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Gerrit M Hoogenboezem

July 27, 1920 November 26, 2019
Gerrit M Hoogenboezem
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Obituary for Gerrit M Hoogenboezem

Gerrit Marinus Hoogenboezem, of Lynden, passed away on November 26, 2019 at age 99.
Gerrit was born July 27, 1920 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

He grew up in the Netherlands. During World War II, he fought in the Dutch underground, moving back and forth behind German lines, often hiding in a haystack on a farm.

After the war, he worked in insurance and married Lineke (Lynn) Capelle, and together they immigrated to the USA in 1949.

After a year, he found a job as an actuary, first in Massachusetts, and then in Galveston, Texas, at American National Insurance Company. He worked in the actuarial department there from 1955 until 1985 when he retired.

During that time, he became an avid runner, ran in about 50 marathons including the Boston Marathon, and organized the first officially-sanctioned marathon in the state of Texas. In Texas, he was known as the “Father of the Marathon” by some. He ran his last complete marathon at age 80.

Upon his retirement, he moved to Lynden, Washington, where he spent the last 34 years of his life. He became well-known for his devotion to his developmentally-disabled son, John. He was seen taking John on walks nearly every day and took care of John until he was no longer able to do so at age 94. For 13 of those years, he also cared for his wife Lynn who was afflicted with a kidney disease which resulted in dialysis 3 times a week.

He had taught himself to play the piano, and he loved singing to his own accompaniment. In addition, he enjoyed gardening and reading religious books, in particular, the Bible. He spent the last 4½ years of his life at the Christian Health Care Center in Lynden where he was very content and well-loved and cared for by the wonderful staff.

Gerrit was preceded in death by his wife, Lynn, and his son John Clarence.

He is survived by his daughter, Joy Eloise, and his other son, Gerrit Carl, as well as numerous nieces and nephews in the Netherlands.

He will be sorely missed by his family and those who knew him well. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Gillies Funeral Home and Cremation Services.

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