Funeral held for Suffolk police lieutenant who died from COVID-19

Mourners gathered for a funeral in Port Jeff Station to honor Lt. Robert Van Zeyl.

News 12 Staff

Jan 26, 2021, 10:48 PM

Updated 1,265 days ago

Share:

Friends and family gave a final farewell Tuesday to a Suffolk police lieutenant who died from COVID-19.
A full police funeral was held in Port Jefferson for Lt. Robert Van Zeyl, the first member of the Suffolk Police Department to die due to COVID-19 complications. He was 60.
The department says he became sick Jan. 3 and passed Jan. 20.
Van Zeyl spent over 35 years on the job -- joining the Suffolk Police Academy in 1985. He was a musician before deciding to become a police officer.
"He was a marvelous singer and a great guitar player, so I think that was really his passion, but I think his true passion in life was his children. I know he was an extremely dedicated parent," says Suffolk Police Chief Stuart Cameron.
Cameron has known Van Zeyl for a long time, having attended the police academy with him.
"His death was truly very heartbreaking for me, someone you've known for over 35 years," says Cameron. "As we started to vaccinate people, I was really hopeful that, hey, maybe we can get through this without anyone passing away. And to lose him at this point is heartbreaking in so many ways to me, I'm really devastated by it."
Van Zeyl worked in the 2nd Precinct. It isn't known where he contracted the virus from.
"A life of service is really not something that is for everyone, but to do it for 36 years was incredible. He was an incredible man," says Anthony Musacchio, Van Zeyl's nephew.
Van Zeyl leaves behind two children, both who are 14 years old.


More from News 12
2:11
FBI investigating Trump rally attack as potential act of domestic terrorism

FBI investigating Trump rally attack as potential act of domestic terrorism

2:15
HEAT ALERT: Hot and humid Monday on Long Island; feels-like temps near 100

HEAT ALERT: Hot and humid Monday on Long Island; feels-like temps near 100

5:30
In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

In prime-time address, Biden warns of election-year rhetoric, saying ‘it’s time to cool it down’

0:20
Suffolk police: Man drowned at Smith Point County Park in Shirley

Suffolk police: Man drowned at Smith Point County Park in Shirley

0:46
Charity car wash raises funds for victims of fatal Deer Park nail salon crash

Charity car wash raises funds for victims of fatal Deer Park nail salon crash

1:54
Reps. Lawler, Torres to introduce bill enhancing Secret Service protection for presidential candidates

Reps. Lawler, Torres to introduce bill enhancing Secret Service protection for presidential candidates

4:10
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Trump rally attendee gives his eyewitness account of the shooting

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Trump rally attendee gives his eyewitness account of the shooting

2:04
Nassau County heightens safety precautions for public events following Trump rally shooting

Nassau County heightens safety precautions for public events following Trump rally shooting

2:37
Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

Security increased at Trump Tower following rally shooting

1:37
Family rallies for harsher penalties for drivers under the influence of marijuana following fatal incident

Family rallies for harsher penalties for drivers under the influence of marijuana following fatal incident

2:07
A look back at US political violence that changed history

A look back at US political violence that changed history

2:27
Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

Political analyst weighs in on gun violence in wake of Trump rally shooting

3:32
Rep. D'Esposito: Trump rally shooting 'a stark reminder of the divided country that we're in'

Rep. D'Esposito: Trump rally shooting 'a stark reminder of the divided country that we're in'

1:29
Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting

Expert: Security will be a high level concern at presidential events in wake of Trump rally shooting

1:34
Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

Political analyst: Shooting at Trump rally will bring changes to 2024 Presidential Election

2:03
Poll: More than 40% of women skip or delay medical screenings and appointments

Poll: More than 40% of women skip or delay medical screenings and appointments

1:46
‘Lives are forever changed.’ One year since bombshell arrest of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

‘Lives are forever changed.’ One year since bombshell arrest of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

2:40
Gilgo Case: Suffolk DA speaks with News 12 ahead of one-year anniversary of Heuermann’s arrest

Gilgo Case: Suffolk DA speaks with News 12 ahead of one-year anniversary of Heuermann’s arrest

2:08
Blueprints of Heuermann home detail where pieces of evidence were found

Blueprints of Heuermann home detail where pieces of evidence were found