GREENWICH, Conn. - Leonard E. Van Houten of Greenwich died on Sunday, March 16. He was 89.
Van Houten was born Dec. 20, 1924, in Jersey City, to Leonard and Margaret Van Houten. He graduated from Spring Garden School in Nutley, St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, and received B.C.E. and M.C.E. degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1945 and 1947, respectively. After marriage he lived in Kinnelon, N.J., The Netherlands, and Montclair, N.J., before moving to Greenwich in 1980. A veteran of World War II, he joined the Navy in 1942 after high school, and served until 1946, including two and a half years in the active Naval R.O.T.C. program at Rensselaer where he earned his Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree with a minor in Naval Science and Tactics.
As a civil engineer, he had a 60 plus year career in project planning, design, and construction. He held executive positions at Frederic R. Harris Inc; Van Houten Associates, which he founded and directed; Dravo Engineers and Constructors; and Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas. He later was an independent engineering consultant serving engineering firms, contractors, and diverse clients on technical and organizational issues. He authored numerous technical papers and served as an expert on technical questions in litigation. He was an honorary fellow of the American Society of Engineers, a Life Member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and a Life Member of the Moles. He was a member of the New York Yacht Club and the Indian Harbor Yacht Club.
Van Houten is survived by his children, Elizabeth M. Van Houten of San Francisco and Westbrook and Peter J. Van Houten of New Milford. He was predeceased by his wife, Marie R. Van Houten; and brother, Thomas G. Van Houten.
Calling hours are Friday, March 21 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Knapp Funeral Home, 267 Greenwich Ave. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Saturday, March 22 at 10 a.m. in St. Mary Parish, 178 Greenwich Ave. A private burial will take place Monday, March 24 at Mount Calvary Cemetery, in Butler, N.J.