HAROLD ISSAC VECANDER was born in Leetsdale, Pennsylvania on February 27, 1910 to Gustaf Edward and Hilma Vecander, who had come to America from Sweden in 1904 with their two older children, Gustaf Edward. Jr. (known in the family as Edward) and Elsa. The elder Vecander worked as a welder. Harold and two older brothers, Walter and Francis were born in Pennsylvania. The Vecander family was still in Leetsdale, which is is in Allegheny County in the western part of the state, when the 1910 Census was taken.
By 1916 the Vecander family had come to New Jersey, where daughter Lila was born. When the census was taken in 1920 the family lived at 1122 Cambridge Street in the Cramer Hill section of Camden. The 1929 City Directory shows the family living at 1354 North 29th Street.
On March 1, 1928 Walter Vecander was appointed to the Camden Police Department along with the following men, Francis Guetherman, August Riehm, William Schriver, Edward Shapiro, John V. Wilkie, Earl Wright, Edward Cahill, Marshall Thompson, Stanley Bobiak, Paul Edwards, Leon Feltz, George Getley, Joseph Lack, Thomas Stanton, Otto Toperzer, and Frank Wilmot.
On June 22, 1935 Harold Vecander married Olga Matilda Peterson in Camden. Olga Peterson was the daughter of Arthur and Matilda Peterson, the family lived in the same Cramer Hill neighborhood, at 1039 North 26th Street. A son, Harold Nelson Vecander, arrived on December 24, 1938. The family was blessed with a daughter, Carol, in April of 1941.
Harold Vecander, known to his brother police officers as "Rapp", joined his older brother on the Camden police department on September 20, 1940. Both brothers were still on the force in January of 1949. Walter Vecander had been promoted to Sergeant by this time.
The 1947 Camden City Directory shows Harold Vecander and his wife Olga living at 1039 North 26th Street in Cramer Hill. Brother Walter had moved across town to Sayrs Avenue, while Francis Vecander, who worked as a meat cutter, had stayed in Cramer Hill, residing at 1208 North 34th Street. Sadly, by 1956 Walter Vecander had died from a stroke.
The Vecander family were living at 1039 North 26th Street as late as 1959. Young Harold and Carol Vecander attended public schools in the neighborhood, Harold graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1956, Carol in 1959.
Carol Vecander wrote of those years in August of 2009: "Thinking of growing up in Camden, with a wonderful family like I had, I realize just how lucky I was. We were pretty much like the Cleavers.......... Mother and Dad worked on everything together from buying new furniture to vacations."
Still on active duty in 1961, Harold Vecander retired from the police department in 1965. He went to work at the Garden State Race Track, and later took a job at the Hercules Powder Company in Paulsboro, New Jersey.
On September 6, 1967. Harold and Olga Vecander's son Harold Nelson Vecander, member of Woodrow Wilson High School's Class of 1956, passed away. By October of 1970 Harold and Olga Vecander had moved to Haddon Heights, New Jersey. They moved out of Camden County by the fall of 1977, and were living in Waretown, New Jersey, when Olga Vecander passed in 1985. Harold Vecander joined her on May 16, 1988.
"This must have been someone picking up my Dad for work. The View is from out house on North 26th Street near Wayne Avenue" - Carol Vecander, 2009
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Camden Courier-Post - August 14, 1961
Vecander - Daniel Vautier - George Morris - Kenneth Pierce
- Bertha Martin
Tyler Avenue - 27th Street - Stevens Street - Sherman Avenue - Cooper Hospital
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