The Chelsea Rotary Club mourns the passing of one of our founding members, Peek (Fred) Van Reesema. Peek was a respected physician, a loving husband, father and grandfather, and a friend and hero to everyone who knew him. His fellow Rotarians, and all of Chelsea, honor the memory of Peek and send our regrets to Carol and the Van Reesema family for their loss. Peek received numerous Rotary awards for his "service above self," most recently the Paul Harris Award presented to him by past-president Anne Nauts and president Susan Brown.

Frederik “Peek” Siewertsz van Reesema III, M.D.
of Chelsea, Michigan

Age 90, passed away on Wednesday, February 8, 2017. Peek was a longtime resident of Ann Arbor and Chelsea since emigrating from the Netherlands at the age of 28.

He was born May 8, 1926 in Semarang, Java, Indonesia to Frederik Siewertsz van Reesema II and Martine Marie Siewertsz van Reesema-Ris.

Peek is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Carole Ann Reynolds S. van Reesema; his brothers, Henri (Priscilla) S. van Reesema of Cheltenham, Australia and Ernst S. van Reesema of Adelaide, Australia; his children and grandchildren, Frederik and Marelvi S. van Reesema IV, Frederik V. and Peter, of Chelsea, MI; Martine and Craig Blogin, Derek and Nicholas, of Ann Arbor, MI; Bryan and Jamie S. van Reesema, Lauren and Willem, of Virginia Beach, VA; Willem and Kristin S. van Reesema, Noah and Julia, of Chelsea, MI; and Minta and David Hissong, Alexander, Lucas, and Martine, of Medfield, MA. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and cousins in the United States, Australia and the Netherlands.

Peek’s life journey was very interesting and fulfilling. He grew up in Java, Dutch East Indies. WWII separated him from his family for many years when he left Java and his parents for Holland with his brother, Henri, for his High School education and their younger brother, Ernst, went to Australia.

Peek supported the Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation and after the liberation of Holland, Peek joined the Dutch military and then attended the University of Leiden where he received his M.D. degree in 1953. His desire to leave a changed Holland and a toss of a dart with a friend led him on a journey via the SS Groote Beer to New York and on to Michigan in September 1954.

He took a residency in Internal Medicine at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, where he met Carole, and married in 1956. In 1959, he became a U.S. citizen, started his private practice in Internal Medicine and became a member of the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital medical staff.

In 1972, he joined Chelsea Community Hospital and from 1975-1994 he was the Chief and Vice-president for Medical Affairs. During this time he was a member of the Board of Trustees of Chelsea Community Hospital. Peek was also the Medical Director of the Lutheran Retirement Center which later became known as Glacier Hills from 1975-1990.

Siewertsz van Reesma crest

Peek loved to teach. He was an active teaching member of the Department of Medicine of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and from 1960-1990 he was a clinical assistant professor in Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Peek retired in 1996 and continued to serve and support his family and the community he loved.

He was a founding member of the Chelsea Rotary club from 1987-present and received the Paul Harris Award for his “Service above Self”. He was an active member at St. Paul Church UCC in Chelsea for 40 years where he served on many councils.

He loved to read, attend music events and travel the world to see his extended family but his true love was spending time with his family at his cottage on Burt Lake – sailing, swimming, golfing, skiing, fixing things and enjoying the sunsets.

The family will receive friends at the Staffan-Mitchell Funeral Home, Chelsea, MI on Wednesday, February 15, from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m, and on Thursday, February 16 from 1-1:45 p.m. at St. Paul UCC prior to the service. A Memorial Service with his family and friends will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at St. Paul United Church of Christ, Chelsea, MI, with the Rev. Wallace J. Tatara.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Chelsea Rotary Foundation, P.O. Box 426, Chelsea, MI, 48118 for local and international Rotary service projects.