Bruce Vander Mel ’60

Bruce Paul (“Tim”) Vander Mel passed away peacefully on April 5, 2022, surrounded by family.   Tim was the beloved husband of Lucy C. Vander Mel to whom he was married for 60 years, devoted father to his two sons, and loving grandfather to his four grandchildren.  He cared deeply about his entire extended family and cherished nothing more than gathering his loved ones around him.

Born in 1938 in Albany, NY, to Paul and Ruth Vander Mel, Tim grew up in Delmar, NY, with his dear sister Karen, where he attended Bethlehem Central High School and was a four-letter varsity sport all-star. Tim graduated in 1960 from Hope College in Holland, MI, earning Bachelor of Science degrees in Psychology and English.  Later that same year he began his career with Shell Oil Company in Albany, NY.

He married his wife Lucy in 1961 and they moved to Syracuse, NY where their two sons, Tim and Eric, were born. During his 43-years with Shell Oil Company, Tim took on a variety of responsibilities that lead to promotions and transfers which saw him moving his family to Ridgefield, CT, Thousand Oaks, CA, Houston, TX, and Setauket, NY.  He finished his distinguished career back in Houston TX, retired to Vero Beach, FL, and later moved to Portsmouth, NH. Despite all these moves, Tim’s true home was always Deer Isle, ME, where he and Lucy spent each summer sailing and reuniting with family.

When he wasn’t working or traveling, Tim enjoyed spending time sailing with family and friends on Long Island Sound and on Penobscot Bay near Deer Isle.  He was an active member of the churches in each of the communities he lived, including time serving as a Deacon and Elder for the Setauket Presbyterian Church and leading many fundraising activities to support the church’s mission. Tim was also an avid golfer, from playing local courses as a child to some of the most renowned courses across the country as an adult.

Tim was immensely proud of his affiliation with Shell Oil Company for his entire professional career.  He took on many roles including Sales, Marketing, Corporate Real Estate, Refining, Lubricants, and National Wholesale business. He embraced each of these assignments with vigor and enthusiasm. He truly enjoyed his work.  His warm personality and abiding loyalty to both the teams he managed and the customers he served led to the development of many lifelong friendships along the way.

Tim is survived by his beloved wife Lucy C. Vander Mel, two adult children Timothy B. Vander Mel ’87, and Eric C. Vander Mel and his wife Eleanor, four grandchildren Eric Jr., Lucy, Christian, and William, sister Karen and her husband Robert Pauline, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

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