Bernard Foster ‘Whitey’ Van Meter, 84, served in US Army at top Japanese war criminals’ trials is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Bernard Foster "Whitey" Van Meter
Bernard Foster “Whitey” Van Meter

Bernard Foster “Whitey” Van Meter, of Oak Island, died peacefully on April 4, 2015, at Dosher Nursing Center in Southport. He was 84.

He was born on March 4, 1931, in Luke, Maryland, the son of Fredericka and John H. Van Meter. He retired form J & L Steel Corporation, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania following 31 years of service in 1983 and later from the Naval Department of Defense, David Taylor Research & Development in Annapolis, Maryland in 1994.

Following retirement, he and his wife Mary Ann moved to Oak Island in 1995 where he thoroughly enjoyed his weekly golf games with the Tuesday Travelers. He was one of the original founding members of the group and enjoyed the fellowship shared with the other members of the group. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing when his health permitted.

He served in the U.S. Army from January 1947 to December 1949. He was sent to Japan and was assigned to serve at the Japanese war crimes trials of the top Japanese war criminals.

Surviving are his wife, Mary Ann; stepdaughter, Diane Navecky and her husband, Allan; daughters, Karen Stine and husband, David and Janet Ash and husband, Dean; stepdaughter, Deborah Brown; and daughter-in law, Raylene Woods. He leaves five grandchildren, Dean and Dillon Ash, Jay and Erin Brown and Allan Navecky III and nephew, Vernon Miller and wife, Mary Jane.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Bernard H. Van Meter; his previous wife, Zoe Leatherman Van Meter; two brothers, Herbert Lee and Roy Van Meter; and his sisters, Margaret Louise Van Meter and Jean Miller.

In 1969, he became an active member and served as past master of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons Monaca Center # 791 in Monaca, Pennsylvania. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, a member of the New Castle Consistory and a member of the Syria Shrine. He was a lifetime member of the VFW, American Legion, the 720th MP Battalion and a longtime member of the Moose Lodge in Southport.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, April 9, 2015, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church with Pastor David Nelson officiating. Interment will be held at Cape Fear Memorial Park.

The family wishes to publicly thank the staff and all of the employees of the Dosher Nursing Center who made his last days comfortable with their wonderful, compassionate and loving care.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 1645 West Eighth Street, Erie, PA 16505 or to the Dosher Nursing Center Activities Department in Southport.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Peacock Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service.

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