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Groenveld: was part of the fabric of Manteca

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POSTED June 29, 2009 2:08 a.m.
Arie Groenveld, 83, was an inquisitive man of habit – he will be sorely missed.

Walking from his home insurance office every morning to the post office  – nearly half a mile – he would whistle on his way and greet anyone he met.  It was his way and it became a habit.

Community members were quick to recognize Arie on the street – they would wave and he would wave back.  He was definitely a positive part of the fabric in the community.

“I’m not nosey – I just want to know everything,” he jokingly said of himself.

A charter member of the Manteca Rotary Club in 1959, it became a habit to make every noontime meeting on Thursdays. Arie served as president in 1976 taking the club forward, bringing members closer together.

He had a habit of working to create new Rotary Clubs in neighboring communities.  It was a love for him to see the Rotary theme – “service above self” – spread to other cities and towns.

Arie did his part in chartering clubs in Lodi, Tracy, Ripon, Turlock, Galt, Lathrop,  and was instrumental in launching the Manteca Morning Rotary Club.  He was definitely proud of his family and secondly he was proud of Rotary and what the organization was accomplishing in the U.S. and in the world.

He made sure to attend the world conventions for Rotary when he could arrange it.  Arie was in Kansas City, Las Vegas and New Orleans among others.

He became a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary in 1984 and subsequently bestowed that honor on his family members.

It was a habit to keep in contact with folks – to let them know he cared.

Another habit in his life was to make all the Manteca Planning Commission meetings after the late Mayor Ed Pitts saw to his appointment.  It was yet another habit to make sure all his friends and clients received a card on their special day.  It was Arie’s way to remember everyone – they knew he had them in mind.

That ready smile and his dry sense of humor never deserted him even when his health declined in later years – serving as a docent at the Manteca Museum.  He was a charter member of the Manteca Historical Society.

Stamp collecting was his number one hobby along with gardening as well as traveling the globe with his wife Annie of 54 years.  Family was very important to Arie  in his day-to-day life.

A native of Holland, Arie welcomed two of his brothers to this country for a total extended family of 21 – getting together regularly for holidays and special outings.  

Arie Groenveld is survived by one son Reijer and his wife Lynn, daughter Telka Walser and her husband Jerry.  Grandchildren are Sloane Kathryn and Reijer Arie Groenveld and Jerry Reijer Walser.

Siblings include Janie, Lena Marijt, Bert (Dini), Piet (Ethel), Nel (Joris) and Reijer (Barbara); in-laws Wim Barske, Hans Nijholt (Tini) and Wimmie Nijolt-Mooiweer and Cornelia Groenveld.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his son Eric, his father and mother-in-law Geert Nijolt and Akke Nijolt-Cloo.  His brother Klaas, brothers-in-law Joost, Jaap, Cor, Joop and Gerrit (Jannie), sisters-in-law, Klaske Barske-Nijolt and Tine Bodaan-Nijolt (Hans).

A memorial service is set for 11 a.m. at the P.L. Fry and Son Chapel, 290 North Union Road, Wednesday July 1, to be followed by a gathering of family and friends.  

Memorial contributions may be made to the Manteca Rotary Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1009, Manteca, CA, 95336.
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