Obituary for Adelaide Van Winkle
Adelaide Shaffer Van Winkle, 100, of Boca Raton, FL, and Mystic, CT died at her home in Boca Raton, FL, on August 27th, after a brief illness. Adelaide was born in Hackensack, NJ on January 21, 1917 and was the only daughter of Louis W. Shaffer and Adelaide Applebee Shaffer. She was predeceased by her husband of 28 years, Arthur D. Van Winkle, in 2001.
Upon graduating from Hackensack High School in 1934, Mrs. Van Winkle attended Lasell College, where a new dorm was named in her honor in 1996, and attended Columbia University, 1941. In 1946 she joined her father’s Real Estate firm of Louis W. Shaffer, Inc., originally founded in 1882 by her Grandfather, William Shaffer. Mrs. Van Winkle was the President and sole stockholder after her father retired in 1971, until the firm was liquidated in 1994.
Mrs. Van Winkle set unusual precedents, especially in the field of Real Estate. She had the distinction of breaking many “glass ceilings”, among them: First woman President of the Central Bergen County (NJ) Board of Realtors; First woman President of the New Jersey Association of Realtors; First woman Vice President of the National Association of Realtors; First woman to hold the M.A.I. (Member Appraisal Institute) of the Appraisal Institute, and the First woman to hold the SPA (Senior Property Appraiser) designation. Mrs. Van Winkle was the only woman Director of the Garden State National Bank in New Jersey. In addition, she was a director of the Young Men’s Christian Association, and served on the Board of Managers of The Residence (Home for the Elderly) Serving on many other Boards throughout her career gave her the distinction of appearing in “Who’s Who in American Women”. In Mystic, CT, Mrs. Van Winkle was a member of the Mason’s Island Yacht Club, a charter member of Stonington Country Club, and the Stonington Harbor Yacht Club.
After retirement, Adelaide and Arthur spent winter months in Boca Raton. FL, Adelaide was involved in that community as well. She served as President of the Women’s Club of Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club and President of the Sabal Ridge Condominium Association. In 2011, Mrs. Van Winkle was knighted by the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, as Dame of Grace.
In recent years she has served on the Board of Directors at Lasell College, and as an Overseer at Babson College. Mrs. Van Winkle was awarded an Honorary Bachelor’s Degree at Lasell College and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at Centenary College.
The family would like to thank Mrs. Van Winkle’s aide, Ms. Junie Baird, who has been by Mrs. Van Winkle’s side for the past 8 years.
Mrs. Van Winkle is survived by her three step children, Joan V.W. Cunningham of Severna Park, MD., Daniel H. Van Winkle ( Elizabeth) and Linda V. W. Watkins (Thomas), of Mystic, CT. ; 8 step grandchildren, and 12 step great grandchildren, who affectionately called her “ Great- Great”, and a cousin, John (Pat) Bennett of Manchester, VT
Funeral services will be held at Mrs. Van Winkle’s church, the First Presbyterian Church of Hackensack (64 Passaic St., Hackensack, NJ) on Saturday, September 9th at 12 noon. The interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice.