Longtime La Cañada resident John Offermans, 84, passed away on October 27, 2013 from complications following a stroke.
John was born Johannes Hubertus Offermans in the town of Amstenrade, province of Zuid-Limburg (South Limburg), the Netherlands, on June 20, 1929; he was the sixth in a family of nine children.
He was raised and educated in the town of his birth, witnessing the Nazi occupation and Allied Forces’ liberation of his homeland during World War II. And it was there, on a tennis court, that he met his future wife, Ann Fyen, in 1947. They eventually married in April 1954 and shared life’s adventures together for nearly 55 more years.
As a young man, John joined the Koninklijke Luchtmacht, the Dutch Royal Air Force, as a navigator, rising to the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged. He turned down a job flying and teaching navigation for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines when he was presented another opportunity in the United States, and he and Ann pulled up stakes and moved across the ocean.
In 1959, they emigrated to New Jersey. Though the job prospect for which they moved ultimately did not pan out, John worked and concurrently went back to school, earning his degree in electronic engineering in 1965. He progressed from an engineering position at Electronic Associates, Inc., a manufacturer of computer systems for the aerospace and other high-technology industries, to become their Vice President of International Marketing. In 1970, he moved to La Cañada Flintridge, in southern California, as President and CEO of Fabri-Tek Educational Systems, Inc., an educational computer manufacturer; and in 1973, he began a successful twenty-year career as a commercial and industrial real estate broker. From his real estate work with client Anthony Industries (later, K2 Inc.), he joined their board of directors in 1987 and served proudly for 14 years.
As a volunteer, John served as a member of the board of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in the 1970s and 1980s. For several years following his retirement, he also delivered lunches to Los Angeles’ Skid Row through the Skidettes program at St. Bede the Venerable Church.
John was a man of varied and deep interests, some of which included hiking, photography, videography/editing, crossword puzzles, and, most especially, traveling the world. He particularly loved spending summers in Switzerland and with family in the Netherlands. He was locally recognizable as a member of a large group of friends who met nearly every morning at Zeli Coffee Bar, and each month he got together with other former directors of K2 for lunch.
John is preceded in death by his wife, Ann. He is survived by his daughter, Marianne, and extensive family in the Netherlands. A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday, November 8, 2013, at St. Bede the Venerable Church.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the American Stroke Association.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun