Gustavus "Staf" Antonius Der Kinderen, 85, of State College, died Saturday, March 4, 2023, at The Village at Penn State.
Born May 26, 1937, in Turnhout, Belgium, he was the son of the late Jan Der Kinderen and Joanna Van Gestel - Der Kinderen. On June 12, 1969, he married Augusta Hendrickx, who preceded him in death.
He is survived by two sons, Dirk Der Kinderen and his wife Melissa Shields of Reston, VA and Jan Der Kinderen of State College; two siblings, Francois Der Kinderen and Marie-Jeanne Van Loon – Der Kinderen, and two grandsons, Josef and Eduard Der Kinderen.
As a young man, Staf served as a youth counselor for Chirojeugd Vlaanderen promoting Catholic values and encouraging physical activity. He also served in the Belgian Army where he developed his interest in travel. He soon went on to take a job in Malta in the clothing/textile industry which led to an opportunity to take his family to the United States, while working in Mexico. As such, he and his family have lived in various places including Texas, Virginia and Pennsylvania where he also honed his career skills in design of men's suits. His work afforded further opportunity to travel to places across the globe including Bulgaria, China, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua to showcase his expertise. Although he did not pursue higher education, he had an acumen for language and developed fluency in five languages which supported his work-related travel and career development. His last career stop, which gave him much pride, was providing consultation to Brooks Brothers on the design and quality of their men's suit products. Although he did not pursue higher education, he developed fluency in five languages which supported his career development. Moreover, because of his attention to detail and people management skills throughout his career, he was viewed as a respected member of his field.
He was a loving, doting husband to his wife Augusta for 52 years. He took pride in providing for her and the family and took pleasure in making her laugh with the occasional witty or silly comment. He was a loyal member of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church and gave tribute faithfully to Franciscan missions. His leisure pursuits included Belgian coin and stamp collecting, sudoku, and puzzling. He enjoyed long meals at the dinner table, being the grill master during summer backyard barbeques, and photography. Staf was an avid gardener and enjoyed working in the yard. He spent countless hours making sure his flower beds were mulched, each blade of grass was cut just right and there was no sign of a weed or leaf on the lawn. He was also an avid do-it-yourself man from building his own furniture, to putting in flooring, to fixing equipment. And last but not least he fully enjoyed the role of grandfather, or "Opa", including walks to Orchard Park in the Greentree neighborhood of State College and going down the slides with his grandsons at the playground.
A private memorial service will be held the morning of June 12 at Pine Grove Mills Cemetery, 324 S. Nixon Rd, Pine Grove Mills, PA, 16868.
Inurnment will be in Pine Grove Mills Cemetery Columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any Franciscan ministry or mission in his name.