Seymour (Seiko a.k.a. “Koos”) VanderVeen, died amidst an enormous embrace of love and prayers from his family & many friends on Saturday, July 8th ending a long & full life spanning 80 years (or “four-score,” as he liked to say.) Seymour was born in Marum, Groningen of the Netherlands as the third child of Fokko & Pietreke VanderVeen on December 4, 1936. Through the hard & lean years of the Nazi occupation and the many hardships that followed, his parents instilled a deep faith along with the values & incredible work ethic that guided his life. While working for an esteemed dairy farm in his hometown he met the love of his wife, Grace (Geeske) Vogelzang, who also milked the 30+ cows by hand (even faster than he could.) But the dream of one day having their own farm would only be possible by immigrating to the United States. After a long hard year apart while working on his sponsor’s dairy farm in New Jersey, he could finally go back to Holland to marry his sweetheart in December of 1957. Shortly thereafter, each leaving large families behind they crossed the Atlantic together to begin their amazing adventure first in Sussex, N.J. & Port Jervis, N.Y. on rented farms. But then in May of 1967 they finally realized the dream of owning their own farm and moved to the farmstead on Sheldon Rd. Their family & farm grew together as they were greatly blessed with four healthy sons and two daughters. Together they became a testimony to the potential of what is possible when a couple’s love & commitment for each other is expressed through sacrifice and hard work with integrity & perseverance, and most of all with a shared gratitude for God’s amazing grace in each and every blessing.
Seymour always believed “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and he was never ashamed or hesitant to share his faith since he held to it as the foundation and lens for all of life. His love for the Lord was evidenced by his lifelong dedication & service to the church’s many ministries as well as his great support for Christian education. But he also threw himself fully into every aspect of farm life as his secondary passions for cows and agriculture were clearly in his blood. He was always driven to improve the production of his cows and land but also loved networking for the betterment of the dairy industry and improving the farmer’s share for fair pricing of all foods produced. Seymour served on too many agricultural boards and committees to mention but was especially fond of his time on the boards of Soil & Water Conservation and Northeast Livestock Processing Service Co. He also loved being an auctioneer or master of ceremonies whenever he could and getting a laugh from whoever would listen to another joke or story. He will be sorely missed by all who worked or served beside him.
He is survived by his two sisters in Holland, Aafke Jansma & Greet VanderVeen, his children, sons Frank (Deedee), Robert (Faith), Reese (Yvonne), and daughters Heidie (Jeremy) Armao, and Patricia (Charlie) Tangen, as well as 24 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He is predeceased by his beloved wife Grace, his two brothers, Cor & Marinus, and his 3rd son, Cornelis (Nancy) VanderVeen.
Visitation will be held on Thursday evening July 13th from 6:30-8:30pm at the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Duanesburg.
Funeral Service will be on Friday afternoon July 14th beginning at 2:00pm and will also be held at the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Duanesburg.
In lieu of flowers or other gifts, please consider making a donation to: Life Saver Ministries, P.O. Box 407, Gloversville, NY 12078 (Go to: helpimpregnant.com for more info.)