Per Navestad

Obituary of Per J. Navestad

Per J. Navestad, age 98 of Burdett, NY passed peacefully on Wednesday, July 5, 2023 surrounded by family. He was born at home in Ozone Park, NY on January 17, 1925 to Peder and Dagny (Borgen) Navestad. On April 24, 1954 he married Doris L. Croker at Community Methodist Church in Ozone Park, NY. They raised four children at their home in Oceanside, NY. For the 25 years prior to moving to Burdett in 1987, the family spent part of every summer, at first, tent camping, and then vacationing at their country cabin in Tyrone that Per built. He is survived by his children, Wendy (Robert) Wirth; Paul, Eric (Cheryll), and Gary (Tina) Navestad; grandchildren Amy (Anthony) Bo, Lori (Erich) Asperschlager, Gregory (Natalie fiancée), Brian, Julie, Paige, and Perry Navestad; great-grandchildren, Andrew and Ryan Bo, Juliet and Leah Asperschlager, In addition to his wife of 66 years, Doris, and his parents, he was predeceased by his sister Ann "Tula" Navestad, and grandsons, Ethan and Elijah Navestad. On the day before his 18th birthday, Per was sworn into the U.S. Navy. He attended Quartermaster School before being sent to the war zone. He took part in a dress rehearsal for D-Day codenamed "Exercise Tiger" the U.S. military's deadliest training incident during World War II. As Quartermaster 3/C he was stationed in the wheelhouse or control room of LST 499. He was steering the ship, taking orders from the officer who was on the bridge above him. Other LSTs were being torpedoed around him with very few survivors. He survived. Six weeks later was June 6th 1944, D-Day at Normandy. LST 499 dropped anchor and waited for instructions. Then on June 8th, Per was at the wheel again getting ready to transport wounded soldiers to England when the ship hit a mine and sank in shallow water just off Utah Beach. Once again, he survived. Exercise Tiger was a top-secret mission and for 40 years, news of the event was kept secret. It was only released to the public in 1984. After the war, Per became a union carpenter and worked in many different settings including new construction, remodeling banks, grocery stores, movie theatres and had a special opportunity to work on the Christian Science Pavilion at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. In addition to woodworking Per enjoyed being a photographer and in his younger years spent many hours in his dark room developing and printing black and white images. He moved on to shooting color film and then digital images. He grew many vegetable gardens over the years and his most recent gardening was spent in his raspberry patch. As a member of the Reynoldsville United Methodist Church he was involved with the planning and carrying out of several projects. For many years he was an RSVP volunteer at the Reynoldsville Food Pantry. He was also the one who carved the original wooden "Welcome to Burdett" signs. At the age of 80, with encouragement from Doris, and long before "aging in place" was popular, they made a decision to build an accessible home where they could live out their years. The family - Bob, Eric, Per, and Wendy made this dream come true. Per mostly coached during the framing process but was a large contributor to the inside finish work. At 86, he taught himself the art of fan-carving and carved intricate birds from single pieces of wood. He sold his birds at many craft fairs around the area. He was a man of few words, but very detailed with pencil and paper. He was never without a writing implement and a pad to jot down whatever he was working on or thinking about. His favorite style of shirt were those with two pockets and room for a pocket protector in each. He had beautiful penmanship and was a stickler for neat numbers. Anything that Per built had to be "sufficiently overbuilt" in order to be good enough. Per enjoyed his family and the frequent, four-generation family gatherings celebrating holidays and birthdays. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and GG-pa who will be missed by all. A part of him will live on in the many handmade creations he leaves behind. He received loving care from his daughter Wendy; son-in-law Bob, who was more like a son; granddaughters Amy and Lori; and great granddaughter Juliet. In his final weeks, the CareFirst team of Robin, Brandy, Sam, Patsy, Erin, and Amanda provided additional care. Thanks to Shannon Slater of Schuyler County Office for the Aging for the years of caregiver support. There will be no visitation or formal services. The family will hold a celebration of life for Per, Doris, and Tula at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Reynoldsville United Methodist Church c/o Linda Jaynes, 5092 State Route 227, Burdett, NY 14818 or CareFirst, 3805 Meads Creek Rd. Painted Post, NY 14870.
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