M. John H. Wansink, 78, of Malvern, a retired company vice president, died of cancer last Thursday at home.

A native of the Netherlands, Mr. Wansink graduated from military school and served six years as an officer in the Royal Dutch Army.

In 1955, he married Ada van't Hoog. He was discharged that year from the army, and the couple immigrated to the United States. They had only a suitcase and had borrowed money for traveling expenses, said their son, John, but carried with them a sense of adventure. If the United States disappointed them, he said, they were prepared to move to Africa or Australia. But Mr. Wansink never regretted coming here, his son said. He was proud of his U.S. citizenship and often reminded his grandchildren how lucky they were to be born in this country.

Mr. Wansink initially operated a small import business in Philadelphia and later also ran a charter aircraft service. In the early 1960s, he joined International Service Corp., a division of Insurance Co. of North America, now Cigna. After retiring in 1986, he continued to pursue business interests.

Having grown up in the Hague during the difficult years of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, Mr. Wansink was grateful to the liberating American troops, his son said. He befriended veterans in this area who served in the Netherlands and supported the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Paoli.

He and his wife eventually traveled to Africa and Australia on vacation; often went mountain-climbing in the Alps; and rode elephants in Thailand.

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Wansink is survived by a daughter, Marian Schweighofer; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be at 2 p.m. today at D'Anjolell Memorial Home, 392 Lancaster Ave., Frazer. Friends may call from noon. Burial will be in Valley Forge Memorial Gardens.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.