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Obituary - Richard Van Konynenburg

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by alice, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. alice

    alice Senior Member

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    Read more here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/modestobee/obituary.aspx?pid=160243735#fbLoggedOut#storylink=cpy

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    Richard Van Konynenburg (1942 - 2012)
    Obituary
    Guest Book

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    Richard Arie Van Konynenburg
    April 24, 1942- Sept 25 2012
    Richard Arie Van Konynenburg passed away from a heart attack at the age of 70 on September 25th 2012 in Seattle Washington. Rich along with his wife Diana was visiting the home of his son Leigh Michael Vieira and his wife Jen. Rich had been a resident of LivermoreCA since 1976.

    Rich was born in ModestoCA on April 24th 1942 to Franklin Van Konynenburg and his wife Christina Vanden Akker. Rich's parents were first generation Dutch Americans who operated a dairy farm. Dutch cultural traits such as the value placed on education, hard work, dependability, practicality and respect were transmitted to Rich. Rich grew up with his brother Franklin Albert, and sisters Gertrude Anna, and Henrietta Christina. As children, there were many fun memories created. The hay barn used as a "fort" was a childhood favorite. Rich had over 30 first cousins, and large family gatherings occurred on a regular basis. Rich was active in both FFA and 4H during his school years. He showed particular interest in science projects such as those related to electricity and loved his chemistry set. He found it especially fun to create stink bombs . He was gifted mechanically as well. At fourteen years of age, Rich worked along with Frank on an old '53 flat-head Ford, painting and repairing it. Rich's spirit of adventure was evident in the Summer of 1959 when he took a cross country trip with Frank to pickup a car in Detroit and drive it back to California..

    Rich met Diana, the love of his life, and married her in May 1986. Rich gained two wonderful step-sons (Christopher Edward Vieira and Leigh Michael Vieira) as a result of their marriage. Rich and Diana were happily married for over 26 years.

    Rich attended public schools in ModestoCA including PrescottSchool (a three room school) and then Stanislaus Union. Rich graduated from ModestoHigh School in 1959. Rich attended UC Davis for both his undergraduate and graduate education. As an undergraduate, Rich was president of the Alpha Gamma Ro fraternity at Davis. Rich was a member of ROTC, finance director of Picnic Day, president of Blue Key Honor Society, vice chairman of the Welfare Council and Fraternity Offices. Rich was chosen as a commencement speaker when he received his B.S. degree in 1963. He received a Ph.D in Engineering-Applied Physical Sciences in 1974.

    Following college, Rich served in the US Army Corps of Engineers attaining the rank of Captain at the conclusion of his Army career. He served both at the Pentagon and at Ft. BelvoirVA. Rich specialized in the area of mine detection. As part of his military duty, Rich worked on special boats to detect floating mines in the waterways of Vietnam. He accompanied these boats to Vietnam and tested them while putting himself in harms way.

    Rich worked for more than 30 years at the University of California Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory doing research and development in nuclear materials and technology. He was especially active in the area of long term nuclear waste storage. Rich retired from LLNL in 2006, but had already begun significant work in health care research. In 2007, he proposed a hypothesis relating to a possible cause of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME-CFS). Rich suggested that an existing treatment for autism might be used in the treatment of ME-CFS. A Doctor led clinical study using this treatment was found to provide significant benefit to about two-thirds of the patients who participated. This treatment is finding growing use in the ME-CFS community internationally.

    Rich professed a lifelong Christian faith which began during his childhood years at Calvary Reformed Church in RiponCA. In college he was active in the Davis Community (Presbyterian) Church and was president of the CalAggie Christian association. While serving at the Pentagon and at Fort Belvoir, VA. Rich was active in the Presbyterian church of Falls Church, VA. Following his return to California, and prior to his marriage, Rich spent 10 years in leadership in a Christian singles ministry related to Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto CA. Rich was active as a leader and teacher at Valley Christian Center in Dublin CA from 1986 until 2001. Rich and Diana began attending Cornerstone Fellowship in LivermoreCA in 2001, and have continued to do so. Rich's spiritual walk was marked by practical care for the needs of others. Rich shared appropriate but loving expressions of eternal truths' to those he encountered.

    Rich enjoyed many family activities including trips to the middle east, South America, Europe, Alaska, and Mexico. At one time Rich held a private pilot's license.

