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Peter Klaassen

February 26, 1927 October 16, 2018
Peter Klaassen
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Obituary for Peter Klaassen

Peter Klaassen, 91, of Bethesda, MD; Fairfax, VA; Washington State; and Aalten, The Netherlands, passed away, peacefully in his home on October 16, 2018.

Peter was born in Susteren, The Netherlands. His family then moved to the small village of Aalten during the Great Depression. During the war, Peter and his family endured Nazi occupation. This continued throughout his teenage years and then years of war recovery. His saving grace during those most difficult years was his enduring, unwavering faith – and his love of soccer. In another time and place, he may have become a professional soccer player.

Peter had a gregarious sense of humor; he was the prankster of the town and his family. At the end of World War 2, Peter started dating his future wife, Wilhelmina (“Willy”) Bulten. Sadly, Peter was drafted into the army at the young age of 19 and sent to the Dutch territory of Indonesia for two years. He grew to truly love the people of Indonesia and its culture. The cuisine became one of his favorites until he passed away. Nasi goreng was at the top of the list!

When he returned to The Netherlands, Peter attended the University of Utrecht, earning a degree in civil engineering. Shortly after graduation, Peter married Willy. The young couple had a sprit for adventure when dating and it kicked off in earnest once married. They traveled by motorcycle throughout Europe in the early 1950’s -- tent camping where they found beautiful scenery, flowers and even experienced a little road rash.

Soon into their marriage, an opportunity arose for the couple to emigrate to the United States. They traveled by ship to New York City, then by train to Washington State, and settled into a small community called Mt. Vernon, Washington, an hour north of Seattle. Peter and Willy quickly found a close-knit group of fellow Dutch immigrants. In 1957, Peter & Willy had their first son, Paul, and soon after a daughter, Annely. Peter was offered a good engineering job with Boeing in Seattle, so they made the short move to Kirkland, Washington and became US citizens.They had a second daughter, Janine, and then one more son, John, to round out their family of six. During those years Peter constantly played and coached soccer. He even downhill skied in grand old leather boots and wooden skis.

A downturn in the airline economy in 1971 nudged the adventurous Klaassen spirit. With a U-Haul truck and a station wagon full with 4 kids, the Klaassens trekked across the United States and moved to Fairfax, Virginia. Peter worked for Fairfax County as a civil engineer in charge of overseeing the building of fire houses and other construction projects. In 1979, even though they were in their 50's, Peter and Willy felt a calling to do more. They sold everything to open up a preschool and kindergarten called Appletree. Peter built the school and was constantly fixing something, and Willy was the director. They excelled so much that they had to open a second school. Both are still successful today.

Peter was a carpenter, tinkerer, sudoku player, puzzler extraordinaire, model boat maker, chess player, coach, soccer player, church goer and deacon, world traveler and, most importantly, a wonderful father, grandfather and husband. He was vibrant, impatient, opinionated, gregarious, humble, smart and a God-fearing man.

Peter is survived by his wife, Willy, of 64 years, sons, Paul and John, daughters, Annely and Janine, 10 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. An amazing legacy.

Visitation will be held Friday October 19 from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Money & King Funeral Home, 171 Maple Avenue, W., Vienna, VA 22180.
The funeral service will be Saturday, October 20 at 10:00 am at Money & King.
Interment will follow in the Flint Hill Cemetery, Oakton, Va.
A drop-in Celebration of Life will be will be held at Appletree II (712 Tapawingo Road SW, Vienna, VA 22180) on Saturday, October 20 from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Online condolences and fond memories may be offered to the family at: www.moneyandking.com.


Previous Events

Visitation

Friday

19

Oct

6:00 PM 10/19/2018 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 10/19/2018 8:00:00 PM
Money and King Funeral Home

171 W. Maple Ave.
Vienna, VA 22180

Money and King Funeral Home
171 W. Maple Ave. Vienna 22180 VA
United States

Service

Saturday

20

Oct

10:00 AM 10/20/2018 10:00:00 AM
Money and King Funeral Home

171 W. Maple Ave.
Vienna, VA 22180

Money and King Funeral Home
171 W. Maple Ave. Vienna 22180 VA
United States
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