R. J. Jippe Hiemstra passed away peacefully at his home in Buskirk, New York, on April 12, 2020, of pneumonia and congestive heart failure. His loving wife Annette was by his side. Mr. Hiemstra was president of the New Netherland Institute and president of Twin H Marketing LLC.
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Mr. Hiemstra was born on October 3, 1941, in De Bilt, The Netherlands, son of Thomas Hiemstra and Beatrix van Roon. He attended primary school in Bilthoven at the Van Dijck School. His family moved to Amsterdam when he was fifteen, where he graduated from the Amsterdam Reformed Lyceum in 1959. He played the lead role in ‟Puss in Boots” at the end of his school year. He attended the University of Amsterdam from 1959 to 1966, from which he earned a Masters in Economics.
Following his graduation from university, Mr. Hiemstra’s spent his business career with Hoogovens, a Dutch steel producer. He worked at the company’s headquarters in IJmuiden until 1972, then at Hubert, a subsidiary steel fabricator in Sneek, until 1976. In 1976 Mr. Hiemstra moved to New York to serve as director and president of Oremco, Inc., another subsidiary of Hoogovens responsible for the sourcing and shipping of steel making raw materials from North America. Oremco, Inc., was a joint venture between Hoogovens and British Steel, which later merged into Corus Group and later became part of Tata Steel. Mr. Hiemstra retired as president of Oremco in 2008. He was also president of his own company, Twin H Marketing LLC, from February 15, 1995, to the present, selling recycled plastic steel coil storage solutions to steel warehouses in North America.
Following his retirement from Oremco, Inc., Mr. Hiemstra took an increasingly active role in Dutch related activities in the United States. He was always interested in the role the Dutch had in shaping early American history. He served as President of the Manhattan-based The Netherlands Club from 1996–2002. Active in sports, he grew up playing field hockey at the Stichtse in Bilthoven, a sport he continued to be involved with for most of his life. After his move to the United States, he played for the Westchester Field Hockey club, a team of mostly Dutch American players and later became president of its affiliated “Privateers” veterans team and toured around the globe playing in many tournaments showing how the Dutch played field hockey. For his role in helping to promote Dutch culture in the United States and abroad, Queen Beatrix bestowed upon him the honor of Membership of the Order of Oranje Nassau on April 30, 2005, at the Netherlands Club’s centennial ball. An even stronger interest of the Dutch period in American history followed, and he joined the New Netherland Institute’s board of trustees in 2007 and served as its president after 2013. He helped guide the Institute through a period of considerable growth.
Mr. Hiemstra married Annette van Rooy in Ouderkerk a/d Amstel, Netherlands, on November 19, 1997.
Mr. Hiemstra is survived by his wife, Annette, of Manhattan and Buskirk, New York; son Thomas Hiemstra and daughter in law Melinda Murphy and grandchildren Maisie and Hudson of Singapore; daughter Nathalie and son in law Jeffrey Koehne and grandchildren Tyler and Phoebe of Syracuse, New York; step son Nikolay Wilen; and his sister Marjan Raap-Hiemstra of Krommenie, The Netherlands. His sister Willeke of Amsterdam predeceased him this past December.