Monday, August 17, 2009

Grandpa Tunney

The twin, our mom, and grandma, worked on Grandpa's obituary...I know you all never knew him but he was a wonderful man! What follows is a brief bio on a wonderful man that I am proud, thankful, and happy to have known as Grandpa:

Teunis Vet, 81, of Bonita Springs, went home to be with the Lord on August 15, 2009. Son of Dutch-born Cornelius and Pleuntje Dekker Vet, he was born January 28, 1928, in Paterson, NJ.

Tunney, along with his parents and six brothers and sisters relocated to Hornell, NY, in 1940. A son very much devoted to his parents, Tunney worked alongside his father in textile mills in Pennsylvania while commuting home to New York on weekends. It was in Hornell that he met his future bride, Vivian Wyant in August of 1949. The pair was engaged by Christmas of 1949, and united in marriage on March 24, 1950, in Arkport, NY.

Tunney dedicated the majority of his working years to the railroad industry, starting his career in the accounting bureau, where he was elected as a local representative with the Erie Railroad in 1950. While a full-time railroad employee, he went on to become Division Chairman of the B.R.A.C. of the Erie RR, Vice General Chairman of the Erie-Lackawanna System Board, and served as General Chairman of the Erie-Lackawanna System Board from 1969 until 1976. After another railroad merger, Tunney became Vice General Chairman of the Conrail System Board in 1976 and Supervisor Trustee of the Norfolk Western System Board in Roanoke, VA, also in 1976. He was instrumental in the merger agreement of the Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks in 1982.

After a successful career with the railroad industry, Teunis and Vivian retired in 1988 from Fairview Park, OH, to Bonita Springs, FL. He remained a consultant, writing legal briefs for the B.R.A.C. until 2007.

Tunney and Vivian lovingly raised their five children in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Teunis is survived by the love of his life, Vivian, his five children and their spouses: Kathy and Mike Hyman, Susan and Jerry Burum, Cherie and Thomas Vet, Pam and David Vet, and Martha and Gary Vet. Tunney leaves behind 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Though preceded in death by his parents and four of his siblings, Teunis is also survived by his brother, Maarten Vet and his wife Sue, as well as his sister, Ada Kunicky, and his many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, August 19 at 12:30 pm at McGregor Baptist Church in Fort Myers to honor Teunis, a well-respected and much-loved man. A memorial fund has been established in his name at ABWE: 522 Lewisberry Rd. New Cumberland, PA 17070.

We have created a shutterfly share site with lots of videos and pictures of our hero. Feel free to browse our galleries and smile at grandpa and the wonderful man he always was.


Sjn said...

So sorry you've lost your Grandpa. I know you all loved him very much. I pray that your Grandma heals, as I know this will leave her with a broken heart. Find joy in the children, the best medicine for all. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

Melissa said...

Wow, what a great man. I enjoyed reading his story. But have tears in my eyes and on my cheeks thinking of the sweet family he left behind.
Thanks for sharing hs story.

Julia said...

I read that on A's blog yesterday, I thought it was SUCH a great obit...He was really a wonderful Grandpa wasn't he?

My Pa Pa and Grandma raised me so I know how special grandparents are. I don't know what I will do without them.

It was great getting to know Grandpa Tunney this way.