Pieter W. Kok, 82, of Sebastian, died July 2, 2009, sailing his last boat exploring the Atlantic outside the Sebastian Inlet. He was born in Rotterdam to Pieter and Maria Kok Cinjee on Oct. 31, 1926.
He built his first boat with his brother Jan to explore the Maas River in Rotterdam. Pieter Kok loved the water, was a skilled engineer, and a beloved family man. He died the morning of July 2, apparently falling over board on a Thursday morning sailing venture. Mr. Kok spent his career with Philips Medical Systems, Inc. His career spanned several continents, but he spent most of his time at their North American headquarters, leading a special applications unit. He had 14 patents covering a wide array of improvements in X-ray technology. His most noteworthy work was done with Dr. Mason Sones of the Cleveland Clinic – where together they fostered significant advances in cardiac care. However Pieter Kok’s proudest accomplishment was the unique love he shared with his wife Kitty, and their rearing of five children. Piet and Kitty were happily married for 53 years and have made their home in Sebastian since 1998. Besides his beloved wife Kitty, survivors include his sons, Pieter (Carol), Enno, Robert (Laura), and John (Wendy); and his daughter, Elsa (Brian); and 12 grandchildren who have inherited his wisdom, wit, and charm. A memorial service will be held at Christ Church in Vero Beach, 925 14th Lane, on Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent in his memory to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Heart and Vascular Institute, PO Box 931517, Cleveland, OH 44793-1655 or online at www.clevelandclinic.org/isupport.