Howard VanBuren Jr.
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Obituary of Howard J. VanBuren Jr.

Howard Jacob VanBuren, Jr was born September 1, 1932 in Summit, NY, to Howard J. VanBuren, Sr and Lillian VanBuren. He had four sisters; Clarabelle Scanlon, Lillian Johnson and  Virginia Scanlon and Frances VanBuren Howard is survived by his wife Elizabeth, his four children, six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. 


Howard learned piano at a young age and cultivated this skill his entire life despite never having learned to read music. “Junior, quit thumpin’ on that piano!” could be heard in his home in Laurens, New York when he frequently lost track of time in his music and practiced late into the night. 


Upon graduating Oneonta High School, Howard attended Long Island A&T, where he studied art and graphic design. While in college, Howard, along with close friends Bennie Carucci and Paul Kelly, formed the Dixieland trio The Three Kings; they performed often at local establishments, usually for the free beer. Upon graduating he briefly worked as a greeting card designer at Norcross as well as a freelance sign painter. He spent his professional career working as a graphic designer at General Electric. This is where, as coworkers early in his career, he met the love of his life, Elizabeth K Oatman.


Howard and Elizabeth were married in 1956. During their 62 year marriage, they raised their four children: Howard (Suzanne E. Kirsche) VanBuren III, Paul VanBuren, Paula (The Reverend Darryl) House, and Jeff VanBuren. 


Howard was an avid watercolor artist, woodworker and woodcarver. Much of his work still hangs in homes and buildings in Central New York and around the country. 


After his retirement, Howard and Betty opened The Calico Pig, a gift shop in Warners and Liverpool, NY and also traveled the craft circuit. Betty managed the store, both creating and buying inventory, while Howard continued his love for creating things and produced watercolor artwork and wood products. Eventually they folded up shop and moved to Port Charlotte, Florida, where they enjoyed 12 years of Florida sunshine and ballroom dancing  before returning to Central New York to be with their family and to watch their grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up.


Into his later years, Howard gradually lost his vision but maintained his lifelong passions for spending time with family, following Syracuse Basketball and playing piano. He was a loving husband and father who was looked up to by all who knew him, and he will be greatly missed. 


He is with us in a different way now.

He is in the stroke of your paint brush, he is in the preparation of your meal, he is in the commitment to your families, he is in your laughter, in family gatherings and your songs. His body is no longer here, but his love vibrantly lives on. 


Calling hours will be held at 11:00am on Friday, March 1, 2019 at Fuller Funeral Home, 190 Buffalo Street, Canandaigua, NY, to be immediately followed by a celebration of the Catholic Mass at the funeral home by Father Clifford of St. Mary’s Church in Canandaigua, NY. 


In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Little Lakes Wesleyan Church in Honeoye, New York or Legal Services of Central New York in Syracuse, New York.

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