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Realty Leader's Funeral Is Held at St. James Church---Honor Guard Present
More than 400 friends and business associates attended a funeral service yesterday for Vincent Astor. The real estate owner and descendant of John Jacob Astor died Tuesday of a heart attack at the age of 67.

The Rev. Dr. Arthur Lee Kinsolving, rector of St. James Protestant Episcopal Church, conducted the service in the church, 865 Madison Avenue, at Seventieth [sic] Street. The founder of the famous family was a vestryman of the parish in the early part of the nineteenth century.

Mr. Astor's coffin was blanketed with yellow jonquils and maidenhair fern. The altar rail was heavily banked by 140 elaborate floral pieces of many kinds and colors. Two uniformed sailors stood guard. Mr. Astor, a captain in the Naval Reserve, served in both World Wars.

Dr. Kinsolving began with the familiar quotation from the Gospel of St. John: "I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live * * * .” There is no eulogy in the service.

The full choir of twenty-six boys and twenty-four men and women led the singing of three hymns, "Fight the Good Fight," "Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past," which was Mr. Astor's favorite, and "Eternal Father, Strong to Save."

Psalm Read By Rector

The rector read the Forty-sixth Psalm, which begins, "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." He read also the Apostles' Creed, and the lesson from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, eighth chapter, beginning with the fourteenth verse, "For as many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

In the family group at the service were Mr. Astor's widow, the former Mary Brooke Russell; Anthony Dryden Marshall, her son by her marriage to Dryden Kuser of Reno, Nev.; Mrs. Lytle Hull, who was Miss Helen Dinsmore Huntington and Mr. Astor's first wife; Serge Obolensky, hotel executive and former husband of Mr. Astor's late sister, Ava Alice Muriel Astor. Mr. Astor's second wife, now Mrs. James Whitney Fosburgh, was not present.

Among the mourners were delegations from Newsweek magazine, the St. Regis Hotel, the United States Lines and other corporations in which Mr. Astor had interest.

Those present included former Postmaster General James A. Farley; Newbold Morris, former president of the City Council; Gibson McCabe, publisher, and Malcolm Muir, president of Newsweek; Raymond Moley, political columnist and former adviser to the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Among Others at Rites

Also Walter Hoving, president of Bonwit Teller, and William J. Schieffelin Jr., drug distributor and officer of the State Chamber of Commerce; Thomas J. Donegan, a member of the Subversive Activities Control Board; R. T. Wilson, a friend of Mr. Astor's father, Col. John Jacob Astor 4th; Mrs. Julius Ochs Adler and Frederic Rhinelander King, architect.

The body was taken to Rhinebeck, N. Y., where a memorial service was conducted in the afternoon at the Episcopal Church of the Messiah by the Rev. Robert J. Creech, the rector. About 150 townspeople attended.

Burial took place at Ferncliffe, Mr. Astor's 2,700-acre estate at Rhinebeck. A Navy honor guard of eight men fired three volleys over the grave and a bugler sounded taps.

Related Biographies

John Jacob Astor


Mark Baber, USA


Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) RITES FOR ASTOR ATTENDED BY 400 (New York Times, Saturday 7th February 1959, ref: #3545, published 23 August 2004, generated 19th October 2021 03:45:31 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/rites-for-astor-attended-400.html