Hendrik (Henk) Colijn, 94, of Hendersonville passed away Friday, October 5, 2018. He was born in The Hague (Netherlands) on July 19, 1924.
He spent the first 14 years in the Dutch East Indies (what is now called Indonesia).
In 1938 he returned to The Netherlands for his studies (Gymnasium), while his parents
returned back in 1939 to the Indies, where they became prisoners of the Japanese.
The German Army invaded The Netherlands in the spring of 1940 and Henk spent 5 years under German occupation. In 1942, he was forced to report for slave labor in Germany but decided instead to go “underground” and joined the resistance movement, where he participated in helping the Jews, in armed resistance and weapon droppings by the RAF. He was able to stay out of German captivity, although he had many close calls.
At the end of the war, he enlisted in the Dutch Expeditionary Force for the Dutch East Indies to liberate his parents but was later discharged after being wounded during a field exercise and was returned to civilian life. He then decided to enroll at the Institute of Technology in Delft for Mechanical Engineering, where he graduated with a master’s degree in 1951. He married Ann Felderhof in 1951 who had been his fiancée for 6 years.
After working for a while for a Dutch Consulting firm he went to England and joined there the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Wolverhampton.
In 1953, the Colijn family emigrated to the USA, where Henk continued his employment with Goodyear, in various engineering capacities, until he decided to remain permanently in the USA and switched to the US Steel Corp. He was naturalized as an American Citizen in 1958. He worked for 19 years for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, US Steel and Penn Central RR, until he decided to go solo as an independent consulting engineer in 1971 and served worldwide. He has frequently lectured at a number of universities in USA and Canada and written many papers on the subject of bulk materials handling and storage. He retired in 2004, at age 80, but continued his volunteer work till he died.
During his career Henk found time to participate in many social activities, such as:
the Boy Scouts as Scout Master; the Church as Lay Preacher, Sunday School Teacher, and Church Council President; and the Local Community as counselor.
He leaves behind his wife of 67 years and four sons, one daughter, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to the LPL Employee Appreciation Fund in memory of Hendrik Colijn, LPL Resident Council 333 Thompson Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792.