Rita (Hurley) Van Nostrand died February 25 at the Carolina Village assisted living facility in
Hendersonville, NC, surrounded by her children. She was 95 years old and had been in ill health for
Wife of the late Robert J. Van Nostrand (Bob) of Hendersonville, she was the daughter of the late
Martha (Brennan) Hurley and Jeremiah J. Hurley. She was born and lived in Elizabeth, NJ, graduating
from Battin High School and Katherine Gibbs. She was employed as executive secretary to the President
of Columbia Mills, first in New York City and then in Syracuse, NY. It was in Syracuse that she met Bob,
with whom she shared 58 wonderful years.
Rita and Bob raised their family, first in Pittsburgh, PA, then Clark, NJ, settling in Lawrenceville, NJ from
1963-1980. In the 1970s she was employed as the office manager for The Lawrence Ledger, a
community newspaper serving Lawrenceville and part of The Princeton Packet newspaper group. In
1980 she and Bob moved to Franklin Lakes, NJ and retired to Hendersonville in 1986.
In Hendersonville, they reconnected with “The Happy Girls” and their husbands – a group of 8 couples
who were life long friends from New Jersey, with whom they socialized extensively. Bob and Rita lived
in Teneriffe in Flat Rock and then in the Oaks in Hendersonville. Bob died in 2008.
Rita moved to Carolina Village in 2012. She was an active duplicate bridge player, a member of several
book clubs, and a parishioner at the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Hendersonville.
A voracious reader and a keen observer of the political scene, she was a friend to all and is warmly
remembered by everyone with whom she connected. She became a local celebrity for her appearance
on Antique Road Show in 2012 with her “Summer Cat” lithograph. Visits with her children,
grandchildren and great grandchildren were highlights of her many happy years in Hendersonville.
She is survived by her children: Robert J. (Karen) Van Nostrand, Jr. of Winston-Salem; Gerald E. Van
Nostrand of Malden, MA; Martha (Mark) Arnold of Lower Gwynedd PA; Thomas (Ann) Van Nostrand of
Palmyra, MO; and Daniel Van Nostrand of San Diego, CA. She is also survived by 7 grandchildren and 5
The family wishes to extend a special thanks for the loving care provided during her long illness by the
staff in the Carolina Village Care Center and by Four Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care.
A celebration of her life will be held in the Fall.
Memorial donations may be made to Four Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care, 211 N Main St, Hendersonville, NC 28792 or donate by clicking here.