Richard J. Van Luvender, 72, of West Pittston passed away on Wednesday,
February 10, 2021 peacefully at home. Born on August 2, 1948 in Moosic, he
was the son of the late Robert and Emma (Malinics) Van Luvender. He was
married to his childhood sweetheart and best friend, Betty (Wruble), for 51
When he was a young child, Richard moved to Ridgewood, NY. He remained
there for many years, raising his family. He proudly served his country in the
Marine Corps from 1967 through 1969. He managed a successful wire rope
business in Brooklyn, NY, where he worked on a number of fascinating
projects, including making the cables for the Roosevelt Island Tramway. By
far, the creation he was most proud of was the tightrope that Philippe Petit
walked on between the Twin Towers in 1973. He was also honored to
receive the award of “Ugliest Tomato” in Pittston, PA, at the Annual Tomato
Festival. The winning tomato was grown in his backyard from seeds that
NASA had taken into orbit. He had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed
researching the many mysteries of life.
In his later years, Richard became a Third Degree Reiki Master. Through his
dedication, Richard was able to help individuals far and wide with his healing
He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Betty; son, Richard (Dorene) J.
Van Luvender Jr.; daughter, Amy Madsen; brother William (Lorraine) Van
Luvender; sisters Ann Matusoff and EmaJean Alvarez, nine grandchildren and
many nieces and nephews. Richard was preceded in death by his brother,
Robert Van Luvender.
Private services will be held. A Celebration of Richard’s Life to be planned at a
later date, when family and friends can gather and share memories.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to The Leukemia &
Lymphoma Society, Donor Services, PO Box 98018, Washington, DC 20090-
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