Dick was born on April 14, 1924 to Stephen T and Marion Van Houten (nee Taylor). He is survived by his children; Bonnie & Sam Lewis, Richard & Julie Van Houten, Drew & Leslie Van Houten, and Sheri Marino; His grandchildren include Jessica & Josh Satrape, Sam Lewis, Matt & Kari Lewis, Lindsay Leone, Richard III & Priscilla Van Houten, Chelsea & Tyler Neff, Ryan Van Houten, Micaela Van Houten, Carli & Edward Lampley, Ben & Mia Marino, Cole Marino, and Jordan Richard Marino; as well as his 10 great-grandchildren.
Dick attended Allendale Elementary School and graduated from Ramsey High School in 1942. He received an appointment to and graduated from the United States Military Academy-West Point in 1945. His military duty included post-war occupation throughout Europe, followed by engagement with the US National Guard.
Allendale was home to Dick for all the days of his life. He loved Allendale! He grew up working & playing at Crestwood Lake, the summer lake resort developed by his father in 1929. Dick later managed it with his brother “Bud” from 1949-1971 while they both raised their families in Allendale. He met his wife, Betty (Hogan), through a “blind date” on the beach of Crestwood Lake and they married in 1951. He was an active volunteer fireman and town councilman. He was a successful Realtor and residential developer, working in the family business “S.T. Van Houten & Sons”, later “Van Houten Co”. He built many residential developments in town, with over 100 homes, including Cedar Drive, Fairhaven Drive, Valley Road, Byron Court, (named after his classmate from West Point), along with other subdivisions and single-family homes throughout town. Four streets were developed and named after the VH daughters: Leigh Court, Bonnie Way, Lori Lane and Sheri Drive. He always saw his occupation as opportunity to assist and guide individuals in ways far beyond the transactions. He was instrumental in the design of Northern Highlands Regional High School. In 1971, the Borough of Allendale purchased the Van Houten’s 70 acre Crestwood Lake property, preserving this beautiful treasure for generations to come. In September 2016, Allendale’s Mayor and Council charitably dedicated the Red Barn Pavilion as the “Van Houten Pavilion” for his family’s many contributions to this community, evoking immense joy and gratitude from Dick, which lasted through his last visit on May 9, 2020.
In 1968, Dick experienced a life-changing revelation of God’s love and power that refocused the trajectory of his life. His purposeful mind-set and activities provided needed guidance, mentorship, father-ship, charity, housing & leadership to countless individuals & families, churches and organizations for decades to follow. He provided leadership and support with FGBMFI (Christian Businessmen Organization), Deeper Life, Prison Fellowship, Teen Challenge, The Walter Hoving Home, Star of Hope Mission, Pregnancy Centers, Touch the World, Sunday Schools and Bible Studies, along with many other Faith-Based outreach organizations. In his quest to honor God with his life, Dick never wearied of sharing the good news of Christ’s love, practicing his faith in God’s promises. His daily hunger to know God at a deeper level, drove him to study the Bible and related teachings, reading the bible through dozens of times and depending on the Holy Spirit for comfort and wisdom. Dick Van Houten is an example of how one life, completely devoted to serve God, his country, family, friends, community, and people from every walk of life, can dramatically affect generations of people in this world for the better. Dick was extremely disciplined yet compassionate, strong yet humble, successful yet selfless, and always genuinely grateful to be so BLESSED!