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
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
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
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.
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.
been promoted to Sergeant by this time.
1947 Camden City Directory shows Harold Vecander and his wife Olga
living at 1039 North
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.
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.
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."
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
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.