What's New

Photo of the Month

Minerd.com Blog


National Reunion


Cousin Voices

Honor Roll

In Lasting Memory

In the News

Our Mission and Values

Annual Review

Favorite Links

Contact Us



Vernon Cornelius
'Dutch' Van Dyke


Vernon Cornelius "Dutch" Van Dyke was born in 1899, the son of Samuel Aaron and Bertha Mae (Minerd) Van Dyke. He was named in part after his grandfather, Civil War veteran John Vernon Smith Minerd.

On March 24, 1920, Vernon eloped to Cumberland, MD to marry Pearl Rebecca Felgar (Nov. 13, 1902-1996).

They had a family of five children -- Betty Jane Gordon, Clara May Stefanic, Vernon Victor "Buck" Van Dyke, Samuel Allen Van Dyke and Naomi Pauline Zezek McNeal.

Vernon passed away in 1986.

Pearl survived her husband by a decade. She succumbed on April 4, 1996.

Daughter Betty Jane Van Dyke (1920- ? ) was born on Dec. 1, 1920. On June 10, 1942, when she was 21 years of age, she was united in matrimony with William U. "Bill" Gordan (Dec. 4, (?) - ? ). Their home in 1994-2014 was in Taylors, SC.

Daughter Clara May "Bunny" Van Dyke (1922-2004) was born on Aug. 12, 1922. When she was age 23, on July 19, 1946, she married George Thomas Stefanic (Sept. 8, 1923-1999). They resided in Greensburg in the early 1990s. George passed away the day after his 76th birthday on Sept. 9, 1999. Clara May lived for another five-plus years. She died on Dec. 29, 2004.

Son Vernon Victor "Buck" Van Dyke (1924-1994) was born on July 24, 1924 in Foxtown. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army. He was twice married. His first bride was Esther South (July 27, 1929-1954), daughter of Charles and Mary (Jellison) South. Tragically, while in childbirth at the age of 25, Esther contracted a deadly case of bronchial pneumonia and was admitted to the H.C. Frick Memorial Hospital in Mount Pleasant. Unable to rally, she and the baby passed away on Nov. 4, 1954. Her remains were interred in Youngwood Cemetery. Vernon wedded again to Judith Harrold (June 24, 1938-2016), daughter of Walter an Jane (Saxton) Harrold of Greensburg. Their four children were Diane Roach, Rhonda Davis, Vernon Jeffrey Van Dyke and Brett Allan Van Dyke. Over the years, the Van Dykes lived in Hunker/Foxtown, and Vernon earned a living as a plumber. He passed away at home at the age of 70 on Dec. 14, 1994. The Greensburg Tribune-Review printed an obituary, which noted that Father John Pro officiated at the funeral service, with burial following in St. Clair Cemetery. As a widow, Judith relocated into the county seat of Greensburg. She died at the age of 77, on April 12, 2016, in Excela Westmoreland Hospital. Pastor John Smaligo led the funeral service with burial in St. Clair Cemetery, and an obituary in the Tribune-Review.

  • Granddaughter Diane Van Dyke married Richard "Rick" Roach ( ? - ? ), the son of Paul E. Roach. They lived in Greensburg in 1994.
  • Granddaughter Rhonda Van Dyke wedded Raymond "Ray" Davis and in 1994 dwelled in Greensburg.
  • Grandson Vernon Jeffrey "Jeff" Van Dyke made his home in Hunker and Derry and by 2016 in Colorado.
  • Grandson Brett Allan Van Dyke married Jessica. They resided in Hunker and Pittsburgh.

Son Samuel Allen VanDyke Sr. (1926-2014) was born on Oct. 22, 1926 in Foxtown. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Navy. He was joined in wedlock with Helen Kubicek Radacaj (July 9, 1945- ? ). They lived in Hunker and produced three offspring -- Rebecca L. VanDyke, Samuel Allen VanDyke Jr. and Randy VanDyke. Samuel was a streetcar driver and later a bus driver for Lincoln Coach and the Port Authority. He also belonged to the Moose Treasure Club, Youngwood Veterans of Foreign Wars, Holy Cross Church in Youngwood, A and B Club and Hempfield Hunt Club. Samuel died at the age of 87 on July 15, 2014. An obituary in the Greensburg Tribune-Review said that his survivors included six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Final rest was in the Westmoreland County Memorial Park Mausoleum. The family asked that any memorial donations be made to the Mooseheart Child City and School.

  • Grandson Samuel Allen VanDyke Jr. married Mary and resided in 2014 in Carolina Shores, NC.
  • Grandson Randy VanDyke wedded Betsy and in 2014 made their home in Scottdale, Westmoreland County.

Daughter Naomi Pauline Van Dyke (1934- ? ) was born on Aug. 24, 1934. She was twice married. Her first husband was Joseph Zedek (Nov. 7, 1922-1994). Their nuptials were held on April 14, 1951. Sadly, the Zedeks divorced by 1966. On June 9, 1966, she wedded her second spouse, James Andrew McNeal Sr. ( ? - ? ). They dwelled in 1994 in Champlain, VA. Former spouse Joseph died on March 7, 1994. She was deceased by 2014.

Descendant Cindy Wise has provided material for this biography.


Copyright © 2000, 2003-2006, 2018 Mark A. Miner
Minerd.com extends its gratitude to Cindy Wise and the late Anna Belle (Van Dyke) Breegle for sharing material for this biography.