ONEONTA – A memorial gathering is Saturday, March 18, for Dr. John Gerrit Gantvoort, 76, retired SUNY Oneonta history professor, who died March 12, 2017, at Fox Hospital.
He was born on March 5, 1940, in Camden, N.J., the son of John and Marie (Shaw) Gantvoort, and grew up in Fredonia.
He went to Syracuse University majoring first in electrical engineering. But the launching of Sputnik in 1953 and the U.S. Explorer in 1958 caught his imagination. He switched his major to history.
Upon graduating from Syracuse in 1962, he wanted to learn more about Russian and Soviet History. Accepted by the University of Illinois, he went there to pursue his interest. He earned his master’s degree in 1963 and in 1970 he earned his PhD.
On August 24, 1965 he met Gay Green. After a year he proposed and she accepted. They married June 10, 1967. In late August, they sailed for England, flew to Paris and finally flew to their destination, the Soviet Union.
In August 1969, they moved to Oneonta where he began his teaching career at SUNY Oneonta. On January 1, 2001, Gerrit retired after 32 years.
Gerrit is survived by his wife, Gay; three children; five granddaughters, one grandson with another grandson on the way.
Saturday’s gathering will be 2-4 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church at Church and Chestnut streets.
Memorial donations may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation, SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 in loving memory of John Gerrit Gantvoort.