James Vanderpol, 92, Escaped from Nazis, Served Bradford College

James Vanderpol, 92, husband of Carol (Hayward) Vanderpol, passed away peacefully Oct. 5, at Merrimack Valley Hospice House, Haverhill.

Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, July 27, 1924, he was the son of the late Joe and Rachel Vanderpol. He emigrated to the United States in 1946. He graduated from Rider College in 1950 and continued his education to become a certified public accountant. This led to many successful careers spanning business, higher education and not-for-profit sectors. He held management positions at Coopers & Lybrand and Becton Dickinson. For five years he was a financial advisor to Huntington Hartford. Vanderpol also served as vice president of finance at Bennington College, Bradford College and Emerson College.

In retirement, he consulted for the Fashion Institute of New York, was president of the United Way, Merrimack Valley, and helped to establish the Asian Center of Merrimack Valley. He created a public service TV show called “Let’s Talk,” and wrote his autobiography, “And The Money Went Over The Railing.”

During World War II he was in hiding from the Nazis for five years. This deepened his appreciation for democratic ideals and sensitivity to human suffering. In retirement, he frequently spoke at schools, sharing his Holocaust stories to stimulate thought about “what makes us truly responsible person.” He was an active member of the South Church in Andover serving as treasurer, deacon and member of the choir, founder of the Jazz Disciples of South Church jazz band and visiting nursing homes to bring cheer by playing the piano. He was a 30-year member of the Haverhill Rotary Club where he was twice recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow.

Besides his wife of 30 years, Vanderpol is survived by four children, Nancy Vanderpol, Joyce Speaker, John Vanderpol and Lani Truitt; four step children, Susan Mullen, Anne Miller, Timothy Miller and Polly Legere; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was the brother of the late Dr. Maurice Vanderpol.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend a celebration of Vanderpol’s life Wednesday, Oct. 12, at 11 a.m., at South Church in Andover. Arrangements are under the direction of Dole, Childs & Shaw Funeral Home, 148 Main St., Haverhill. In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to Haverhill Rotary Club, P.O. Box 808, Haverhill, MA 01831, or South Church, 41 Central St., Andover, Ma 01810.