Gerrit Willem Van Klaveren, 78, of Lake Stevens, Wash., went peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior on Friday, June 29, 2007.
He was born in Wilnis, Holland on Oct. 1, 1928.
Gerrit was a teenager when his dad was killed during World War II.
He had to help work in the familys nursery business. Times were tough.
Later he served faithfully in the Dutch military during the Indonesian War.
In 1954, he married his wife Maria.
In 1958, Gerrit, his wife and sons immigrated to Southern California to make a better life for his family. Here he became a landscape gardener.
In 1965, the family returned to Holland to continue the family tradition as a nurseryman. Nine years later the family immigrated to the U.S.A. a second time, this time to Central California where he returned to landscape gardening and owned an almond orchard and grape vineyard.
In 1979, he saw a great opportunity to start his own nursery with his sons. He once again uprooted his family and moved north to Lake Stevens, Wash., where they settled and started Van Klaverens Nursery.
In 1995, Gerrit and Maria became U.S. citizens and planted their roots here for good.
Gerrits favorite thing to do was make cuttings to produce new plants and watch them grow. Nursery work was truly in his blood. He spent countless hours in his garden and working hard to support his family, which he loved. His children and grandchildren enjoyed listening to him tell stories of the old country.
Gerrit leaves his loving wife of 53 years, Maria Mary; son, Jacob and Trudy (Corinna, Jessica, Gerrit); son, Tony and Kathy (Steven, Kristen, Joseph); son, Garry and Nan (Pete, Tim); daughter, Marianne Zwanenburg and Andre (Lauren, Meghan). He also leaves his sister, Riek; and his brothers, Arie and Anton, from Holland.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Maria Van Klaveren; his brothers, Jan and Warnard Van Klaveren; and his sister, Marrie Van de Velde.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Everett Gospel Mission
A celebration of his life was held at 1 p.m., Thursday, July 5, 2007, at Cascade Christian Reformed Church in Marysville, Wash.
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