents at Cedar Crest in 2001. Della passed away in 2010.
Peter and Della were blessed with many wonderful friends, a loving family and much laughter. They liked nothing better than to share their time swapping stories with family and friends. Peter had a dry wit and was a master of the one-liner you didn't see coming. He had multiple hobbies and passions, including a lifelong love of photography, gadgets, golf and trains (both full sized and model). He was especially fond of his cars, his boat and his lawn tractor in Ridgewood.
Peter was a loving father figure and mentor to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He gave of himself freely in order to make those around him happy. He rests in peace next to his wife Della at the First Reformed Church Cemetery in Pompton Plains, NJ and is remembered in loving memory by his six children, twelve grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He left behind close to 10,000 35mm slides and countless other pictures documenting a passion for photography, an eye for composition and ample evidence of a life well-lived.
Peter's family requests that any donations in his name be made to the Alzheimer's foundation, the Breast Cancer Society or Seeing Eye, Inc., 10 Washington Valley Road, Morristown, NJ 07960-3412.
Funeral services were private and handled by the M. John Scanlan Funeral Home, Pompton Plains.
Published in The Record/Herald News on Aug. 24, 2014
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