Lucas Jacobus Frederik “Frits” van Riemsdyk, formerly of Callawassie Island, SC, and Madison and Chatham, NJ, died on March 5, 2018.
Frits was born in De Bilt, The Netherlands, on August 12, 1932. Having survived the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II, Frits and his family were always deeply appreciative of the Canadian and American forces that liberated his childhood home from the Nazi occupation. His appreciation for most things Canadian and American was profound, with both countries playing a significant role throughout his life.
After graduating from De Munnik College in Utrecht, and serving in the Royal Netherlands Army as a platoon commander, Frits started his international banking career as a management trainee for the ABN-AMRO Bank in The Netherlands. In 1957, he married the love of his life, Jonkvrouwe Mieke Sickinghe of Den Haag, and soon emigrated to Canada where both were employed by the Bank of Montreal. In 1960, they moved to New York, where he joined the International Banking Division of the American Express Company. He would soon return to the Netherlands as the Branch Manager for the American Express Bank in Amsterdam from 1962-1968. Upon his return to New York as the Regional Area Executive and subsequently, First Vice President, Frits traveled extensively throughout the world. While he always enjoyed his travels throughout Europe, his adventurous spirit was most satisfied by his travels to South Africa, Turkey, Iran and Israel. He retired from American Express after nearly 30 years of service in 1988.
Throughout his life, and particularly during his retirement, sailing and power boating fulfilled an insatiable need for adventure. Prior to a decline in his health, Frits cruised extensively on his trawler yacht BRANDARIS along the US East Coast and the Bahamas. He was an avid videographer, documenting his many maritime and global travel adventures while earning his well established reputation as Captain Video! Frits was a member of the South Carolina Yacht Club of Hilton Head, SC, the Callawassie Island Club, and the Royal Netherlands Yacht Club of Loosdrecht.
Frits was predeceased by his wife Mieke in 1986. He is survived by his son Frans-Willem van Riemsdyk and his wife Allison; two daughters Sacha Altadonna and her husband Tony, and Marina Ermold and her husband Eric; and 9 grandchildren James, Trevor and Brendan van Riemsdyk, Joseph, Andrew and Anthony Altadonna, and Alexander, Austin and Annika Ermold. Frits is also survived by his sister Maryke and her husband Berge Manzoian, and extended family in the Netherlands, Agathon and Anne Sickinghe, Eilko and Sorcha Sickinghe, Veronica Reuchlin Sickinghe, Ineke Sickinghe, and their respective families.
A Funeral Service will be held on Friday, March 16, 2018 at the Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home, 345 Main Street, Chatham, NJ. Friends and family are invited to gather at 1pm with a service following at 1:30pm. Those who wish to make a contribution in memory of Frits may do so, to the Boomer Esiason Foundation for Cystic Fibrosis, the Autism Speaks Foundation and the American Cancer Society.
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