Atmore mourns ‘special’ friend

Published 10:33 pm Sunday, October 12, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
With a name like Zuiderhoek, it would not be hard to make yourself well known, but with all of his accomplishments, Fred Zuiderhoek did not need his name to make himself known.
Today would have been Zuiderhoek’s 79th birthday, but instead his birthday cake will be served to family and friends reminiscing over their loved one lost to a heart attack last Wednesday morning.
His wife, Sandy, said her husband had expressed that he was prepared for when he died and he did so the way he always joked.
This sense of humor is what Sandy Zuiderhoek, his wife of nearly 10 years, said she will miss the most about him.
Fred Zuiderhoek was a long time Atmore citizen who served the community in numerous capacities, and according to friend Larry McGhee always did so with a smile and good attitude.
For 34 years Fred Zuiderhoek was the district accounting manager for Alabama Power, he served for both the Atmore Police Department and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and owned a framing and art supply store with his first wife, Edith Moore Zuiderhoek.
When Zuiderhoek worked for the sheriff’s office he functioned as a process server. Sandy Zuiderhoek said he was known for doing this with his trademark good attitude and kindness. He would try to help the people he was serving as much as possible.
McGhee said Fred was concerned about everybody and always made people feel good.
Atmore mayor Howard Shell said he could always count on seeing Zuiderhoek at community events.
Sandy Zuiderhoek said Fred loved traveling, which he did often in his work as a Red Cross volunteer.
As a couple, they traveled to Fred’s native Holland and spent time with relatives.
Besides traveling, Fred loved to smoke pork, particularly Boston butts, and would make four or five at a time and give them away.
Sandy said they plan to smoke one in his honor this weekend.
According to Sandy, Fred loved to piddle both in the yard and with clocks. Building and repairing clocks was a pastime he picked up when running the framing store and one he continued until his death.
Sandy said most of all Fred loved his family, especially his grandchildren.
His wife, Sandy; three children, Lamar Zuiderhoek, Gail Whatley and Shannon Cooper; three stepdaughters Denise Neighbors, Daphne Smart and Laura Palmer; seven grandchildren; four great grandchildren and a special niece, Joyce Tucker, survive him.
Zuiderhoek was buried Friday, Oct. 10 at Oak Hill Cemetery with full Masonic rights. Family asked that memorials be made to St. Anna’s Episcopal Church or the American Red Cross.

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