Rev. Carlton G. Van Ornum


Rev. Carlton G. Van Ornum, 98, passed away on Friday, March 8, 2019 at Rome Memorial Hospital Residential Healthcare Facility. Born in Ogdensburg, NY, on March 4, 1921, he was the son of the late Myron and Vera (Jones) Van Ornum. He graduated high school in Russell, NY and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Lawrence University and a Master’s Degree in Theology from Boston University. On March 4, 1944 he was united in marriage to Jean Friend, and together they shared a blessed union of 75 years. 

Van began his service as a Methodist pastor in 1941 at N. Stockholm and W. Stockholm churches and went on to serve in North Bangor, W. Bangor (1943), West Frankfort Methodist, Utica Central Methodist -Assistant Pastor (1947), Camden and Florence Methodist (1949), Ilion Methodist (1955), District Superintendant of the Mohawk District (1966), Rome First United Methodist (1972) and retiring in 1985. He was Pastor Emeritus at Rome First Methodist.

He was a member of many organizations: North Star Lodge 107 of the Masons Grand Chaplin, Board member of the Rome and the Utica Sports Hall of Fame, Member of the Ilion Volunteer Fire Department, served on the Governor’s Advisory Council on Aging. Van was also involved in the following: 1979-1994 Member of the Board of Directors Bethany House; 1993-1996 Member of the Advisory Council for Oneida County Office for the Aging; 1990-94 Chairman, Older American Act Advisory Committee to the New York State Office for the Aging; active member of AARP and served as Vice President of the Rome Chapter; 1984-1996 Member and Secretary of Board of Directors, Executive Committee, and Investment Committee of the United Methodist Foundation, Inc. North Central New York Conference, Cicero, NY; 1954-1996 Member and Secretary of Board of Directors, Trenton Assembly Park, Inc, Barneveld, NY; 1966-1980 Board of Directors, Folts Home for the Aged, Herkimer, NY President 1972-1975; 1972-1988 Board of Directors, Rome Family Services. President 1978; 1966-1972 Chairman Urban-Rural Task Force, Utica NY; 1974 Charter Member and member of the Organizing committee of the Wesley Federal Credit Union, Syracuse (it later merged into the ACFCU in Solvay.) President 1975-1984; 1994-1997 Member of Governor’s Advisory Committee to State Office for the Aging; member of the Board of Trustees of the Northern New York Conference of the United Methodist Church, Chairman of the Investment Committee and Member of the Conference Finance and Administration Committee; Grand Chaplain of Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of State of New York; former member and past president of PACE for Oneida County; former member of Advisory Board to Gerontology Department at Utica College of Syracuse University; player and coach for basketball and softball teams in Ilion, Utica and Rome; volunteer fireman and chaplain in Camden NY 1949-1955 and Ilion, NY 1955-1966 (Life member); life member of Sigma Pi National Fraternity, member of Golden Years group at Rome First Church.

Van also loved cats, playing the organ and piano, visiting with friends, spending summers at camp (Trenton Assembly Park), going to the Big East playoffs and playing many sports. He loved sports in general but had a passion for the Syracuse Orangemen. This passion led him to serve as an usher (his wife Jean, too) at the Carrier Dome for over 20 years. He was active in many area sports including golf and played in a senior men’s league for many years. 

Surviving besides his wife, Jean are 4 daughters: Sharon and Ken Bensen of Camillus, Glenda and Mark Jackson of Rome, Joy Van Ornum of Naples FL, Rosa and Tom Struve of Colorado Springs CO, granddaughters: Sandra, Kim, Cindy, Heather, Kelly, Tess and 7 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two brothers: Alden and Paul Van Ornum.

Van’s family would like to thank all of the wonderful and caring staff at the Rome Memorial Hospital Residential Healthcare Facility.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, March 13th at 12 p.m. at Rome First United Methodist Church. Interment in Evergreen Cemetery will take place in the spring. Family and friends are invited to call at Nunn and Harper Funeral Home, Inc., 418 N. George St., Rome, on Tuesday, March 12th from 4-6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Rev. Van Ornum’s memory may be made to Rome First United Methodist Church or the Rome Sports Hall of Fame. 

You may light a candle, send a message of sympathy, and read the obituary at


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment