Milton Van Leer Groesbeck, a retired school teacher and World War II veteran, died May 20, 2013, at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, NY. He was 90.
Born on May 13, 1923 in Camden, NJ to Charles and Mary Van Leer Groesbeck, Milton spent his early years working for the YMCA with his father. After World War II, he served as Lieutenant Battery Commander for the United States Army while stationed in Japan. Upon returning home, Milton graduated from Oberlin College, and began his 30-year career as an educator. In the early 1960s, Milton taught English at New York University. Later in his career, he taught 5th and 6th grades in Morristown, NJ. Upon retirement, he became a civilian teacher on Navy ships, touring the Adriatic arm of the Mediterranean Sea.
When Milton retired, he continued to be an active member of his community by volunteering and mentoring. “Uncle Milty” was a long-time member of both the Callicoon Fire Department in Callicoon, NY and the Hortonville Fire Department in Hortonville, NY. Milton valued community involvement and always encouraged his neighbors and grandchildren to become positive influences within their communities. In 2002, he married Rachel Keebler and moved to White Lake, NY to enjoy spending his remaining years with the love of his life. Milton was an avid canoer throughout his life and was competing in canoe races up into his 70’s.
Milton would appreciate readers to become involved in the world around them by taking a trip down the Delaware River (with your lifejacket on), becoming involved with a good organization (like the YMCA), and to simply keep breathing.
Along with his devoted wife, Rachel, Milton is also survived by his four children, Van Groesbeck of Sharpsburg, MD; Lynn Bowman of Frostburg, MD; Todd Groesbeck of Hagerstown, MD; and Scott Groesbeck of Dunoon. Scotland. Other survivors include two children by marriage, Richard Ferris of New Providence, NJ, and Harris Ferris of Pittsburgh, PA. Milton also leaves behind 10 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
A memorial celebration will be announced at a later date.