John Geesink

June 19, 1937April 10, 2014

John Geesink, 76, of Newburyport, died Thursday in the Kaplan Family Hospice House from complications related to prostate cancer. He was the loving husband of Bonnie Sontag.

Born in Groenlo, The Netherlands, on June 19, 1937, John came to the US when he was 21. After graduating from Gordon College, he studied and taught at Boston University, Harvard University and the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, MA. John earned a doctoral degree in applied behavioral sciences from UMass. He was a language instructor and course developer until he started his 20 year management and consulting career for Digital Equipment Corporation, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and then his own consultancy practice. John became a US citizen in 1974.

Settling in Newburyport in 1999, John actively pursued his passion for photographing the local scenery that inspired him. He exhibited and sold his visual images at Time and Tide Arts, Ipswich, and Valerie’s Gallery, Newburyport. He attempted to intrigue the viewer of his nature-photographs to see beyond the surface image and to strike a responsive chord unique to each individual.

In addition to his wife, John is survived by his brother Jan Bob Geesink and two generations of nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Gabrielle. John will live on in our hearts and through the images he saw with his photographer’s eye and created for us to remember.

John’s funeral service will be held Sunday, April 13, 2014 at Congregation Ahavas Achim, 53½ Washington St. (corner of Olive St.), Newburyport, at 1:00 PM followed by internment in Newburyport Hebrew Cemetery, 10 Toll Road, Salisbury. Family and friends are respectfully welcomed. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in John’s name may be made to Congregation Ahavas Achim or Kaplan Family Hospice House, 78 Liberty St., Danvers, MA 01923. Memorial Observance following the interment on Sunday at the late residence from 4:00 PM.


  • Funeral Service Sunday, April 13, 2014
  • Burial Sunday, April 13, 2014

John Geesink

have a memory or condolence to add?

Pekka Roine

March 24, 2018

Dear Bonnie,
John was so important in my professional life, and is dearly remembered and missed.
Tried to reach out to you earlier: just found this...

Peter Moyes

April 6, 2015

My dear Bonnie

I have just belatedly seen the sad news of John's passing and am very sad indeed. John really was a remarkable person in all kinds of ways and I am sure you must miss him tremendously. My deepest sympathies.


July 25, 2014

Hi Bonnie - what memories of John we all have when you were both in Geneva - a great guy - we'll all miss him. I also remember taking you both to Stratford upon Avon's Royal Shakespeare Theatre to see Peer Gynt performed - a great evening.
Ann D (Broadway, UK)

Nancy Settle

May 13, 2014

Dear Bonnie, I am still in shock that I will never hear John's delightful laugh and participate in so many scintillating conversations. A finer man there never was. My heart goes out to you, my friend. - Nancy SM

Ben Fordham

April 29, 2014

Bonnie, I am devastated by John's death, as I know you must be. John was a stalwart colleague, and a true gentleman. He was kind to me and always willing to lend a helping hand and a gentle guide. He will be missed. Although we are never prepared for this loss, I know you will call on your considerable strength and make it through. Please know that you will be in my prayers at this difficult time, and always.
Ben Fordham

April 21, 2014

Dear Bonnie, We are so sorry to hear of John's passing, and your great loss. Please accept our sincerest condolences. John was an incredible person who will be greatly missed. Leslie Finn and Mike Horner (Coppet Switzerland)

Bernard Al

April 18, 2014

Dear Bonnie,
More than a week after John passed away I have still difficulties to accept that we will never again have the exceptional kind of discussions we had since January 1995, when we met for the first time in Givrins. After you settled in Newburyport in 1999 we continued as before. The distance didn't matter at all. Our subsequent encounters at your place or at ours were 'diamonds in the sky'. John was truly an extraordinary friend.


April 17, 2014

Dear Bonnie,
I just discover John is no more with us. It is a great pain.
I admired John and it was a great pleasure to have spend time with him (and you). John was a warm, kind and wise man. I will always remember him.
Bonnie, I wish you all the best. Sincere condolences.

April 16, 2014

Dear Bonnie,

All my thoughts are going to you in this difficult period.

Although it has been quite some time since we didn't see each other, I will always remember John as a brilliant man, a philantropist and talented as a photographer - (remember the pictures he brought from Guinea Bissau). We had good laugh together when discussing relocation matters: Take good care. Mireille Zurbriggen (Divonne-les-Bains, France).

Lydia & Lowell Widmer

April 15, 2014

A kind and generous man - bless him, his wife and family...

We Remember Them…
In the rising of the sun and in its going down,
We remember them;

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
We remember them;

In the opening of buds and in the warmth of summer,
We remember them;

In the rustling of leaves and the beauty of autumn,
We remember them;

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
We remember them;

When we are weary and in need of strength,
We remember them;

When we are lost and sick at heart,
We remember them;

When we have joys we yearn to share,
We remember them;

So long as we live, they too shall live
For they are now a part of us as
We remember them.
from Gates of Prayer,
Judaism Prayerbook