Sieds Jonker

Obituary of Sieds Jonker

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Sieds Jonker 1942-2024

Sieds Jonker, 81, of Dillenbeck Road, Palatine Bridge died at his home on Thursday January 4 th after long term health issues. Born in German occupied Gou, Netherlands on May 23, 1942, he was the eldest child of late Bareld and Jantje VanDenberg Jonker.  In 1948, Sieds along with his family immigrated to the United States. His childhood memories during and after World War II cemented his unwavering antifascist views.

First settling in St. Johnsville, in 1951 the family purchased a dairy farm in Stone Arabia where Sieds spent the remainder of his childhood and most of his adult life. He graduated from Canajoharie Central School in 1960. On October 13, 1965, Sieds married Kathleen Shuster of St. Johnsville. While the marriage was not till death do part, the more than two-decade marriage produced in two sons whom he was immensely proud of and in more recent years enjoyed telling and retelling of stories from his own youth.

Sieds spent his career in the dairy industry as owner the Jonker Dairy Farm in Stone Arabia with his father and younger brother. After the financial collapse of the Northeast Dairy Cooperative Federation left Jonker farms with nearly two months unpaid for milk, he took a keen interest in milk marketing. Sieds was involved in the Regional Cooperative Marketing Agency (RCMA), the Northeast Dairy Compact, and many State legislative efforts on behalf of dairy farmers. He served many years on the Board of Directors of the Canajoharie Co-Operative Milk Producers as Secretary and President, and as their coop representative to Allied Federated Milk Cooperative. In the late 1990’s he managed the SouthCo milk hauling division of Allied Federated Milk Cooperative. Upon retirement, he spent more than 10 years working for Randall Implement driving thousands of miles per year around eastern New York talking to farmers.

In what some may have viewed as a mid-life crisis, Sieds changed his political party registration from Republican to Democrat in his mid-life. He insisted this change was necessary to better advocate on behalf of dairy farmers in legislative matters in the New York Capitol in Albany. While there is some truth to this, he would later be elected as a Democrat serving two terms as the Town of Palatine Supervisor and the Montgomery County Board of Directors (2004-2009). He served successfully representing the best interests of his constituents and not a particular political ideology.

Sieds Jonker is survived by his two sons, Brian Jonker of Cazenovia, NY, and Jamie (Dale) of Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC, two grandchildren Iuli of Cazenovia, NY, and Marianna of New Wilmington, NC, and his former wife Kathleen Schlothauer of McKinly, NY.  He is also survived by his siblings Hendrick (Jean) Jonker of Schoharie, NY, Jan (Joannie) Jonker of Homer, AK, Cornelius Jonker of Sharon Springs, NY,  brother in law Earl Dillenbeck, Sr and Beau Cortright; too many nieces and nephews to count, and numerous cousins (in the Netherlands). In addition to his parents, Sieds was predeceased by his daughter in-law Wendy Ek Jonker, and sister Gretchen Dillenbeck, Sr., and Susan Cortright of Palatine Bridge, NY.

To honor his memory, the family requests that donations be made to the World Central Kitchen (WCK), an organization using the power of food to nourish communities and strengthen economies around the world. WCK has been on the ground in Ukraine providing more than 100 million meals to displaced people. As a child in the Netherlands during and after World War II, he saw the devastation of war including the profound impacts on food security especially amongst the most vulnerable. In recent times, he was alarmed about the similarities of the current situation in Ukraine with what he saw as a child in the Netherlands.

A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday, May 18th in honor of Sieds’ favorite time of year, Spring planting.

The family is being cared for by Houghtaling and Hanley Funeral Home, 20 Otsego Street, Canajoharie, NY 13317.

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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Houghtaling & Hanley Funeral Home, Inc.
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Sieds Jonker

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Sieds Jonker

1942 - 2024

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