Maarten Kerkhove

Obituary of Maarten Kerkhove

Maarten Kerkhove 1926-2010 Maarten lived a full, productive and fascinating life. He was born December 9, 1926 and was raised in Grijpskerke, Nederlands. In Holland he was trained as a boxer and was honored to represent his country as an amateur light-weight boxer. He also learned to be a ship's carpenter, a craft he truly loved. In 1949, he immigrated from Holland to South Africa, where he worked in the gold mines around Johannesburg and started a family. In 1958, he and his family moved to Northern Rhodesia, where he worked in the copper mines. When Northern Rhodesia became Zambia in 1964, Maarten and his family, in search of new opportunities, immigrated to Santa Cruz, California. In Santa Cruz, he owned and operated his own construction company, Maarten Construction. He successfully built homes throughout Santa Cruz County until he retired. He enjoyed gardening, playing tennis, taking care of his canary birds and walking along West Cliff Drive. Maarten had two main ambitions in life. First, he wanted to provide many opportunities for his children and a better education for them, than he was given. Second, he hoped to build his own house. He certainly accomplished both. Maarten's children were all given tremendous opportunities because of his hard work and love. His home will always be a standing memory of his love and dedication. Maarten was a wise and loving husband and father. He will forever be remembered in our hearts. His wisdom and memorable stories greatly touched his family and friends who will always cherish his joyful sense of humor. Maarten gave so much to his family, and asked so little in return. He enjoyed spending time with his family and wonderful grandchildren. He enchanted everyone he encountered with stories of WWII, the gold mines and his experiences as a builder. He was a true inspiration to his family. He died peacefully in his home on May 16th, 2010 where he was surrounded by his loving family and wife, Natalie. Maarten is survived by his wife of 29 years, Natalie Kerkhove of Santa Cruz, three daughters; Jacqueline Kerkhove and her husband Michael Villarreal, Marites (Michael) Horn, and Johanna (Daniel) Becker, three sons; Johannes (Lynn) Kerkhove, Maarten R. (Sandy) Kerkhove, and Antony (Margaret) Kerkhove. He is also survived by nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Coby, Betty, Connie and Mientje; brother Wim, and preceded by brothers Leunis, Rinus and Tom, and parents, Antheunis Kerkhove and Maria Lenselink. A memorial service in Maarten's honor will be held on Sunday, May 23 at 4 p.m. at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel 1050 Cayuga St. in Santa Cruz. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Maarten's name to Hospice of Santa Cruz, 940 Disc Drive. Scotts Valley, CA 95066-4544
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