David Charles Van Sickle

June 11, 1930September 2, 2021

David Charles Van Sickle, beloved husband of Harriet (Happy) Campbell Van Sickle, died peacefully at home in Chatham, Massachusetts on September 2, 2021 with Happy by his side.

In addition to Happy, he leaves behind his four children, Judy Johnson, Susan Castle (Tom), Lisa Lentz (Don Wiley), Randy Van Sickle (Maggie); stepchildren David Halligan, Brad Williams (Kaye), Bill Williams (Samantha), Brian Williams (Bookies); grandchildren Emily (Dustin), Vanessa (Mike), Tyler (Courtney), Caitlin, Sarah (Andrew), Tommy (Hilary), Jack, Will, Hannah, Emma, David, Owen, Campbell, Devin, Colby, Kieran, Rory, Zach, Dylan, Bryce, Reese, Maude, Haven, and Eleanor; great-grandchildren Joel, Lucy, and Grace; his former wife Jean Applegate Van Sickle, nieces Karen and Mary, and nephews Randall, Richard, and Tom. David was preceded in death by his brothers Roger and Richard, sisters-in-law Dolores and Jean, and stepdaughter Whitney.

Born in Port Jervis, New York on June 11, 1930, Dave grew up in the same small town and was raised for many years by his aunt, Minnie Van Sickle. He graduated from Port Jervis High School and Rutgers University, entered the ministry in 1955 upon graduating from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, and later obtained a Master of Sacred Theology degree from Union Seminary in New York City. Following his ordination in The Reformed Church in America, the Reverend Van Sickle served as associate to Howard G. Hageman at The North Reformed Church in Newark, New Jersey (1955-57) and then as minister to congregations at The Preakness Reformed Church in Wayne, New Jersey (1957-67) and The Upper Ridgewood Community Church (1967-1983).

Upon moving to North Chatham, Massachusetts, Dave and Happy founded and managed Chatham Village Realty while also spending hundreds of hours restoring their home at 110 Scatteree Road, where the back door was always open. “Scatteree” would become the scene of many joyful gatherings for friends and family year-round. As their real estate business flourished, Dave and Happy loved welcoming numerous families and prospective homeowners who grew to value Chatham’s special charm and exquisite natural beauty.

While cherishing the entire extended family that he shared so lovingly with Happy throughout their years together, Dave also delighted in planning their travels abroad and spending winter seasons at The John’s Island Club in Florida. He attended countless events in the lives of his children and grandchildren, traveling far and wide to celebrate many important milestones. David loved literature and poetry, classical music and Broadway show tunes (especially those of Rogers and Hammerstein), the Rutgers University Glee Club, the United States military and its veterans, the Brooklyn Dodgers, Notre Dame football, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, Chatham’s lighthouse and its generous views of the sea. He believed deeply in the Word made flesh, our resurrection through Jesus Christ, and the promise of eternal life.

Loving husband, eloquent and inspiring preacher, devoted father and grandfather who balanced depth of thought with a witty sense of humor, accomplished poet, intelligent philosopher, and true American patriot, “Pappy” will be deeply missed by all his loved ones who will forever treasure their vivid memories of the life he lived so meaningfully, prayerfully, and joyfully.

A celebration of David Van Sickle’s life will be held in the sanctuary of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 17, with funeral arrangements provided by Nickerson Funeral Home; for online condolences, please visit In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Christopher’s Church, 625 Main Street, Chatham, MA 02633 or to Broad Reach Hospice, 390 Orleans Road, North Chatham, MA 02650.

Soli Deo Gloria.


  • St. Christopher’s Church
  • Broad Reach Hospice


  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, September 17, 2021


David Charles Van Sickle

have a memory or condolence to add?

Dr. Patricia Kelly

September 19, 2021

“Our minds should be renewed, renewed by Christ that he might live in us and make us glad.” These words were spoken on October 30, 1966 in a sermon given by Dave Van Sickle-- known as “Mr. Van”-- by the so many of us he inspired in our early and late teens in Wayne, New Jersey and, later, Ridgewood, New Jersey. Mr. Van had an indelible impact on our lives, including my own, at a time when we were struggling to light our way in the world—finding some of that way in the Word and words passed on to us by Mr. Van. Through endless conversations and discussions of the writings of C. S. Lewis, Paul Tillich, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, and others, he touched and shaped our lives as no other could then or since, and for that we have been forever glad. As he once said to me about my time here on Earth, “I know you will do great things.” I know, Mr. Van, in Heaven, as you have on Earth, you will do great things and continue to guide those who have called you father, grandfather, great-grandfather, husband, brother, uncle, and, most of all, friend. “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen . . . practice these things and the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:9). Thank you eternally for your presence in our lives. May your Knowledge now help you continue to enjoy the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Carole and Lou Maloof

September 18, 2021

Dear Happy and family,
Dave Van Sickle was a good neighbor and friend. He always had a smile and a pleasant word. Sad to see him go. Please accept our condolences.

Bonnie Hessler

September 17, 2021

Dear Van Sickle Family,
Having just returned home from the memorial service for David, I want to say that was about the loveliest service for a family member that I can remember. It was truly a service, and my husband, Bob, and I thank you all for sharing with us all the memories and stories about your father and grandfather. Thank you also to Maggie Van Sickle for her most beautiful singing of Pie Jesu by Faure, the profound Eulogy by Lisa, and the testimonials from the grandchildren. We had the joy and privilege of Dave's friendship since we moved to Chatham in 2004, together with Happy and the various children we met through the years. He was a gentle and fun person to be around, and we shared fond times and many laughs at the kitchen and dining table at Scatteree also. He truly was one of a kind, as was so beautifully expressed in the very moving obituary you prepared. We miss him very much.

Janice Alex

September 16, 2021

Dear Happy, Randy and family, We are truly so sorry to read about the loss of Dave. He was such a pleasant gentleman. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Jan & Eddie Alex