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Summer Southampton resident Austin N. Volk dies at 91

Publication: The Southampton Press
  Sep 22, 2010 9:11 AM

Austin N. Volk

Summer resident of Southampton Austin N. Volk of Englewood, New Jersey, died on Saturday, September 16, at his Southampton home. He was 91.

Born in Englewood Hospital in 1919 to Nicholas and Helen Volk, he attended Englewood Public Schools and graduated in 1937 from Dwight Morrow High School. After high school he attended Brown University, where he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and a cadet in the U.S. Naval Reserve Officer Training Program.

Upon graduation from Brown he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy and served throughout World War II. He served as commanding officer of a landing craft transport (LCT) during the Battle of Guadalcanal from 1943 to 1945. While in the Solomon Islands in 1941 he discovered and explored an uncharted river, which he named Brown Bear River after his beloved Brown University alma mater.

After his military service, Mr. Volk entered the family insurance business, Nicholas Volk and Co. in New York City. A member of the Naval Reserve, he was recalled to active duty during the Korean War and served as a logistical support team commander. He retired from the Navy in 1965, having attained the rank of captain.

After the Korean War, Captain Volk returned again to the family insurance business and entered New Jersey politics. He was elected mayor of Englewood in 1962 and served two terms. His most difficult task was presiding during the Englewood riots of 1967, but he was able to restore peace to the city, which had seen more than its share of strife.

In 1970, he was elected to the New Jersey State Assembly and served two terms representing the 37th Legislative District. In 1979 he married Rae P. Glidden, widow of the late John C. Glidden, an Englewood City Council president.

Mr. Volk retired from the insurance business shortly before his wife’s death in 2009. He remained active in military and non-profit organizations. For many years he was a member of the Navy League of the U.S., a civilian organization founded by President Theodore Roosevelt in support of United States Sea Services. He was president of the New York Council of the Navy League. In addition, he was chairman of the board of trustees of the U.S. Naval War College Foundation in Newport, Rhode Island.

He was a member of the board of trustees of Englewood Hospital and served as chairman of the board of the Brookside Cemetery Association in Englewood. He was also a longtime member of the Rotary Club in Englewood and in Southampton.

He is survived by his brother, Nicholas Volk of Toronto; four stepchildren, Deborah G. Saliba of Massachusetts, John C. Glidden Jr. of New Jersey; James L.P. Glidden of Massachusetts and Gordon G. Glidden of Michigan; 10 step-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren; and 11 nieces and nephews.

Visitation was September 17 at the Barrett Funeral Home in Tenafly. A funeral mass will be held Saturday, September 25, at 10 a.m. at St. Cecilia R.C. Church in Englewood; interment will follow at Brookside Cemetery in Englewood.

In lieu of flowers, donations to The Navy League of New York or Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County would be appreciated by the family. For directions, visit barrettfuneralhome.net

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