A Tribute to Corrie ten Boom…

the first woman watch and clockmaker in the Netherlands

Just before entering the U.S. Army in 1968, I received a letter from a lady I’d never heard of.  Mind you, this was before “cyberspace”.  She introduced herself as Anneke Dunnewold, friend of a classmate at Goethe Institute (language school) in Germany.  “Barbara said I should thank you for dinner.”  To make a long story short, she continued to write for the next three years wherever I traveled.  In the fall of 1970, I had a sincere desire to meet her.  With passport in hand, I hopped the Vienna-Holland Express out of Schweinfurt, Germany.  We met in Soestijk, Holland, had dinner together, and I proposed to her.  Somehow, it clicked for us.  Anneke was living with her employer, Corrie ten Boom, the first registered woman watch and clockmaker in Holland and author of several books.  Her most famous book was “The Hiding Place.”  The house was full of clocks of every description.  I got the bug, and my life was transformed!  I was to become a clockmaker!

I’d also managed to make a mess of my life by serving “self”.  As an avid follower of the writer, Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged, The Virtue of Selfishness, The Fountainhead), there was room for no one else in my life.  I desperately needed direction and change in my life. Through the course of our discussions, I received the message of the simple words, “Jesus loves you.”  The words cut directly to my heart, and I became a Christian believer.

Corrie was a woman who was faithful to God.  She died on her 91st birthday, April 15, 1983. It is interesting that Corrie's passing occurred on her birthday.   In the Jewish tradition, it is only very blessed people who are allowed the special privilege of dying on their birthday!

http://web.archive.org/web/20070206213629im_/http:/www.metrocast.net/%7Etimegoes/corrietenboom_files/image004.jpgCorrie ten Boom accompanied by Pam Rosewell, at her home in Orange, California, shortly before she died.

http://web.archive.org/web/20070206213629im_/http:/www.metrocast.net/%7Etimegoes/corrietenboom_files/image006.jpgAnneke and I visited with Corrie in her garden at her home in Haarlem, Netherlands on one of our trips back to the farm.





I returned two months later, met Corrie ten Boom, met her family and fitted her with two rings I’d fashioned and cast (lost-wax method).  After a short week of seeing family and making arrangements, I returned to duty in Germany.  The day after my European discharge, we married in Harderwijk, Holland.  Though we were legally married at the town hall, Corrie later married us at the farm.  As a result, Anneke’s bedridden father was able to witness our wedding.


Anneke and I celebrate our 35th Wedding Anniversary in the backyard garden.

Upon return to the U.S., we continued to work in the employ of Corrie ten Boom, taking care of her correspondence and other arrangements.  Later her ministry became part of the Billy Graham Evangelist Association while she continued to write from her new home in Orange, California.  I worked for the U.S. Navy as a maintenance machinist while working on clocks.  In my spare time, I continued to write.

Several years later, we passed on an opportunity to become curators of the Corrie ten Boom Museum in Haarlem, Holland.  Things just didn’t “click”.

Be sure to visit “Corrie’s Corner” at Father & Son Precision Time for memorabilia of the life of Corrie ten Boom.  My wife is happy to share her experiences with local church groups, free of charge.  For more information about Corrie, please visit the official web site of Corrie ten Boom.  Click HERE