John Matthew van Deursen
October 10, 1944 – August 18, 2023
John van Deursen was born on October 10, 1944 in Asten, The Netherlands to Henricus and Petronella van Deursen. The family immigrated to Niagara Falls, New York in 1953, but later returned to The Netherlands where he served in the Dutch military at age 17. After one year of service, he returned to New York and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where he served in a meritorious career. He was selected for a variety of prestigious assignments that included service in the State Department in Washington D.C. and the American embassy in Brussels. He also served in protective details for President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of State William Rogers.
Retiring as a captain after 21 years of service, John was employed as a government contractor at the Amphibious Vehicle Test Branch in Camp Pendleton where he met his future wife, Diane. When they married, it did not take long for Diane’s grandchildren, Lauren and Bradley, to adopt him as their grandfather, “Mr. John.” The couple moved to Coarsegold and joined St. Raphael’s Episcopal Church. John was instrumental in the life of the church contributing his carpentry skills to remodel the church building and to craft unique merchandise and furniture sold at the church’s annual Martha’s Market Holiday Boutique. He also helped facilitate the church’s transition to Christ Church Anglican in 2008.
John is preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Diane. He is survived by his siblings Joseph van Deursen and Jane Rutherford as well as family members Carl and Jean Streicher, Lauren Scarr and Bradley Streicher.
A memorial service will be offered at Christ Church Anglican in Oakhurst, California on Friday, September 1st at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation (www.dogood.T2T.org).