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Charles Henry Van Vrancken
February 24, 1929 ~ December 5, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old
CHARLES “Charlie” HENRY VAN VRANCKEN
Charles “Charlie” Henry Van Vrancken, age 94, passed peacefully on December 5, 2023 surrounded by his beloved family. He is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Rose Mary Gillilea Van Vrancken, daughter Cynthia “ Cindy” McCurdy, and son Charles “Chuck” G. Van Vrancken (Christy), granddaughter Tamara Louise Mandella and great-grandchildren Joseph Peter Szott and Brielle Marie Szott as well as many nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents Edward J. and Edna Matthis Van Vrancken, siblings Edward J. Van Vrancken (Florence), Joyce Menner (John), and Dorothy Prados (John) and son-in-law Richard McCurdy. Born in New Orleans and having lived through the Great Depression, Charlie left school early to begin working to support his family. His devotion to family and work ethic followed him throughout his life. His early jobs included sweeping the floors of his uncle’s pool hall, delivering newspapers or groceries. In 1951 the U.S. Army drafted him and served in Korea in the 555th MED OPT REP where he was awarded 3 bronze service stars and was promoted to Sergeant. Upon his discharge in 1953, he returned to New Orleans and worked at Gulf States Optical where he met the love of his life, Rose.
After their marriage and birth of their children, he began an apprenticeship at Falstaff Brewery where he learned all aspects of brewery operations before finally working in the brewhouse until its closing in 1978. He then started a new phase of his long work history, that of event manager at his cousin’s Champagne and Arrow Rooms followed by The Balcony. Many brides and grooms of the 70s, 80s and 90s knew “Mr. Charlie” as the man behind the scenes ensuring their wedding was a memorable event. He mentored scores of young men who served as bartenders and waiters while instilling in them his strong work ethic. Many of whom today are prominent attorneys, doctors and businessmen in New Orleans.
He enjoyed spending time with family and friends. Family vacations were car trips to familiar destinations – the beach, Lookout Mountain, AstroWorld or family gatherings at his parents’ home for seafood boils and holiday celebrations. The family were members of a Carnival club and regularly paraded in New Orleans on Mardi Gras in the truck parades. A Saints season ticket holder dating back to the days of Tulane stadium, he continued to follow the Saints until his passing.
Charlie will be greatly missed and remembered by family and friends as outgoing, hardworking, a devoted family man who got joy from putting his wife and children first. A memorial to be scheduled later. Arrangements by Greenwood Funeral Home, 5200 Canal Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70124. Condolences may be expressed at www.greenwoodfh.com