Claude J. Van Meter 

Claude J. Van Meter, 79, of Ambler, a former district circulation manager for the Evening Bulletin, died of heart failure Jan. 20 at his home.

For 35 years until the Bulletin closed in 1982, "Mr. Van" supervised paperboys in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, helping them to develop a work ethic and a sense of responsibility.

"His father had abandoned his family," his wife of 58 years, Margaret Wassil Van Meter, said. "He took an interest in the paperboys because he wanted them to have a better life than he did."

"He had no sons of his own," she said, "but he adopted hundreds." He encouraged them to finish school and then helped them get jobs after graduation - often with the Bulletin. She said he was proud that so many of his former paperboys had gone on to successful careers.

Mr. Van Meter was raised in New Haven, W.Va. After graduating from high school, he served in the Navy in World War II as a radio operator on ships in the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters.

An avid golfer and fisherman, he enjoyed camping in the Thousand Islands in Canada and growing vegetables in his garden.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters Meg and Nancy.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at Anton Urban Funeral Home, 1111 Bethlehem Pike, Ambler. Burial is private.

From: The Philadelphia Inquirer, PA - February 15, 2002


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