Last weekend, Siem Wijnhorst passed away. He was 51 years old. Siem worked at Olsthoorn Greenhouse Projects, where he was also a board member. His colleagues reflect on his death in the obituary below, following a fatal accident.
Siem had worked at Olsthoorn since he was 15 years old, he felt right at home on the shovel. In 2005, Siem took over the company together with Sam, Mark, and Marco. They embarked on this adventure together with a lot of passion, enthusiasm, and a dose of youthful hubris. Siem served as a truck driver, foreman, shovel operator, and logistics manager. Most things were arranged from the truck. In almost all jobs at home and abroad, he was involved in one way or another. Loading trucks, bringing and collecting work equipment, bringing and emptying containers, contact with the customer on-site, contact with subcontractors, starting the job, clearing demolition or building sites, delivering work, really, too much to mention. But one thing we always knew for sure, if Siem gets involved, things will work out.
As a manager, Siem applied the old-fashioned 'get on with it' method. By always starting first, working hard, and leaving last, this was accepted by everyone and kept your work ethic high. Working weeks of 70 hours were more the rule than the exception for Siem. "I am awake at 4 am anyway, so why stay in bed" he would then give as an argument.
Whenever Siem had new investment plans, time and again, the co-management had to get used to the idea that the new machine to be purchased had to be more expensive than its predecessor. With good arguments and a bit of nagging, he almost always managed to convince the others that the next machine would have to be a step bigger and heavier. In practice, this transition often turned out to have great advantages, so that we all eventually had to conclude that this investment would also pay for itself. "Stuff you have to have" and "the machines have to do the work" were his favorite sayings. Siem's views on many practical matters, therefore, helped the company move forward by leaps and bounds.
Siem instilled his work ethic into his son Roy at an early age; Roy has been under Siem's care for 12 years and has learned all the ins and outs from his father. Daughter Lois is also involved in the business, regularly catering for the men. His wife Ellen provided a stable home base at home. Even at weekends, Siem could always be found at the business for a cup of coffee or a chat; the business was literally his life. It is clear what a loss Siem will be to the company.
We wish Ellen, Roy, Shanna, Lois, and further family lots of strength.
Condolences will be available on Sunday, 16 April, from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm.
Olsthoorn Greenhouse Projects
Jogchem van der Houtweg 3
2678 AG De Lier