BURLINGTON - Mr. Pieter E. Hoekstra, 89, of 425 Neese Drive, died Monday, March 19, 2012 at the Homeplace of Burlington.
He was born in Caracas, Venezuela, the second child of J. A. Hoekstra and Jacoba Fockens. He grew up in Venezuela, Switzerland, Indonesia, and the Netherlands. During World War II he served in the Dutch resistance and helped to guide downed Allied airmen back through German-occupied territory. After the war he immigrated to the United States. He went to school at Iowa State University and North Carolina State University, graduating with BS and MS degrees in Forestry. He was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity at N. C. State University. He later followed a 30-year career as a civil servant in the Forest Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. That career was guided by his lifelong intellectual curiosity, taking him through positions working in basic research, national, state and local, urban, and international forestry. He also worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and well as the United States Agency for International Development, living in Peru, Italy, and Viet Nam, and traveling to forestry projects around the world. Pieter was a member of the Rosicrucian Order for 60 years.
While studying in Raleigh he met and later married Mary Lloyd Hoekstra. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather for 60 years. In addition to his wife of the home, survivors include three sons, Robert M. Hoekstra of Richmond, VA, John W. Hansel of Burlington, NC and Robert Huber of Bangkok, Thailand; one sister, Elisabeth Morse of Southern Pines, NC; three granddaughters, Michelle D. Hoekstra of Atlanta, GA, Elsa R. Hoekstra of Richmond, VA, and Mary H. Hansel of Los Angeles, CA; and one grandson, John W. Hansel of Los Angeles, CA.
A memorial service will be conducted at the Rich & Thompson Chapel in Burlington, NC on Saturday, March 24, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. by Rev. Ben Bishop with the family receiving friends from 1 to 2 p.m. prior to the service.
Condolences may be offered at richandthonmpson.com