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John A. Vanstone

Posted By Stephen On January 16, 2018 @ 9:57 am In Obituary | 7 Comments


GUILDERLAND – John Vanstone, 86, passed away on Sunday, January 14, 2018.  He was kind, compassionate, gentle, and eternally polite.  He was a wonderful father and husband, a loving friend and family member.  His interests included military history, natural history, geology, climatology, astrophysics, engineering, economics, college football, British period fiction and spy thrillers.  He loved big band music and often played the music of John Barry while taking long rides in the countryside of upstate NY.

John was born and raised in Atlantic City and was an altar boy at Our Lady Star of the Sea.  He loved the beach and ocean and enjoyed boating and bicycle riding on the Boardwalk with his many childhood friends. As a young man, John worked various jobs including delivering nautical equipment throughout South Jersey and he worked alongside his father in his father’s trucking business. He was an avid sports enthusiast and an accomplished offensive lineman at Holy Spirit High School and in the intramural league at Villanova University in Philadelphia where he graduated in 1954.

John was an officer in the navy from 1956 -1959 and was stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard where he met Josephine Guerra, his wife and love of many years.   When his service ended, he worked for General Electric in various places including Lynn, Massachusetts, Cincinnati, Ohio, and eventually settling in Schenectady, New York.  John had a long and distinguished career silencing submarine pumps during the cold war and won many awards for his innovations and outstanding technical contributions.

John is survived by his wife Josephine; children Darlene Vanstone (Bill Holmes) and Johnny Vanstone (Terri); grandson Stephen Holmes; nieces Linda Davis, Kim DuVilla and Alix Carey; and nephew Michael Cochran.  John was predeceased by his sister and brother-in-law Barbara (Vanstone) and Carrol D. Cochran; by his brother Joseph Vanstone; and by his parents Elizabeth (Wristbridge) and Joseph Vanstone.

The family would like to thank all of the wonderful people who have helped make John’s last days as comfortable as possible, especially the healthcare professionals at Landmark Health and Community Hospice.  The family also sends our most heartfelt gratitude and thanks to John’s longtime friends and neighbors on Parkwood Street in McKownville, who provided companionship and assistance to him over the years.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in All Saints Catholic Church, 16 Homestead St., Albany (behind CVS) Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m.  Relatives and friends are invited, and may call at the church Saturday morning prior to the mass from 8:00 a.m. until 8:45 a.m.  Entombment will be in Memory Gardens, Colonie.

Those who wish may make a contribution in John’s memory to the Union of Concerned Scientists (www.ucsusa.org), a charity dedicated to science for a healthy planet and safer world.  To leave a message of condolence for the family or obtain directions to the funeral home, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.

Condolences for the family of “John A. Vanstone”

Condolence from Linda and Dale Davis on January 16th, 2018 11:12 am

Heartsick over the loss of such a loving and caring soul. I feel so very fortunate to have been able to call him “Uncle”. He will be deeply missed…

Condolence from The Benevento Cousins on January 16th, 2018 12:30 pm

My what a distinguished life and career. It’s a beautiful picture of a beautiful person. God Bless all of you with strength and courage to endure this profound loss. Love you

Condolence from Carl Fricke on January 16th, 2018 3:52 pm

I was always awed by the amount of information Mr. VanStone had. As a teenager I appreciated the time he took to explain some of the more technical aspects of things to a level where I could better understand them. I enjoyed hearing about his experience on the big “E” and being the first reported injury during her commission. That story never got old for me. By coincidence I just started reading his book this past weekend and look forward to reading other accounts of his life.

My condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the family.

Condolence from Bill Guerra on January 16th, 2018 9:24 pm

I’ve known John,for sixty years. He was a kind and gentle man. He had an insatiable curiosity about the workings of the world around him and became quite conversant on myriads of topics; but had no need to put his superior intellect on display! He was as modest as he was he was intelligent! There are no exaggerations in what is written above; anyone who knew John would say the same! I am proud to have known him!

Condolence from Marie Guerra on January 18th, 2018 1:27 pm

With an grin you survived the trials and tribulations of we, your Italian American In-laws; this placing you on the fast track to Heaven.  

I can still hear your voice as I walked through your front door of your house. You never failed to offer a running account of the refrigerator’s contents, the flavors of ice cream in the freezer and where to find potato chips. It was with certainty that I knew I was your favored sister-in-law. The fact that I was your only sister-in-law is irrelevant.
  A video in my mind will always see you scurrying about on the Holidays, offering a helping hand.

It is so difficult to translate thoughts and feeling into words.  You were far more than a brother-in-law, you were my brother. My parents knew you hung the moon.  Your compassion, kindness, quick smile and sense of humor made it easy to be a part of your life. Your writings and research were brilliant. I loved tapping in to your mind.  I knew when exhausting my resources, an answer was just a phone call away.  Your legacy will be carried forward by Darlene, Johnny and Stephen, those “big” brains you leave behind who constantly challenge my somewhat smaller variety. 

It will be difficult to stand at the front door of your house knowing that on the other side I will not see your face or hear your voice.  You will never been forgotten, I will think of you always.



Condolence from Anastasia Tunny on January 18th, 2018 9:52 pm

Dear Jo, Bob, Darlene, Johnny, grandchildren, and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Although I didn’t know John, just reading of his accomplishments painted a picture of a man of high intellect with diverse interests, a family man, a good man. May you take comfort from the many memories you shared.

Condolence from Dianna Rios on January 19th, 2018 8:07 am

Growing up we could not have asked for a better family to be right next door. John Vanstone was one of the kindest men I have ever met and I have been blessed to grow up with Darlene and Johnny and share many special memories with them as we now are adults with our own children. With his gentle spirit, brilliant mind and wonderful smile we knew we had something special next door as kids. John will be terribly missed and our love goes out to “Aunt Jo”, Darlene, Johnny and the entire family. What a wonderful, accomplished, gentle soul…who was loved and will be missed by all that knew him.

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