October 1, 1929 – November 14, 2020
Jan Spaargaren, of Old Saybrook CT, formerly of Farmingdale NY, New Hartford NY, Lyndhurst OH, Lafayette IN, and The Hague in The Netherlands, passed away on November 14, 2020.
He was born on October 1, 1929, in The Hague, The Netherlands, the son of Jan Spaargaren and Janke Spaargaren-Haas. Jan graduated from MTS Technical College in The Hague in 1950 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He worked for various Architect/Engineering companies until he retired in 1996.
Jan met the love of his life, Alida Boiten, in high school in 1945 in The Hague, The Netherlands shortly after the war ended. They married in 1954 and immigrated to the United States in 1956 and settled in Lafayette, IN.
In his youth, Jan played football (soccer) in The Netherlands, playing the forward position. He was also an avid soccer fan and took every opportunity to watch his favorite teams no matter where they were playing in the world or what time day or night when it was televised. When in The Netherlands, he would go to a soccer match in the city of Nijmegen where he would memorize the complete song text of the team hymn in local Nijmegen's dialect.
Jan was renowned in the family as a great storyteller, often with himself featuring in a not-so-smart role. A recurring theme in these stories was also the unique “Jan Spaargaren logic”, different from the logic of most people. It made for great fun in our family with many laughs over the years.
Jan had many other interests and hobbies. He was a talented artist and made many drawings and paintings of the places he had visited. He loved travel and traveled extensively throughout the USA and Europe with the children, parents, siblings and nephews and nieces. He would spend countless hours setting up the day by day travels carefully labeling the trip in many colors on the maps. Of course, not everything went as planned and this is where many of his stories and different way of thinking were best demonstrated. Jan loved to read books, fix anything broken, making puzzles, and walking and hiking anywhere he could. Everything he did he did with maximum gusto and effort and positive energy.
Jan is survived by his wife Alida; sons Rob Spaargaren and his wife Sue Gilbert of Grand Rapids, MI, and John Spaargaren and his partner Jessica Walker of Old Saybrook, CT; brother Cornelis Spaargaren and his wife Marian of the Netherlands; grandchildren Maxwell, Natalie, Michael, Daniel and his fiancée Sarah Smith, Eric, Nicholas, and Andrew; and many nephews and nieces. Jan was predeceased by his daughter Yvonne and his siblings, Catherina, Johannes, and Johanna.
Services will be private.