Aurelius “Rink” de Vries

de VriesAurelius “Rink” de Vries, age 93 of Duvall, WA passed away peacefully on his own terms Thursday morning September 11th, 2014. 


He was born in St. Nicolaasga, Friesland, Netherlands on March 20th, 1921 to Richard and Henrietta de Vries.  At the young age of three he traveled by steamboat to America; arriving first in New York then traveling by train to Chicago and finally arriving by car in Snohomish, WA in May 1924.


His family settled in the Snoqualmie Valley and began a life as dairy farmers.  Rink attended school at the Vincent Schoolhouse in Carnation, WA through 8th grade and later Tolt High School, graduating in 1939.  He then moved to California to study airplane mechanics for two years, but his farming roots led him back to his family farm in Duvall, WA where he began working as a dairy farmer.  On March 17th, 1951 he married Phyllis Stuart in Arlington, WA.  One year later they welcomed their son, Richard “Rick” and later their daughter Denise; raising them on the same farm.


He started his own business as a hay truck driver; farming and hauling hay for 73 years. He earned the reputation of being a tough, hard-working Dutchman with the sweetest smile and the biggest hands.  He enjoyed his daily tasks on the farm, coffee time with friends and spending time with family. 


He was preceded in death by his mother, father and sister Antje Faber. 


He is survived by wife Phyllis de Vries, sister Tina Streutker, son Richard de Vries (Randy) and daughter Denise Lowber (Craig).  His six grandchildren; Jera Gilmore (Rocky), Case de Vries (Annalisa), Krystal Lowe (Ryan), Brett de Vries (Megan), Kayla Lowber and Caleb Lowber (Kelsey).  His nine great-grandchildren; Reed, Raely, Cameron, Elise, Luke, Levi, Brady, Conner and Ellis.  As well as several local nieces and nephews and several family descendants living in the Netherlands.   


A coffee & dessert reception will be held in his honor Saturday, September 27th 2 pm – 5 pm at the Vincent Schoolhouse in Carnation, WA.


As Aurelius would always say…

‘t beste hjer!

Translation:  “Good bye, take care, see you”

2 Responses to “Aurelius “Rink” de Vries”

  • Jera Gilmore says:

    Hey Gramps! We all miss you SO much already! We’re trying to be tough but it’s a lot of hard work. I think you’d be proud of the tributes we’ve arranged so far. I love you! Jerby

  • Jessalyn says:

    I just googled “Rink Devries Hay hauler” to see if anything came up…and it did!
    I came to know Rink as a 16 year old girl waitressing at the “Big Y Cafe” (seems like a 100 years ago now!). I worked there for 13 years before moving on to other careers in the Wenatchee Valley. Even after I was no longer working at the cafe, I would occasionally see Rink on the road, honk and wave from my old ford F-150 and he would always smile and wave that huge hand to say “Hi”. My Finnish Grandmother who was born and raised in Issaquah passed just one month after he did at 97+ years old. He and I used to talk about her and early Issaquah. I’m sure you miss him as much as I miss her, every day. I just wanted to let you know I thought was a very nice man and it meant a lot to me that he still remembered me long after I served him his coffee and pancake on his way through Peshastin with a load of hay!

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