Jefferson Vander Wolk

Obituary
  • "Dear Mrs. Vander Wolk my condolences to you and your..."
  • "Dear Betty and family, Jeff was one of a kind. I will..."
    - Barbara Pierce
  • "Dear Betty, Hope, Peter and Philip, Jeff will be missed..."
    - Jestena Boughton
  • "Jeff brought a great friendliness and sharp wit To our..."
    - Chips Page
  • "Dear Betty and Family Jeff will be greatly missed. I'll..."
    - John and Bessie Connelly

JEFFERSON F. VANDER WOLK Mr. Jefferson Feigl Vander Wolk, 87, of Gulf Stream, Florida and Osterville, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on June 14, 2018 in Boynton Beach, Florida. He was predeceased by his mother, Edith Powell Vander Wolk, his father, Walter William Vander Wolk, both of his brothers, Walter William Vander Wolk Jr. (BIll) and Donald Powell Vander Wolk, as well as by many of his dear friends. He is survived by his devoted wife of sixty years, Betty Brown Vander Wolk, his daughter, Hope Morrison Vander Wolk of Santa Fe, New Mexico, his sons Philip Jefferson Vander Wolk of Santa Fe and Peter Walton Vander Wolk of Richmond, Virginia, as well as seven grandchildren. Mr. Vander Wolk was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on June 16,1930 and reared in nearby Longmeadow. He attended Philips Exeter Academy and Babson College, where he earned a Bachelor's Degree in Business and later sat on the Board of Trustees. Mr. Vander Wolk was stationed in Big Spring, Texas during his time as a flight trainer in the Air Force. While there, he began his real estate development company and eventually parlayed his business sense into owning and operating a variety of successful businesses including the Inn of the Governors in Santa Fe and the Waterway Cafe in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. As the employer of thousands over his lifetime - many of whom have remained with him for decades - he was unusually generous in treating his coworkers as partners by listening to their advice and distributing to them a handsome share of profits generated by their efforts. Inspired by the teachings of Dr. William Edwards Deming, an American statistician most credited with the rebirth of Japan after WWII, Mr. Vander Wolk authored and published the book, The Workplace Where Everyone Wins, later in his life illustrating his own business journey and his unique style of management and oversight. Mr. Vander Wolk was known for his distinctive looks, his unwillingness to live in a house he didn't design, the convertibles he drove while negotiating a legal pad and a #2 pencil in hand, his propensity to be the last to leave a party, his larger-than-life personality, and his ability to move well on his feet, whether it was in black tie on the dance floor or while playing net on the tennis court. He enjoyed offshore sailing, golf, socializing, dining with his wife, and flying. In the seventies, he built his own helicopter, powered by an Evinrude 235 horsepower outboard engine. Throughout his adult life, he owned and piloted a variety of aircraft, most notably his next helicopter, which he owned for 30+ years and in which he liked to buzz his friends' houses. A good friend to many, Mr. Vander Wolk enjoyed spending time with like-minded people of all stripes and could often be found at one of the clubs with which he had affiliations, including: The Gulf Stream Bath and Tennis Club, The Gulf Stream Golf Club, The Wianno Club, The Beach Club of Centerville, Massachusetts, The Hyannis Yacht Club, and The New York Yacht Club. Undeterred by most obstacles, Mr. Vander Wolk, the Dancing Bear, made magic happen when most others said it wasn't possible, and he routinely punched his ticket on what he referred to as "The Good Life Express." He made a significant impression on and will be sorely missed by many. The family will celebrate his life with a gathering at the Wianno Club in Osterville, Massachusetts on Sunday, July 29th from 4pm to 6pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Achievement Centers For Children and Families, 555 NW 4th St, Delray Beach, Fl 33444, acheivementcentersfl.org.
Funeral Home
Lorne and Sons Funeral Home - Delray Beach
745 NE 6th Ave.
Delray Beach, FL 33483
(561) 276-4161
Funeral Home Details
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Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on June 24, 2018
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