August 19, 1937 - September 8, 2023

U.S. Veteran

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It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the passing of ERNEST (Van) HENRY VAN HOUTEN, 86, of Cocoa, FL. Van reached out and took the Lord’s hand & peacefully entered the kingdom of heaven on Friday, September 8, 2023, surrounded by his loving wife and family.

Van was born August 19,1937, in Newark, N.J. to parents Henry and Anna Stashkus-Van Houten, and raised in childhood by his step-mother, Helen Stults-Van Houten (all deceased). He leaves behind a legacy of love, strength, and countless cherished memories.

Van is survived by his loving wife, Rosalie R. Van Houten, the love of his life, confidant and best friend. His legacy includes his beloved son and daughter, Karl Van Houten and Erica Blankenship (David), grandchildren David, Mallory & Reese, along with three great-grandchildren, Sawyer, Maeve and Waylon and, nephews, Steven and Scott Cafaro. Joining him in heaven are his dearly departed sisters, Pat Cafaro and Joanie Vess.

Van also leaves behind his loving step-family, Ramona VanHoff (Jim), Bill Meyers (Nancye), Andrea Frye (Mike), Ja’Nice Heredia (Frank), 7 grandchildren, 13 great-children and 2 great-great grandchildren. Van felt truly blessed to be surrounded by such a large extended family.

Van was a proud U.S. veteran who enlisted in the U.S Navy in 1954 – 1957. He remained in reserve status until his departure in 1962. For several years Van was a dedicated law enforcement officer for the city of Fort Lauderdale. He then switched careers to work at S.E.L. Maduro/Steamship Company in Ft. Lauderdale as a Stevedore. He was highly regarded in his field of expertise and in the early 80’s transferred to run operations at Port Canaveral, FL, where he made many news friends and was a highly respected Stevedore. Van loved his work and loved boats of all types. He worked at the Port for many years before retiring to follow his dream of navigating the beautiful Florida coastline in his beloved cabin cruiser, Marlin My Darlin. That year he and Rosalie embarked on a stunning journey from Port Canaveral to Little Torch Key, where they settled down for several years enjoying tropical life together on their beautiful boat. Van was an avid fisherman his entire life and knew all the great honey holes for the best catch of the day.

Van was an interesting man, with a loving, vibrant, and energetic personality. He never met a stranger and could easily share stories of all the interesting journeys and paths his life took him through. He will warmly be remembered for his profound love for his family. He was a man’s man, a sharp dresser, had a strong work ethic, a heart of gold. Van was truly a blessing to us all. He lived a full and good life.

As we bid farewell to this remarkable man, we find comfort in knowing that his love will continue to guide us in our own lives. He will be deeply missed but forever cherished in our hearts. Rest in loving eternal peace, Van.

Per his request there will not be formal service.