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Official Obituary of

Gerrit "Gerry" de Vries

September 18, 1935 ~ March 28, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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Gerrit "Gerry" de Vries Obituary

Mr. Gerrit (Gerry) de Vries, 88, of Lake Wylie, SC, (formerly of Hamden CT) passed away peacefully on Thursday March 28th, 2024 at his residence in Lake Wylie Assisted Living Center.  

A private family gathering celebrating his life will be held later this spring.

Gerrit de Vries was born on September 18, 1935 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  At the age of 5 when World War II broke out, his family sent him and his older siblings to Northern Holland to protect them from the bombings of the war.  He lived with a family affiliated with their church for several months until it was safe to return to his parents. As an adult Gerrit served in the Dutch Military.  Gerrit married Anne Verrips in 1958 and from 1960 until 1966 Gerry and Anne had 4 children.   Gerrit’s career in food engineering with both Nestle and Amstel moved their family to live in over 5 different countries before coming to the United States in the summer of 1966.  Gerry and his family settled in New Jersey and made Hawthorne their home. Gerrit attended NYU night school in pursuit of his Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering.  It was during this 6 year study that their final son was welcomed into the family in 1968.  Gerrit continued his commute into Manhattan for his job while pursuing his college degree at night.  Upon completion of his studies Gerrit began a career in Sales in the Food Engineering Industry at Dorr Oliver, focusing on sugars and starches which spanned over 28+ years.  His career took him to Cuba, Argentina, Western Europe, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Iran, China and Malaysia.  Gerrit spoke 7 languages and loved traveling to distant lands to meet new people from around the world.  Several of his customers from abroad would come to New York to do business and Gerrit and Anne would host them for dinner in their home.  

Gerrit loved spending time with his 5 children and wife.  He attended all of his children’s  sporting events and school events with enthusiasm and delight.  Gerrit loved music and encouraged each child to learn an instrument.  Gerrit and Anne took the kids camping each summer and they camped in various states where there were either beaches or lakes for boating and swimming.  Gerrit loved to swim and cook outdoors and enjoy nature.  Gerrit and Anne instilled a love of learning in their children and supported each child’s pursuits of a college degree.  In 1990 Gerrit and Anne moved to Hamden CT to be closer to his job.  Gerrit’s faith in Jesus Christ compelled him to serve others.  He and Anne would often serve at their home church, Hawthorne Gospel. They hosted small groups and welcomed people who were learning about their own faith in Christ.  Gerrit and Anne went to Camp Spofford and spent many weekends there helping in the kitchen while camp was being held.  Gerrit's retirement in 2000 gave him more time to serve and enjoy the Christian community in Spofford, New Hampshire.  During retirement Gerrit and Anne also traveled extensively to Europe, South Africa, Argentina, Malayasi, New Zealand, China, and several islands in the Caribbean.  Gerrit visited almost all of the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska.  His favorite way to travel was camping in state and national parks. Gerrit’s children lived in several states and he and his wife would visit each family frequently during special events.  

In 2015 Gerrit moved with his wife to Clover, SC and continued to enjoy visiting his family and hosting family.  Gerrit’s family grew as grandchildren got married and great grandchildren began to arrive.  With each new wedding or birth Gerrit continued to welcome and love each new family member.  In November of 2022 Gerrit and Anne moved to Lake Wylie Assisted Living Center where he enjoyed the community of residents and staff.  Gerry never met a stranger and was always thankful and kind to others.  

Gerrit is preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Anne Johanna Verrips de Vries.  Survivors are his daughters Sara de Vries-Sandifer (Kelly) and Martha de Vries Stein (Peter); sons, Jacob de Vries, John de Vries (Regina), and William de Vries (Ruth); seventeen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.  Gerry was a beloved son, husband, father, “Opa” and friend, and  will be missed by all who knew him. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Camp Spofford, 24 Route 9A, PO Box 162, Spofford, NH 03462 https://campspofford.org.

M.L. Ford and Sons Funeral Home, Lake Wylie, SC is serving the family of Mr. de Vries. 















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