René J. Van Caneghem
Mr. RenÃ© J. Van Caneghem, age 91, of Elkton, MD, passed away on Sunday, October 30, 2011.
Born in Paris, France on August 20, 1920, son of the late Jerome Van Caneghem and Claire Ludet Van Caneghem, Mr. Van Caneghem proudly served in the US Army Air Corps during World War II. In civilian life, he would go on to earn master’s degrees in both education and engineering and make his career as a mechanical engineer with Aberdeen Proving Ground, where he retired after 25 years. He later accepted a position as a substitute teacher with Cecil County Schools.
An avid and knowledgeable astronomer throughout his life, Mr. Van Caneghem was one of the founders of the Delaware Astronomical Society in 1956; he was pleased to mentor many budding young astronomers over the years. Following his retirement, he was also a very active volunteer at Union Hospital in Elkton and the Veterans Hospital in Elsmere.
Mr. Van Caneghem contributed frequent Letters to the Editor on political, social, and educational issues. Among his many hobbies, he greatly enjoyed ballroom dancing, bridge, woodworking, and gardening.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Louise Van Caneghem. He is survived by his wife, Geraldine “Gerri” Murphy Van Caneghem; children, Gail Ridgway (Edwin) of Reston, VA and Lane McLaughlin of Newark, DE; stepchildren, Kathleen of Elkton, MD and David M. Kirk (Carla) of Wilmington, DE; 8 grandchildren; and 9 great grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 1 pm on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 121 West Park Place, Newark, DE, where visitation will begin at 12 noon. Interment will follow in Gracelawn Memorial Park, 2220 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle, DE.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Mr. Van Caneghem may be made to Leeds United Methodist Church, 1579 Blue Ball Rd., Elkton, Maryland 21921.