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Andy Nelson
12 years ago

To Cathie, Fletcher, Sophie, Jamie and Matthew…..Felicity and I have you in our thoughts and are so saddened by the loss of John. John was my boss, my peer, my mentor. He accepted myself and family into his own family without any hesitation. Even though many years have passed since I was last in touch with John….his guidance and thinking are with me today. John was always so welcoming and down to earth , so easy to talk to and dissect the crisis of the day. Moving away to America made it easy to lose touch….and for that I am truly regretful. John was a very big part of my life for 7 years and I know he has touched countless others since then. I have missed the JvG smile and remember all the fun and laughs that we had together. It is a tragic, tragic loss of a great man. Andy, Felicity and family

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Bob Parlapiano
12 years ago

John, Cathie, Fletcher, Beth, Sophie, Jamie, and Mattie were at our home in the New York City suburbs on the night of 27 December. They were leaving for Cancun the next morning. We had a wonderful time as my son Matt, age 23, and daughter Amy, age 20, got to know John and Cathie’s "kids" and everyone got along so well. John had been to our house the last time he was in the states, back in June 2002, but this was the first time I had seen Cathie, Fletcher, Sophie, and Jamie since my trip to Sydney in 1993. I had never met Mattie. John was my favorite boss of all time when we worked together in New York from 1986-1989. I’m very thankful for the time he and I spent together over the years, both at work and outside of work…and I’m especially thankful for the few hours we had together two weeks ago. John and I played softball together at the Time Inc sales picnics every summer in the 1980s. He sure could hit the ball a long way! I had one word I always used to describe John: unflappable. He was the coolest, calmest, most patient man I've ever met. And what a sense of humor! As Peter Schmidt said above, he always had a twinkle in his eye and a smile on his face.

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Mark Rogan
12 years ago

Bob 'unflappable' captures John so well. At Time we did a 360 degree performance review throughout the staff while I reported directly to John. When it came to they way we reacted to things I was at one end of the specturm when it came to getting excited/reacting and Joh was at the polar opposite end - unflappable. It explained why he never got excited at "all my great ideas" !!!!! He had the wisdom and discernment above others - even thiugh it may have disappointed me at times :)

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Cathie, thinking of you and your family. Sending love and hugs from Chicago.

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What a sad loss!! Even though we have not seen John for many years, I have many great memories of him and his quick wit. -rIding his Trail bike over the Mapua hills with steel in the soles of his boots that let off great showers of sparks as he screamed around the corners, -the way he seemed to do very little work in school,(Waimea College) but always achieved top grades, - many hilarious youth group nights doing crazy stuff. -him pretending that he was Philippa Dunn's boyfriend when he knew I wanted to be! (I did manage to marry her!) - Skiing at Roundhill at the head of Lake Tekapo on those combined Blenheim/Nelson youth group ski camps. Our thoughts an prayers are with you Cathie, Fletcher, Sophie, Jamie, Mattie and Beth. Much love John & Philippa Field

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Christine Hickton
12 years ago

It has been many years since we were in contact but I have fond memories of my time with you in Amsterdam. Thoughts and prayers are with you Cathie and with your family. Christine Hickton

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Peter Schmidt
12 years ago

I haven't been in contact with John for years, but that doesn't make the news of his passing any easier. A few things i remember about John: He was a Mets fan. He hated American white bread. He loved to drive fast - especially on the narrow Holland streets. He always had a twinkle in his eye, and it was twice a bright when he was "up to something" A great man, great father, great husband, great person. I will miss you -peter schmidt New York

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Tony Savage
12 years ago

My sympathy to Johns family - I just heard this awful news today from my parents as I used to go to Appleby School with John. John was a good school friend.

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Greg Birtles
12 years ago

To the Van Geldermalsens John was a great man, and it was a pleasure and honour to know him. My thoughts are with you during this time. Greg Birtles

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Jackie Cipollone
12 years ago

Whenever I think of John, I think of devotion. He was devoted to all the truly good and important things in life: his God, his family, his proteges. He was committed to making our world a better place in a multitude of ways. What an extraordinary man he was and, so, what an extraordinary loss.

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kaye harris
12 years ago

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I was introduced to John when I was part of the VFF. I valued catching up with John at the last symposium and graduation in July last year. I found that John had the unique ability to challenge my thinking about ideas and issues, often with only a few well chosen and thoughtful words. Kaye Harris VFF 10

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Alan Blower
12 years ago

I worked only briefly with John, but during that short time he was a terrific professional mentor and friend. Happy memories of softball in Sydney and watching the All Blacks at Twickenham. My thoughts are with his family and close friends. Alan Blower

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Mark Rogan
12 years ago

A great boss, mentor and friend. A more devoted family man you'd be hard pressed to find. His faith, humility, patience, tolerance, geneorsity, loyalty and smile were a gift to all. John I'll miss you very much. Cathie you and your lovely family are in our prayers - Mark, Trish and family.

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Mark Ross-Smith
12 years ago

We are so saddened by the news. Although we did not meet that often, John was always warm and interested - the most consistent person you could wish to meet. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Love from the Ross-Smiths.

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madeleine lyons
12 years ago

I will always be grateful to John for the beautiful way he impacted my life – gently and unrelentlessly expanding my awareness with questions of substance, and always with a cheeky smile. Thank you John. Warm wishes to his family.

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Sophie Staughton
12 years ago

I wrote a blog tribute to John, who influenced me considerably (http://pukurlpa.blogspot.com/2011/01/follow-your-nose-sophie.html). I feel deeply saddened for his family, who I never met, but who have lost an amazing man. If I were able to get to the funeral, I would definitely have gone. My thoughts go out to all his family and friends. Sophie Staughton

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Melinda Dobbs
12 years ago

To all the Van Geldermalsens... You have been constantly in our thoughts the last week. You are all in our prayers. Love Melinda, Craig, Courtney, Patrick & Liam xxx

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Peter Apin
12 years ago

We are all very saddened for your loss. Among many great attributes, I'll always remember him for his great sense of humour and enthusiasm for life. The family will be in our prays. The Apins.

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