Jacob H. “Jay” Saffron (1911-1981).
Napi Van Dereck’s mother, Catherine C. “Pat” (Murphy) Van Dereck Haunstrup (1911-1993), had been widowed two years when she married Cpl. Jacob H. “Jay” Saffron of the Army Signal Corps in 1945. He had been born in Odessa, Russia, six years before the Russian Revolution. (His tombstone is inscribed with the incorrect birth year of 1912.) During World War II, Saffron was a combat photographer. In April 1945, he filmed the surrender of Germany’s forces in Italy at the Royal Palace of Caserta, about 15 miles north of Naples. After the war, he was employed as a cameraman for MGM News of the Day newsreels. The Saffrons lived for a time in Palestine and Egypt with her sons and his stepsons, Napi and Moe. (It was from this time in his formative years that Napi adopted the Eye of Horus as the emblem of his restaurant, at 7 Freeman Street.) Saffron joined the young CBS television network, serving as a cameraman in one of its earliest studios, at Grand Central Terminal in New York, working with Walter Cronkite, among others. He retired in 1972. Pat Saffron, who is buried nearby, served on the town Planning Board in the 1970s. The couple owned 29 Alden Street from 1959 to 1980, when the property was transferred to their daughter, Judith B. Saffron.
¶ Last updated on 13 August 2018.