Pieter Lenie

Melbourne Beach, Florida

Age 91


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Captain Pieter J. Lenie

Melbourne Beach, FL

Captain Pieter J. Lenie 91, a 62 year resident of Brevard County, FL, passed away on Sunday, March 1, 2015 just after Midnight.

Captain Lenie was born in Neil, Belgium and became a Merchant Marine at the age of 14. From there, he rose in the ranks to captain.

He was predeceased by his first wife Maria Rose Lenie, his second wife Betty Lenie, and his stepson Keith Jordan.

He is survived by four daughters, Alida Lenie Williams (Tom), Rosa Lenie Holley, Janet Lenie Edrington (John), and Bettye Ann Dunham (Ed). He is also survived by nine grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and one great-great granddaughter.

A master of many ships, his favorite command was that of Master of the National Science Foundation's Antarctic research vessel, R/V Hero; upon which he spent 13 years exploring the Antarctic.  Pieter was not only the Master of the R/V Hero, he was also a master seaman of the Antarctic region.  'Lenie Passage' between the Gossler Islands and the Joubin Islands in the Palmer Archipelago, Antarctica, was first navigated by Pieter and named after him.

Captain Lenie was a harbor pilot at Cape Canaveral and Jacksonville, FL. He recovered missiles and other debris during the early years of the space program at Cape Kennedy.

He was also an accomplished pilot (Cessna to Lear jets) and a founding member of the Valiant Air Command in Titusville, Florida, participating in many air shows around the country and working with the Valiant Air Command Museum.

In his retirement, he enjoyed gardening (especially his fruit trees) and relating stories of his adventures and explorations.

A visitation will be held Saturday, March 7, 2015, from 1PM to 2PM at Davis Seawinds Funeral Home with a funeral service at 2 PM followed by burial at Melbourne City Cemetery. An online guestbook may be signed at www.davisseawinds.com.

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Pieter and Betty were our loving friends while stationed at Patrick AFB, FL. Pieter later took is on a tour of RV Hero in Long Beach, CA while in dry docks for repairs and upgrading.

Kirby Logan

An iron man who sailed in a woode ship. RIP.

Pete was one of the last of the l heroic explorers I was proud to be his radio operator

I think of you as a friend who truly understood the reason Hero was operating in the Peninsula Area. Peace, Bob Dale

There are few people who embodied the spirit of Antarctica better than Pieter Lenie.
No one who met him ever forgot him.
He made the HERO the special instrument of the American Exploration of Antarctica that it was.
There's no greater example of the spirit of the continent than Captain Lenie. What he brought to the job was: professionalism, as the master of a working science and support ship ; a flair for the wild in all that he saw and lived; the incredible competence he...

Rest in Peace