John R. Van Syckle III

John R. Van Syckle III

ROTTERDAM — John R. “Jack” Van Syckle III, a printer who was active in the community, as a sexton at St. John’s, rang the church bell to celebrate the end of the Vietnam War, and, as a volunteer at the Make A Wish Foundation, played Santa Claus.

He died peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, at the Schenectady Center in Rotterdam after a brief stay there. He was 83.

“Jack was an avid sports enthusiast,” his family wrote in a tribute. “Following retirement from Albany Medical Center Hospital Print Shop, Jack moved to Melbourne, Florida, returning to Rotterdam, New York in 2015.”

Other employment included: Blue Spruce Farms Inc. in Altamont, Acme Press-Kompkorner in Schenectady, and the New York State Assembly Print Shop in Albany.

Mr. Van Syckle was sexton at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Altamont. “One memorable historical event,” his family wrote, “was the ringing of the Bells Across America, also sounding in Altamont, for which he continuously rang the St. John’s bell, in unison with the Altamont Reformed Church bell, for half an hour, celebrating the end of the Vietnam War in 1973.”

Mr. Van Syckle’s community volunteer involvement included: Altamont Reformed Church Choir and events volunteer; Altamont Fire Department; former president of the Altamont Rescue Squad; and loyal volunteer for Make a Wish Foundation, playing the role of Santa Claus.


John R. Van Syckle III is survived by his children, John R. “Rusty” Van Syckle IV of Clifton Park; Laura E. Reynolds and her husband, Todd, of Rotterdam; Daniel R. Van Syckle and his wife, Sharon, of Melbourne Florida; and their mother, Jean L. La Crosse of Altamont.

He was the loving grandfather, also known as Poppy Jack, to Matthew P. Vicalvi and his wife, Brittney, of Glenville, and to Desiree M. and Kyle M. Van Syckle of Clifton Park.

He is also survived by his nieces, nephews, and cousins, of Easton, Pennsylvania as well as by extended family in Scotia and Melbourne, Florida. 

His parents, John R. Van Syckle Jr. and Evelyn Reighn, died before him, as did his three brothers, Donald, William, and James Van Syckle.

Friends and family are invited to a memorial service at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2023, at Awaken Church, 935 Balltown Road, Niskayuna, NY 12309. A reception will follow immediately in the Fellowship Hall. This facility is accessible to people with handicaps.

Memorial messages may be left at

Burial will be held at the convenience of the family in the spring in Fairview Cemetery in Altamont.


John VanSyckle 



More Obituaries

  • Charleen Hoffman

    BERNE — Charleen Hoffman is described by her family as tiny in stature but mighty in spirit.

    She died peacefully at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. She was 78.

  • Joseph E. Huth, a boy from Yonkers, grew to love plants and, even after retiring from Albany County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension, continued gardening.
    He lived in Colonie and Venice, Florida and died on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, at the age of 91.

  • KNOX — Guy M. Marhafer loved the open road, whether driving a truck or riding a Harley Davidson. Yet he always put his family first. He died on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2023. He was 69.
    He was born in Niskayuna, the son of the late Charles Sr. and Wilma Marhafer.

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.