A private family-only burial service will take place in Morgan Hill on Saturday, March 30, 2013. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Online condolences at www.habingfamilyfuneralhome.com
Jan Frederik Schimscheimer, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, 79, passed away peacefully on March 26, 2013, in Emerald Hills, CA.
He was known as Frits by all who knew him. Frits was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on April 23, 1933, to Jan Frederik Schimscheimer and Teetje Komen.
He grew up in a family marked by great resilience, strength, and integrity, who endured five years of living in occupied Holland during World War II. Frits always showed a natural curiosity and love of learning. He graduated from college in Amsterdam and then became a Chemical Engineer at Royal Dutch Shell.
He met the love of his life, Gerda, while skating on the canals in Holland, and several years later, they were married; a marriage that lasted 55 years.
Frits and Gerda always dreamed big and shared a great sense of adventure, so when the opportunity came, they emigrated to the United States in 1957 where they ultimately became citizens. They settled in California where he worked for Royal Dutch Shell and then IBM and Stanford Research Institute where he filed and received several patents. He reveled in the world of science, early disk drive technology, and chemical engineering with a mantra to “keep it simple”.
Always looking for the next new adventure, Frits transferred to Naarden, Inc., first to Holland and then to Maryland. While living in Europe and on the East Coast, with Gerda and his young family at his side, he showed them the great sights and monuments and shared his love of this country.
While dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm marked his long career, his main focus was always his family. Wanting his children to grow up in California, he moved his family back to the beautiful state that he loved most. It was a great choice and the family camped and hiked often at Lake Tahoe and in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The last twenty five years of his career were spent at Chemical Systems Division, United Technologies, in Coyote, CA, where he produced and tested rocket propellant.
He was recognized by the Navy for his contributions to the Minuteman Missile Program. After retirement, Frits stayed active and consulted for Abbott Laboratories to improve medical catheters.
Finally, he decided it was time to enjoy his beloved home in Morgan Hill with Gerda. Over the years, they gardened together, creating a masterpiece of trees and flowers on their orchard land in Paradise Valley.
He enjoyed having his five grandchildren come to the land and climb trees.
Frits will be remembered for his dedication, love, and faithfulness to his wife and family, his incredible curiosity and keen interest in the world around him, and his great energy and love of life. He was a force in the family and will be greatly missed.
He leaves behind his wife, Gerda, son Fred and wife Karen, daughters Carole and Ingrid, and son Mark and wife Ramona. Grandchildren include Michael, Stephen, Christina, and Carolyne, and Sabrina.