John Barcalow VanDerbeek IV
{ "" }
Share John's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
John Barcalow VanDERBEEK IV John was born in Aberdeen, Washington to John and Dorothy Carey VanDerbeek on February 6, 1952 and died unexpectedly at his home on Mercer Island, Washington on June 1, 2009. He graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1970 and obtained a B.A. in Finance and Economics in May of 1974 from the University of Puget Sound. He subsequently obtained his Juris Doctor of Law from Seattle University. He married Diane on July 7, 1985 and they have no children but love their nine nieces and nephews and seven great nieces and nephews. John had been self employed in commercial real estate, as a private lobbyist, and as a self employed investor. He owned several small businesses and had invested in residential and commercial real estate and stock and managed his own properties for over 30 years. He had volunteered in numerous environmental causes including the Raincoast Organization in British Columbia, was a contributing author in Environmental Law Quarterly, worked on the King County Farmlands Preservation bill, and was a strong supporter of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington. The weekend before his untimely death he attended a Dedication Ceremony there and was so excited to see the project nearing completion so that the programs to get children on the water could commence. He was a member of the Seattle Yacht Club and chaired numerous committees for that organization. In 2008, John was asked to be Commodore of the Victoria Classic Boat Festival in British Columbia, Canada. He is the immediate Past President of the Holland Society of New York. During his Presidency of the Holland Society of New York, he implemented a large membership drive, traveled throughout the country to attend branch meetings, and re-designed the website, while presiding at the completion of the first major capital campaign for the organization to accomplish the move of the library and headquarters into new space for the first time in forty years. As well, Mr. VanDerbeek had been very involved in Hudson 400, the 2009 Celebration, and was recently invited to travel to the Netherlands to represent HSNY at "First Strike Ceremony" of the Hudson/Half Moon 400th Commemorative Coins and for an audience with Her Majesty Queen Beatrix. His avocations included classic power yachting, music and the arts, baseball coaching, and fund raising for environmental protection issues and historical organizations, for which he has received a gold medal recognizing same. He is survived by his Wife, Diane, sisters Rebecca Mars (Stan) of Seabeck, Washington; Martha "Muffy" Unger (Bob) of Dallas, Texas; and Melanie Bickar (Denny) of Aberdeen; Diane's father, Robert Lander of Mercer Island; Diane's sisters, Becky (Alex) of Bainbridge Island and Lys of Savannah, Georgia; his mother's sister and her husband, Bonnie and Stan Antich also of Aberdeen, numerous cousins, nieces and nephews together with many loyal and beloved friends and associates. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Northwest Maritime Center, 380 Jefferson Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368; The Holland Society of New York, 20 W. 44th Street 5th Floor, New York, New York 10036; or the VanDerbeek Memorial Garden at the First United Methodist Church 100 E. 2nd Street, Aberdeen, Washington 98520. Viewing from 2:00 - 3:30 on Friday, June 5 at Whiteside Funeral Home followed by burial at Fern Hill Cemetery in Aberdeen at 4:30. Celebration of life Memorial Service on Saturday, June 6, at 1:00 at First United Methodist Church, 100 E. 2nd Street, Aberdeen.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times from Jun. 4 to Jun. 6, 2009.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
30 entries
July 3, 2009
Dear Diane, As a friend from the East Coast, I have not seen enough of you and John, but the times we did spend together, have always been of such high quality. It is impossible to imagine life without our beloved John. I am sorry I did not make it to sail with you "guys" at the sight of the First Nation. Please accept my sincere condolences. Love Adriana Vink
Adriana Vink
July 3, 2009
In rememberance, the quality I admired most about John was his frequent acknowledgement of your vital role in his accomplishments and philanthropic activities.
As recently as the Holland Society's Annual Dinner, he included you and your own remarks from the podium as part of his valedictory address as President. You have my sympathy in dealing with such a sad loss ,made more so by its suddenness.
Surely you know that the Dutch heritage friends you have made would like to have you continue sharing fellowship together. I lost a friend in John and will be remembering him long after the celebrations of the 400th are over.
Thankfully, you are of strong spirit and I have hope that I will be of use to you sometime in further support. Sincerely, Charlotte
charlotte Squarcy
June 25, 2009
Dear Diane, I was shocked and am deeply saddened by your husband's passing. His life was remembered by a memorial silence during last evening's meeting of the Niagara Frontier Branch of The Holland Society in Buffalo. John gave the Society brilliant leadership for which he will be long appreciated by those of us who had the privilege of meeting him. His vision must be kept before us. Sincerely yours, Andrew Brink (Trustee emeritus)
Andrew Brink
June 18, 2009
Dear Diane,

I just learned of John passing away. I am so sorry for your loss. He was a great man that was always easy to talk speak your mind to. If I ever get the chance to drive the Olympus again I will miss looking over the dining salon roof and feel better seeing him on the bow, knowing there was two people watching where we were going.

There will never be a time when I look at the boat and not think of what great things he did to keep it alive.
Sean Bull
June 16, 2009
Dear Diane; I am a member of the Royal Victoria yacht club and you and your husband most graciously invited us on board Olympus. My husband and I are very saddened to hear of John's untimely death. Our thoughts are with you at this time. We will always remember your kind hospitality. Robert and Tibbie Adams
Tibbie Adams
June 16, 2009
Dear Diane,

It was a true honor to have met you and John in the recent past. John embraced us with such open warmth and acccepted us as brethren. We are moved beyond words at the loss of such a kind and caring individual - a great man! Our prayers go with you in your grief.
Natalia Petrianyk
June 12, 2009
Dear Diane,

Word has just reached me about John's tragic death. Please know that our prayers are with you at the Old Dutch Church in Kingston, New York.

