He was born in Stoneham on November 16, 1925 the son of the late James H. Van Tassell and Agnes (Henderson) Van Tassell.
Van is survived by his devoted wife of 34 years, Virginia (Tremaine) Calderwood Van Tassell of Natick. He was the caring step-father of Gretchen A. Calderwood of Framingham and Shelby L. Robertson and her husband Kenneth of Natick. He is also survived by his cherished grand-daughters, Carolyn M. and Stacey L. Robertson both of Natick.
Van has been a resident of Natick for over 34 years and previously resided in Mefield and Dedham. He spent his younger years in Stoneham before moving to Dedham. In 1944, like many young men of that era, he left high school to serve his country proudly during World War II as a Private First Class with the United States Army. He returned to Dedham High School and graduated with the Class of 1947. He continued his education and graduated with an AME from Wentworth Institute in Boston in 1951. In 2001 he was awarded an Honorary Bachelors of Technology Degree from Wentworth Institute. For many years he was associated with the Raytheon Company and retired after 11 years of service as the Supervisor of Food Equipment and Services at the Natick Army Labs. He has been a longtime member of the A.I.A.A. and the S.A.E. He had a great love of animals and would visit with the pets at Buddy Dog in Sudbury. He was interested in all modes of transportation, especially cars and steam engines and delighted in visiting many transportation museums. He was devoted to his wife, step-daughters and adored being with his granddaughters. He will be fondly missed by all who knew him.
A Memorial Service celebrating his life will be held on Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 10:30 AM in the Bryant Memorial Chapel of the John C. Bryant Funeral Home, 56 Pemberton Road (OFF Route 30), Cochituate Village, Wayland. The Reverend Dr. Seth O. Asare will officiate.
Private interment services at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne will be held at the convenience of his family.
In lieu of flowers, his family kindly requests that donations in Van’s memory be sent to Buddy Dog Humane Society, Inc., PO BOX 296, Sudbury, MA 01776 and would be greatly appreciated due to his fondness for animals.
For on-line condolences and directions please visit www.johncbryantfuneralhome.com.