    Rich is survived by his wife, Diana, son, Chris Vieira, and his wife Nicole, all of Livermore, CA and son, Mike Vieira, and his wife Jen of Seattle, WA. Two grandchildren, Edward Christopher Vieira and David Anthony Vieira, also survive him. Rich's brother Frank resides in CalistogaCA. Rich's sister, Henrietta Van Konynenburg, currently resides with her husband, Tom, in Indiana; His sister, Gertrude Leachman, resides with her husband, Ron, in Tracy, CA. Many nieces and nephews still reside in the Modesto area.

    Rich's father predeceased him in 1990 and his mother predeceased him in 2001.

    Richard Van Konynenburg was larger than life yet all who knew him were impressed by his kindness, humility, and sharing personality. Rich's intellectual gifts were obvious to all in spite of his gentle spirit. He will be greatly missed.

    On Thursday, October 4th, a time of visitation and viewing will be held from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Salas Bros. Funeral Home. 419 Scenic Drive, Modesto, CA95350 (209) 523-5646

    On Friday, October 5th, at 1:00 p.m. there will be a traditional grave-side committal service, followed by a military honor service, at LakewoodMemorial Park, 900 Santa Fe Ave, Hughson, CA95326. Rich's brother in-law, Rick Baldwin, will be leading. Following the grave-side service a reception will be held in Modesto from 2:00-4:00 p.m at the Fellowship Hall of the FirstUnitedMethodistChurch850 16th Street (near I St.) Modesto

    On Saturday, October 6th, at 10:30 a.m., a memorial and Celebration of Rich's life will be held at Cornerstone Fellowship 348 North Canyons Pkwy Livermore, CA 94551. The service will be led by Rev. Mark Calcagno of Cornerstone Fellowship.

    A luncheon will follow the memorial service. Location and directions will be provided at the service.
    www.cvobituaries.com


    Published in the Modesto Bee from October 3 to October 5, 2012



     
    Merry, Ocean, GracieJ and 8 others like this.
  2. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Thanks for posting this Alice.

    I see that there is a link to the Guest Book, I clicked on it and we can write a message there if we wish to.

    Sushi
     
  3. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    Wow, (not surprised) he was an outstanding person his whole life, it came thru in his postings and passions!

    GG
     
    Dreambirdie likes this.
  4. alice

    alice Senior Member

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    Sorry I'm a bit clueless about computers and could not get those little boxes out of the post. Please excuse. This is a wonderful write-up and shows how he excelled all his life.

    We were considering going to the memorial service since we are not terribly far from Livermore, but I don't think I can make it.

    alice
     
  5. alice

    alice Senior Member

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    Does anyone know if there will be some sort of CFS/ME monetary memorial to honor his memory?
     
    *GG* likes this.
  6. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I hope some of us are able to make the service tomorrow. We were a big part of Rich's life and passion and it would be great if a few who are able could honor him with their presence.

    Sushi
     
    Little Bluestem and *GG* like this.
  7. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    I left a comment, I think it would be a good idea to attach a "photo that will advocate for our cause" or is that to tacky? I think it could help spread awareness and give people an idea of what good he was doing!

    GG

    PS I see would could send flowers, not sure if it would be to late for this, but I am willing to chip in a few dollars($10+?)! Be nice to send a nice arrangement to help represent the community?
     
  8. bel canto

    bel canto Senior Member

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    I will be attending the memorial service for Rich tomorrow.

    If anyone wants to start a memorial fund, I'd be happy to contribute. As the service begins at 10:30 a m Saturday, it's too late for flowers. Posting thoughts in the guest book on the obituary site above would likely be appreciated by the family. If there's any chance for me to spend a few minutes with Diana, I'll certainly tell her that Rich was respected and loved by large numbers in this community. Although I'm sure she already knows that.

    It still does not seem possible that Rich is gone.
     
    *GG* likes this.
  9. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks for posting this - I've signed the guest book.
     
  10. alice

    alice Senior Member

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  11. alice

    alice Senior Member

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    Further to this post above - does anyone have an idea on how to get this started since a few people have shown interest in a memorial contribution. Cort or Moderators??

    I noticed that there is another thread: Members Only ME/CFS Memorials? in Community Lounge, where memorials are being discussed, but this may only be for obituaries.

