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William Van Atta

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Van Atta, William E.

Binghamton: William E. Van Atta, 92, passed away in Binghamton Thursday morning, March 31st, 2011. He is survived by his wife, Gertrude Cunningham; daughter, Carolyn Pappas; her husband, Peter; his son, Nelson and his wife, Ann. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, eight step-grandchildren, and ten step-grat-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Jean Scully, in 1980; his granddaughter, Virginia Pappas in 1981; his brother, Gerald and sisters, Eleanor and Marion. He graduated from Cornell University in the class of 1941, He served four and one half years in the U.S. Navy during WWII. He spent his business career as an automobile dealer that began by joining his longtime friend and associates, Robert F. Schumann, to form Schumann Van Atta Buick in 1958. It later became Van Atta Buick-GMC-Suzuki until 2005. He served as Chairman of the Board of Managers of Binghamton General Hospital, was a member of the Lourdes Hospital Finance Committee, and a member of the advisory board of the State University at Binghamton. He head the 'Van Atta Commission", a government-appointed study that recommended consolidation of municipal services in Broome County. He was a member of the Binghamton Club, Binghamton Country Club, 21 Club, Live Wire Club, R&A Club, and Kannabal Klub. He was a proud Democrat and always pulled for the underdog. He had a keen interest in local politics and he would never be shy of expressing his views. His spirit will be missed by all. A private service will be held at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are by the J.A. McCormack Sons Funeral home, 141 Main St., Binghamton.

Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Apr. 3, 2011
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