Wilhelmus Pijnenburg

March 13, 1936 - August 2, 2014

COOPERSTOWN - Wilhelmus "Willy" Pijnenburg, a long-time resident of Cooperstown and retired superintendant of The Leatherstocking Golf Course, passed away Saturday morning, August 2, 2014, at his home on Fair Street, surrounded by his family. He was 78.

A native of Holland, he was born March 13, 1936, in Tilburg, a son of Alfons and Josephina Henrika VanLoon P├┐nenburg. On January 22, 1952, Willy, his mother and seven siblings came to America. A newspaper article from January 30, 1952, best describes the family's arrival: "A 48-year-old mother and her eight children -- 4 boys and 4 girls ranging in age from 7 to 20 -- are now in Cooperstown, looking forward to a new life in a new country. Mrs. Josephine Pijnenburg and her family arrived in New York on Wednesday of last week. Instrumental in the emigration of the family to this country were Mrs. Hiram Burch, member of the local Double X Club, a 20-member women's social group which "adopted" the family several years ago and J. Harry Cook, well-known Cooperstown business man who has promised employment here for the oldest boy." Willy and his family quickly settled into their new home on the corner of Walnut and Delaware Streets and into life in the Village of Cooperstown.

On August 31, 1958, he married Eileen Bowman in a ceremony at St. Mary's "Our Lady of the Lake" Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown, with Fr. Robert Murphy officiating. Willy and Eileen then made their home on Fair Street, where they raised their four children.   

An avid golfer, Willy was employed for many years as the superintendant of The Leatherstocking Golf Course. He also enjoyed playing golf with his many friends, and was a part of the group that plays every Wednesday at Leatherstocking.  

A member of the Native Sons of Cooperstown, Willy served his community as a member of Mechanics' Hook & Ladder Co. No. 5 of the Cooperstown Fire Department, and served as Fire Chief from 1980-1982.  

Willy is survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Maria and Rick Ragsdale of Adrian, Georgia, and Michelle and Steven Imbasciano of Morris; two sons and one daughter-in-law, David and Sharon Pijnenburg of Bethel, Connecticut, and Bill Pijnenburg of Hartwick; and a special granddaughter, Jacqi Le Pijnenburg of Bethel, Connecticut.  

He is further survived by three sisters, Elssie ("Els") Tipsword of LaGrange, Georgia, Johanna ("Jo") Rotter and her husband, Peter, of Canastota, and Anna ("Ans") Rasmuson and her husband, Jim, of South Carolina; two sisters-in-law, Edna Pijnenburg of Hogansville, Georgia, and Willy Fae Pijnenburg of LaGrange, Georgia; two brothers-in-law, John F.("Jack") Bowman of Apalachicola, Florida, and Charles A. Dimick of Cooperstown; and many nieces and nephews.  

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 47 years, Eileen, who died August 19, 2005; one sister, Maria Johanna Pijnenburg Dimick, who died June 22, 2006; and three brothers, Andreas ("Andy"), Hubertus ("Hubert") and Alfons Pijnenburg.  

Friends may call and pay their respects at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, when Willy's family will be in attendance.

The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, August 6, 2014, at St. Mary's "Our Lady of the Lake" Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown, with Fr. John P. Rosson, pastor, presiding.

The Service of Committal and Burial will be private at a later date in the Bowman Family Plot at St. Mary's Cemetery, Index, where Willy will be laid to rest with Eileen.

For those who wish to make a gift in memory of Willy, his family respectfully requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY  13820 or Cooperstown Fire Department, P.O. Box 1, Cooperstown, NY  13326.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.


If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.