Herbert B. Van Sciver, a lifelong resident of Darien, died on Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 at New Milford Hospital. He was 91.

Born Feb. 11, 1922 in Springdale, he was the eldest son of the late Herbert W. Van Sciver and Clara L. Tompkins also of Darien.

He graduated from Darien High School in 1940. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942. He fought with the 852nd Engineer Aviation Battalion in Central Europe, Normandy, Northern France and Rhineland, where he was awarded the Purple Heart.

Mr. Van Sciver married June Alexander on Sept. 27, 1947 in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He began their lives together by working with his father building homes throughout Darien and New Canaan. Soon after, they had two daughters, Nancie and Diane.

The couple opened The Bait Shop Inc. in the early 60’s on the Boston Post Road

in Darien and ran a successful business there until the location suffered a devastating fire. They soon relocated The Bait Shop to Rowayton on the Five Mile River waterfront. For over 30 years they nurtured the business that they loved, remembering to share that success every year with their clients, friends and family at their annual Mako fishing tournament and barbecue party.

Mr. Van Sciver was an avid outdoors man and was often seen fishing the sound in his favorite 17’ Mako “Kemo Sabe.” After his retirement at 70, Mr. Van Sciver who was also an expert fly fisherman, traveled extensively fishing in Alaska, Montana, Ireland, Scotland and Canada, as well as the more local Housatonic and Norwalk Rivers. As a salt water and fly fisherman, Mr. Van Sciver was featured in many sporting magazines and was also cast in the Mercedes commercial as a fly fishing instructor.

Mr. Van Sciver was an active member of the Miramichi Salmon Association and a long time member of the South Norwalk Boat Club, as well as many environmental and nature organizations. He was very well respected in his community, always taking the time to listen to others.

Mr. Van Sciver was also a private man, who was most at ease surrounded by nature, building small “camps” in Cornwall Bridge and Sharon that he, his dogs and family could retreat to, his family said.. He was an avid reader of American History, historical fiction and nature themed books. Mr. Van Sciver had an amazing memory, always ready with a joke or a story he heard on the road. In his retirement years, he wrote many of his thoughts down in his journals, which his family said they will now cherish.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife June Alexander Van Sciver, who died on Jan. 6, 2012 as well as his brothers Arthur E. Van Sciver, William R. Van Sciver and Frederick L. Voelker.

Mr. Van Sciver is survived by his daughters, Nancie Van Sciver Evoniuk and her husband Tom of Woodland Hills, Calif. and Diane Van Sciver of Pawling N.Y.. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law Marilyn Van Sciver of Darien and Candice Van Sciver of South Yarmouth, Mass.; and nephew Arthur L. Van Sciver and his wife Jeanne of Darien; niece Cindy L. Hampton and her husband Phillip of Darien, niece Bonnie Erbe and her husband Charles; nephew Michael Van Sciver, niece Sherry Giangrasso and her husband Gene, niece Lynn Voelker, niece Joan Nickel and many grand nieces and nephews.

A Memorial service and celebration of Mr. Van Sciver life will be announced at a later date.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Nature Conservancy or Ducks Unlimited.

— by The Darien Times