Nico van Zwanenberg

Obituary of Nico van Zwanenberg

Cuba – Nico van Zwanenberg "Loving Father, Grandfather, & Great Grandfather" Nico van Zwanenberg, of 30 West Main Street, formerly of 102 South Street, passed away on Sunday, June 7, 2020, at the Cuba Memorial Hospital, following a brief illness. Nico was born on July 2, 1927 in Nijmegen, Netherlands and was a son of Isedor and Henriette de Jongh van Zwanenberg. On December 3, 1955 at St. Bonaventure Parish in Allegany, he married his wife of 59 years, Joan M. Letro, who predeceased him on August 2, 2014. Nico immigrated to the United States with his parents when he was 13 years old. He served in the US Army from August 17, 1945 to November 11, 1946. Nico attended Cornell University and St. Bonaventure University and then graduated from Bryant and Stratton College. In 1943, Nico's father, Isedor van Zwanenberg and Edwin S. Moses created The Cuba Cheese and Trading Company, Inc. In 1953, Isedor van Zwanenberg passed away and Nico entered the business. A modern cheese plant was built in South Cuba in 1956. In 1977 after over 34 years, the name was changed to Cuba Cheese, Inc. Nico and Edwin added additional storage facilities to the new plant in 1963, and it was no longer necessary for the cheese to be aged and stored in the huge building on Genesee Street. However, the business offices of the plant were still maintained there. Nico and Edwin ran this very successful cheese-making company for 50 years. Nico retired in 1988. Nico was a member of the National Cheesemakers Association, the New York State Cheesemakers Association, and the National Whey Products Association, where he served in many capacities. He was also a member of the Cuba Lions Club, the Cuba School Board, the Cuba Memorial Hospital Board, the Cuba Rod and Gun Club, the Cuba American Legion, and the Cuba VFW, and the Cuba Cheese Museum. Nico was Cuba’s 1986 Man of the Year. He and Joan created the Edwin Moses Scholarship and the Henriette van Zwanenberg Scholarship. Nico wintered in Florida for over 30 years, in North Redington Beach, Madeira Beach, and Treasure Island. He and Joan enjoyed countless summers on Cape Cod. Nico enjoyed playing golf and was a member of the Bolivar Country Club, the Bartlett Country Club, the Wellsville Country Club, and the Allegheny Hills Country Club. He was an honorary "Greek" and played in the yearly Greek Open Golf Tournament. Nico is survived by; 3 children, Michele (Paul) Conklin and Vincent (James Sherrard) van Zwanenberg both of Cuba, NY, and Margaret (George) Barton of Madison, VA; 5 grandchildren, George (Megan) Barton, Patrick (Kelley) Barton, Johanna (Jesse) Larson, Molly Conklin, and Nico Barton; 7 great grandchildren, Lyla, Waverly, Nolan, and James Barton, Jackson and Arya Larson, and Avvagaile Conklin; and a sister Mimi Tittle of Asheville, NC. Along with his loving wife, Nico was predeceased by his parents. At this time Services will be private, officiated by Fr. Dan Riley OFM and Fr. Dennis J.J. Mancuso. A Celebration Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held in the future, at a date and time to be announced. Burial will be at Our Lady of the Angels Cemetery in Cuba, NY. Arrangements under the direction of the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc., 24 Genesee Pkwy, Cuba. Online condolences may be made at In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to the Nico van Zwanenberg Cuba Cheese Museum, 12 West Main Street, Cuba, New York or to Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Community, 3621 Roberts Road, Friendship, New York 14739.
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