The Rev. Kenneth L. Walsh
June 11, 2009
Dear Diane,
Our thoughts are with you during these difficult days. We have such fond memories of our joint events together over the past few years since John was President of the Holland Society.
I hope our paths will cross again and that you will choose to remain a part of our Dutch community.
Mary Woodfill Park, Directress General, Society of Daughters of Holland Dames
Lee Park, Friend of the Holland Society
Mary Park
June 11, 2009
Dear Diane, Mary and I treasure the wonderful trip with you and John to the Netherlands. The introduction to the Queen was really a highlight for both John and me. John will be greatly missed.
Andy and Mary Hendricks
June 9, 2009
Dear Diane,
Peter and I have just learned of your heartbreaking loss and just know that our thoughts are with you.
Peter and Barbara Huenink
June 9, 2009
Dearest Diane,

I share your grief in more ways than you know. I want to again express my deepest sorrow over this tragic episode in our lives. I have been encouraged by your unwaivering strength in all of this and hope that you will continue on encouraged by the sweet memory of this wonderful man.
Steven Snedeker
June 9, 2009
My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort. The pain of loss is the price we pay for the gift of love.
Eugene Church
June 8, 2009
Diane: The sudden and unexpected passing of John is indeed a tragic event. His energy and devotion to the Holland Society and its objects and activities will be sorely missed. You and your family have my deepest sympathy.
David William Voorhees
June 8, 2009

Whenever we lose a friend, our world is lessened for it. Know that John's spirit will remain embedded in our lives and we will miss him! Our hearts break for you, but we know that your spirit will carry you through.

Leigh and Jim Van Blarcom
Jim Van Blarcom
June 8, 2009
Diane - The lovely services were a wonderful tribute to John. Everything said about him confirms that he was just what we always saw - he was a friend who was always willing to listen and to lend a helping hand. He will be missed especially by all of us connected with the Holland Society
Colin Lazier
June 7, 2009
Diane, so sorry to hear about your lost. I wish your husband would be alive with all means.
Truly yours
Mila (Emma , Adrian's ex. now) and best wishes.
Mila Afonina
June 6, 2009
Thinking of you and all your family on such a sad day.
Robert Richardson
June 6, 2009
Dear Diane,
I was so sorry to here about John. I wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. If there is anything I can do to help, please, please let me know.
Nancy Kezner (Krebs)
June 6, 2009
Diane: We just heard a few moments ago about John. We just are heartbroken. We have always cared so deeply for both of you. Both of you were a large part of our lives for many years and we are sorry that we did not stay in touch over the past couple of years and make more of an effort to spend time with both of you. Please call us just as soon as possibly feel up to it. 206-353-1622
Love you both. Diana and Alex
Diana Kershner
June 5, 2009
Diane, So sorry to hear about John. Nothing can ever prepare us for such an untimely event. Your strong personality will help you move forward through this difficult time. John and Cody are together....
Sharon Canny
June 5, 2009
John was my second cousin, I remember when I was young looking forward to trips to Aberdeen and Lost Lake to see Jonnie, thats what we always called him, even though he was 8 years older he always had time for us and made us feel welcome and part of the Van Der Beek family, he will truly be missed
My deepest sympathies
Mike Mathews
June 5, 2009
Diane, my heart goes out to you. John was a very wonderful man and his life will be remembered as such by all who had the opportunity to meet him.
Nancy & Tim Wistrom
June 5, 2009
Nere and I send you our most heartfelt sympathy over your loss. John was a special chap to so many of us. May his spirit live on in his chosen causes and in every sail of OLYMPUS.
Mike & Nere Oswald
June 5, 2009
Diane: Molly and I remember John with great fondness. In addition to his many lifetime accomplishments he was a very accomplished yachtman and supporter of the ACBS. He has created a legacy of work with The Holland Society of New York and will be long remembered for his initiatives on behalf on the Society.
Bob and Molly Banta
June 4, 2009
Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this sad and lonely time. If you need help in any way~please call on us.
Jane Eagle Don Cable
June 4, 2009
May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Jane Eagle
June 4, 2009
Diane - You and John have been such fun, generous, and kind friends. We will miss his kindness, and gentlemanly nature. He loved so many elegant things and traditions and yet remained an unpretentious boy from Aberdeen. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Karen Kenyon and Tom Rausch
June 4, 2009
John's yacht, the 1929 fantail motoryacht Olympus, is known by most in this area to be the classiest yacht on the water. But it was upstaged by John himself, who embodied all of the class and tradition of the golden age of yachting, yet with a modern low-key friendliness and graciousness seldom seen today. It was a complete pleasure to work for him as captain and sometimes-stew of Olympus and we will miss him greatly.
Rick and Jackie Etsell
June 4, 2009
Diane - I am so sorry to hear of your loss please know that I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. Anita - Professional Travel Service, Inc.
Anita Bornemann
June 4, 2009
Diane, we had not had a chance to look at the papers this week until today and, we are shocked. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Bob Simpson also sends his condolences. We remember fondly our tour of Olympus and the pride John had showing it off. He was a gentleman. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you as you move forward.
Kris and Charlie Robbs
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences