Madeline Van Buskirk (Corcoran) of Pearl River, New York died peacefully on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at Maywood Rehab in Maywood, NJ surrounded by her family. She was 91.
Madeline, mostly known as “Nana, Nan, and Aunt Mad” was born on April 10, 1932 to Walter and Mary (Hevican) Corcoran in Brooklyn, NY.
After losing her mother early in life during childbirth to which would have been her fifth sibling, Madeline was unable to finish her schooling and went to work as soon as she was able to. In October of 1952, she married Edgar Van Buskirk, who she met while working at Woolworth’s Department store. After marriage and the birth of her children, Madeline would become a stay-at-home mother. She lived in Brooklyn and New Jersey until she moved to Pearl River in 1996 with her daughter Madeline. Being raised by her own Nana early in her life, Madeline had the opportunity to help raise her own grandchildren wherever life took her and developed very strong bonds with each of them.
After successfully battling colon cancer in the 1990’s, Madeline had a new lease on life and made the decision to go back to work. She went on to work in the cafeteria of the Nanuet School District. Leftover chocolate chip cookies that she brought home became a staple snack whenever she spent time with guests. Being a woman who was the ultimate storyteller and lived for gossip, she welcomed all the company she could have.
She was in her early to mid-60’s when she started to check things off her bucket list and made the decision to learn how to drive. She would go on to earn her Learner’s Permit after her driving lessons with Rockland Driving School. We don’t think anyone in the family would have let her drive by herself as she progressed, but the excitement of having her own ID with her picture on it was good enough for her, so it was never a battle of “Let me drive”. She constantly asked questions and always wanted to learn new things. When it came to the boom of technology, computers and cell phones, she would want one of her own, so she could easily interact with everyone in her family.
During the later part of her life, she had the opportunity to travel with her sisters to places like Ireland and Italy. These two trips she would always talk about, especially the opportunity of kissing the Blarney Stone and enjoying a mass at the Vatican. Always up for adventure, her additional travels included weekend trips to Atlantic City and Long Beach Island; family vacations to Breezy Point, Wildwood, and Cape May; and the most infamous 10 hour plus road trip from Iowa to Colorado, which was mentioned and laughed about a lot.
A devout Catholic, Madeline enjoyed masses at St. Aedan’s and St. Anthony's. Madeline made it a point to always receive communion on Sundays, whether she could make it to actual church, or receive communion at home from Deacon John. Of the many things passed on to her family, faith and spirituality was high and anytime you spent time with her, she would go on to ask the deep questions leaving your mind to go crazy.
Madeline leaves her family so many memories, too many to name, that will be talked about for generations to come. From card games like Rummy, where she would always win, Pokeno and Rummikub, to which she always cheated at having more tiles than you were actually allowed; to Bingo at the Senior Center. She was best known for her secret Nana handshakes of 5’s, 10’s 20’s, and sometimes even more, depending on how generous she was feeling, while whispering “Don’t tell Pop”, even though we all knew that he knew, and would turn a blind eye because there was never telling her No and sometimes he even did it himself, will be missed forever. Nana was known to her family as our own "Betty White", as she had no filter, with her quick wit and non-stop jokes. She was the best Nana one can ask for.
Madeline is predeceased by her beloved husband Edgar Van Buskirk; her two beautiful daughters, Muriel Pendleton and Madeline Walsh; and sisters Dolores, Muriel, Virginia, and Eileen. She is survived by her children John Van Buskirk (Roberta); Edgar Van Buskirk; Kathy Murray (Jimmy); grandchildren Anthony (TJ) Patla (Kelly); Lisa Van Buskirk, James, Nicholas and Michael Murray; Meghan, Patrick, Danny, John, Madeline, and Joseph Walsh; Caitlin and Sherry Pendleton; greatgrandchildren Thomas and Nathan Patla; Bailey Rolfe, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Her death is the last loss of “THE” generation and “the great pack”. It brings her family peace, knowing the amount of people she is now reunited with. To honor her life and say the ultimate “Salud and Slainte”, enjoy a glass of Kahlua and cream, a hot cup of tea, your favorite type of yogurt and pretzels or your favorite type of wine. You can also donate to St. Jude’s Charity or your local senior center in her memory.
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