Per Ulf Vranum was born on February 4, 1935, to Edith Vranum and Arne Vranum in Haderslev, Denmark. He was their second child, born after his sister Laila. He passed away peacefully on December 19, 2023, at age 88, surrounded by his family.
He was an adventurous and spirited child, a part of whose childhood was spent during World War II under German occupation. After the War, Per’s family relocated to Odense, DK where, while out ice skating with mutual friends, he met Lona Vranum nee Pedersen, his wife of 64 years. Lona was 16 and Per 17 when they met, and it didn’t take long before they realized they had something special in each other. They made a very handsome pair. Per moved to the United States and as luck would have it was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army. He flew back to Denmark and married Lona, wearing his dress uniform. They began their married life together living off base in Virginia. Per would tell of his experiences in the military where he became a Corporal in the Quartermaster and was exposed to military discipline and American culture. Per and Lona, as they did throughout their lives, enjoyed their life and made new friends. After his military service, Per and Lona relocated to Brooklyn, NY where they had two children, Peter and Tina. Per became a successful business man, eventually becoming the President of Wilson American Company, and traveling the world for business. Per enjoyed recounting flying first class on 747s and visiting the upstairs cocktail lounge. After a long career with Wilson’s, Per left and started his own business which quickly became a success due to his diligence, his talents for organization and management, and his enjoyment of his work. Per contributed to the community, serving for many years on the boards of the Danish American Society, Danish American Chamber of Commerce and Danish Seaman’s Church in Brooklyn.
Per had a keen mind and was an avid reader all his life. He was known for always being in the middle of reading a book. Sometimes two. He particularly enjoyed reading about history but he was interested in and read about many topics. Per was an optimistic and energetic man with a can do spirit. He was talented in working with his hands, and often busy with home improvement projects, landscaping, building and re-building decks, making repairs, cutting firewood among other things. Per, sociable and well-liked, never said no to a party. The door to Per and Lona’s house was always open to their family and their many friends. They often had a full house, and had frequent and extended visits from Denmark. Per loved the ocean and had a deep lifelong love for sailing which he imparted to his family. Per would take any opportunity to be out sailing. For many years he chartered boats in the Caribbean with family and with friends, and owned his own sailboat, “Sea-Wolf,” on which he took many trips. A real Viking, Per never got seasick and could handle any storm. Per loved to take Lona to Coecles Harbor where they would drop the anchor and enjoy the sunset together.
Per’s children and grandchildren were the light of his life. He took great pride in their accomplishments and loved nothing more than to spend time with them. Per was a strong, unique and remarkable man. He will be missed every day by his wife, Lona, his children Peter and Tina (Kjaeroe), his son-in-law Stig, and his grandchildren, Christina, Stefanie and Lars.
A private memorial will be held in the coming weeks.
Donations can be given to the NJ Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in his name in lieu of flowers.