    Perhaps contributions could be done and submitted in the same way as any donation made to PR, with exception that it be designated 'In Memory of Rich Konynenburg'. Appreciate any comments.

    alice.


     
    *GG* likes this.
  12. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    We sent a beautiful little tree and card on behalf of the entire Phoenix Rising community. I am planning to post a picture along with the text of the card as soon as it is ready so everyone can see it.

    We have discussed briefly the idea of setting up a donation fund if any members want to contribute but don't have any concrete specific plans as of yet.
     
  13. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    Thank you for doing this!

    GG
     
  14. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    I pretty sure they can, I made a donation (designated for this) this spring in regards to getting young people as a face/voice for our illness!

    GG
     
  15. bel canto

    bel canto Senior Member

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    Rich's memorial service was a bit over two hours in length, as there were many stories, music, etc.

    Rich had contributed so much in different venues and ways that could only be touched on. Co-workers from the Lawrence Livermore labs talked about him, sometimes choking up while doing so, and smiling while describing his smile and laughter.

    His sons talked about what he had done as a father - with so much respect and love evident.

    Friends and his pastor talked about his kindness and compassion and how much he will be missed.

    His brother described Rich's involvement with the me/cfs community and his years of research.

    Diana, his wife, expanded on that, and read some emails from colleagues in the research community, as well as patients. She held up a folder she said had a partial printout of the many, many emails she had received, many of which were international. She noted that she planned to eventually read every one that had been sent.

    One of the emails that she read to us was from what I think was a researcher, who had just been to a conference at least partly related to B-12. It sounded like there was information that was confirmatory of some of Rich's work, at least in the researcher's view.

    After the main speakers, they had a couple of roving microphones in the audience for people who wanted to speak, so I managed to say a few words about how grateful this community is and how much he was respected, and loved. I was wishing that some of our more eloquent wordsmiths had been there. Diana seemed very appreciative for my few words though.

    Dr. Neil Nathan, the other author on Rich's paper, also spoke at the end. He noted that Rich was due to present at an upcoming conference in November and he had agreed to speak in Rich's place, He noted that he expected there would be many tributes ahead, including internationally. He also said that he would not let the work be forgotten or neglected.

    Diana said that she plans to be a part of the conference call memorial( talked about by Rivka).

    I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend today.
     
  16. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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    Thank you for speaking and writing out this info. Heaven has another angel!

    GG
     
  17. RivkaRivka

    RivkaRivka Senior Member

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    belcanto, thank you thank you thank you. for going. for speaking to rich's family. for telling them how much we loved him.

    in terms of a Rich Van K Memorial fund, i have an idea: we raise money to give 1-5 people the chance to try rich's protocol for 6 months to 1 year. many patients don't have the funds to buy the 5 supplements rich recommends in his Simplified Methylation Cycle Block Protocol. but if we get a memorial fund in his name, and people apply to be recipients (they'd get awarded due to financial need), then we can give a few people a year the opportunity to try his protocol. he would have really liked this, i think. he was always so happy when someone was willing to test his hypothesis (i.e. his protocol).

    by the way, for the record, when i did his protocol, i was NOT bedridden for a full year. so it worked for me. (then my life fell apart for other reasons, and i became hyper sensitive to all supps, and had to stop his protocol and everything else.)

    we will do a conference call memorial service for rich that anyone can attend via a phone call. but let's give diana a bit of time before we schedule it. she is wanting to be part of it, and for that we are grateful.

    rivka
     
    cph13 and *GG* like this.
  18. RivkaRivka

    RivkaRivka Senior Member

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    Rich's wife asked me to post this here. I'm so grateful to whoever organized this effort and contributed to it. Thank you! -- Rivka
    _______

    Today I returned home to find an incredibly beautiful lemon tree on our front porch, and it was planted in a large, quite beautiful pot.

    The accompanying card indicated that it was from all of you at Pheonix Rising. I'd like to thank you, and all of the others at Pheonix Rising for the tree and for all of your kind words. They have meant so much in this nearly unbearable time.

    Warmest possible regards,

    Diana Van Konynenburg
     
  19. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Rich's family shared this on FaceBook. We may not want to see it, but it brings home the reality.

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    alice, ukxmrv and Little Bluestem like this.
  20. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    Thanks Sushi,
    Not something that I wanted to see but I'm really glad that he got such a good send off.
     

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