North Olympic Peninsula Obituaries

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John Van Zonneveld

Sept. 17, 1927 -- March 11, 2009

John Van Zonneveld of Port Ludlow died of congestive heart failure. He was 81.

He was born in Sassenheim, Netherlands, to Arie and Johnna (Besselaar) Van Zonneveld, and came to the United States immediately after World War II.

He served in the Army and was discharged in 1947.

Mr. Van Zonneveld became a U.S. citizen in 1951, and graduated from University of Puget Sound in 1953.

He then taught and coached at Stadium High School in Tacoma until 1957, when he joined Sears Roebuck & Co. He managed stores throughout the Northwest, including Port Angeles'.

Mr. Van Zonneveld left Sears as district sales manager for Eastern Washington, Idaho and Montana to create his own company, Vanco Recreation, in 1969.

Vanco was a regional sales and distribution company, and included a construction division and sporting goods wholesale distributorship in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

He married Elizabeth Holden on Oct. 26, 1975, in Stateline, Nev.

Mr. Van Zonneveld operated Vanco with his wife until retiring from business in 1989.

He belonged to Rotary until 2002, including serving as past president of the Kent Rotary Club.

Mr. Van Zonneveld sponsored creation of the Alaska Parks and Recreation Society in 1972, and was a lifetime member of that organization.

He also co-chaired the Washington State Outdoor Recreation Resource Committee, appointed by Gov. John Spellman in 1983, and served as trustee representing Washington and Oregon to the National Parks and Recreation Society, Washington, D.C., from 1986 to 1990.

He was appointed to the blue ribbon National Outdoor Recreation Planning Committee for President Ronald Reagan in 1986 to 1988.

Moving to Port Ludlow in 2002, he continued his commitment to community service, serving on the Port Ludlow Village Council's Community Development Committee, the Ludlow Maintenance Commission Bard of Trustees and several of its committees, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 41, Port Ludlow Community Church and Port Ludlow Yacht Club.

Survivors include his wife; sons and daughters-in-law Michael and Lynn Van Zonneveld of Dillon, Mont., and John E. and Kimberly Van Zonneveld of Tacoma; stepson and his wife Holden and Heather Kelley of Greenback; stepdaughter Charlotte Kelley of Washington D.C.; sister and brother-in-law Theodora and Richard Johnson of Seattle; brother-in-law L.B. Anderson of Ocala, Fla.; and five grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by sister Petronella Anderson.

Services: Saturday, April 11, 3 p.m., memorial celebration of life at the Port Ludlow Beach Club, 121 Marina View Drive, Port Ludlow.

Linde Family Funeral Service, Sequim, is entrusted with arrangements.

Last modified: March 20. 2009 4:42AM
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