Adrian Henry Van Kalken, 99, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, surrounded by his wife and children.
Born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, on April 7, 1923, Adrian was the son of John Van Kalken and Georgina (Copier) Van Kalken. He was predeceased by five brothers and one sister. Adrian is survived by his wife of seventy-two years, Louise (Bohle) Van Kalken and three loving children. These children are: son Daniel A. Van Kalken and his wife Judy (Butka) Van Kalken of Dunbarton, New Hampshire; daughter Maria P. Van Kalken and her partner Hal Winslow of Marblehead, Massachusetts; and daughter Christina Van Kalken of Newfields, New Hampshire. Adrian’s loving grandchildren are: Dan Van Kalken and wife, Juliane Chafee; Justin Van Kalken and wife, Melissa; Peter Winslow and wife Chelsey; Joe Winslow; and Jake Winslow. Adrian’s devoted great-grandchildren are Rose and Duke Van Kalken. In addition, Adrian leaves behind his brother Tony, in Australia, and many nieces and nephews, all of whom occupied a very special place in his heart.
Adrian enlisted in the Dutch Merchant Marines – leaving The Netherlands at the age of 15 – and sailed through many foreign waters during WWII. He immigrated to the United States in 1949 and became an American citizen on January 7, 1959. Shortly thereafter, Adrian and Louise purchased their home in Manchester, New Hampshire where they have lived for 63 years, raised their family, and served the community in a variety of ways.
Adrian worked for over 30 years at Lyons Iron Works, Inc., as a fitter, draftsman, and eventually, a foreman. In his retirement, he served as everyone’s favorite custodian at Manchester Central High School, and later, in Food Service at Manchester’s Notre Dame College. He was dearly beloved by teachers, students, and the administration of both institutions.
An active volunteer, Adrian served as the President of the Hammond Organ Society as well as an Adult Leader with Boy Scouts of America Troup 133. In addition, he volunteered for Special Olympics and enjoyed visiting nursing homes well into his eighties in order to “bring cheer to the elderly folks!” Adrian assisted his musical family by raising thousands of dollars for the City of Manchester as a result of producing several “Van Kalken Family Concerts” featuring his wife and all three children performing as an ensemble on multiple keyboards. These popular concerts were sponsored by the Kiwanis Club and the Queen City Rotary Club – two organizations sharing a similar mission of service to those in need in the community, a commitment also dear to Adrian’s heart. Adrian was also a member of The Knights of Columbus.
Adrian’s hobbies included woodworking, gardening, birdwatching, playing the accordion, attending concerts, and as an avid soccer fan, cheering for both teams USA and The Netherlands.
Adrian will be remembered by his family and friends as a fun-loving and warm-hearted person with unfaltering honesty, integrity and deep faith. He loved all people and had a unique ability to “light up the room” wherever he found himself! Adrian loved to dance and tell jokes for hours on end – guaranteeing belly-aching laughter for all those around him; his wit and good humor was truly unsurpassed and his joke-telling ability was a talent he shared until literally his final days. He loved music of many genres as well as movies – two passions he passed on to his family. Adrian was extremely proud of his children, and he was a compassionate and extraordinary father and grandfather, but the love of his life was his dear wife, Louise. Their devotion to one another – for over 72 years – continues to inspire and delight all who have known them.
SERVICES: Calling hours will be Thursday, January 5, from 5pm to 7pm at Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, 1799 Elm Street, Manchester, New Hampshire. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, January 6, at 11am at St. Catherine of Siena Parish, 207 Hemlock Street, Manchester, followed by a committal service at Pine Grove Cemetery in Manchester.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at: lambertfuneralhome.com
Adrian and his family were so grateful to the caregivers who made it possible for him to remain in his beloved home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Adrian’s memory to Brookhaven Hospice at https://www.brookhavenhospice.com/make_a_donation.php