Gerrit Schinkelshoek, 86, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away peacefully Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011.

Gerrit, the oldest sibling of 10, was born Sept. 25, 1925 in South Holland, Netherland to Willem Schinkelshoek and Marie Huisman.

He served for the Dutch military from 1947 to1949. On Dec. 20, 1951 he married the love of his life, Dorothy Uulders. Shortly thereafter they immigrated to the United States. Their oldest son, Henry, was born in Iowa in 1955. One year later they moved to Sunnyside and in 1959 welcomed their second son, Willis, into the family and daughter, Marlene, in 1964.

Gerrit worked for Sunnyside Concrete Pipe and Carnation before establishing an 80-acre farm north of Prosser, growing sugar beets, potatoes, beans, grapes among other crops including gladiolus flowers.

Horticulture was his great passion until he and Dorothy retired in 2001 and moved to Sunnyside.

Gerrit continued to stay involved in the farm, making daily trips running parts and errands.

In his retirement he also enjoyed reading, helping Willis at the produce stand and spending time laughing and playing with his great-grandchildren.

He was a devoted husband to his wife for nearly 60 years until Dorothy passed away earlier this year. It was evident

he was lost without her and died of a broken heart.

He was a member of the Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church of Sunnyside.

Gerrit is survived by daughter, Marlene (Kurt) Grafius of Maple Valley; two sons, Henry (Sharon) Schinkelshoek of Prosser and Willis Schinkelshoek of Pasco; two granddaughters, Briann (Nathan) den Hoed of Grandview and Ashley (Ryan) Calhoun of Tacoma; three great-grandchildren, Ava and Rebekah den Hoed, Cash Calhoun and two more expected next spring; sister, Sijtje Schinkelshoek of The Netherlands; and brother, John Schinkelshoek of Switzerland.

Viewing and visitation will be held Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, from noon to 6 p.m. at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside. Graveside services will be held Monday, Oct. 10, 2011, at 10 a.m. at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside, with funeral services to follow at 11 a.m. at the Christian Reformed Church in Sunnyside.

Those wishing to sign Gerrit's on-line memorial book may do so at

Those wishing to honor Gerrit's memorial may contribute to the Gerrit Schinkelshoek Memorial FFA Scholarship, c/o Briann den Hoed, 1003 Mohar Road, Grandview, WA 98930.

Smith Funeral Home LTD and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.


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