Dennis Fokko Doornbos 1950 – 2015
We have just heard the tragic news that Dennis Doornbos, owner and chairman of Dutch crane and access company Doornbos Equipment, passed away on Wednesday night after several years of ill health. He was just 64. He leaves behind, wife Linda, daughter Denise and sons Frank and Stuart.
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We have few details at this stage, but he handed over day to day management of the company to Joost Buck in May 2012, whilst continuing to stay involved with the business. Last October his daughter Denise took over as managing director and manages the business with her brothers, Frank and Stuart, the fourth generation of the Doornbos family to do so.
Dennis Doornbos joined the family company - a diverse equipment rental and sales business - at the end of the 1970s, joining his brother and two cousins. Founded by John Doornbos as a fruit and vegetable trader 1938, Doornbos the business branched out into heavy equipment trading when John's sons Bob and Frank began dealing in surplus American equipment in 1945. Crane rental was added in the 1960s and by 1980 Doornbos was a significant business in the Rotterdam region. It soon became apparent however that four family members at the head of one company was too much, so they all agreed to split the business up and go their own ways.
Dennis took the crane rental division, which apparently none of the others cared for - possibly because it was making a loss? Over the years he transformed the business adding aerial work platforms, forklifts and telehandlers to the core crane rental business in 1990. 10 year's later he then branched out into the sale and rental of high pressure cleaning and water blasting equipment for shipyards. Today the company also has branches in Amsterdam and Billingham, UK.
There will be a quiet family funeral on Thursday, but there will be chance for friends and colleagues to say goodbye on Wednesday March 18th, from 18.30 to -20.30 at Van der Spek Funeral home, Berkelse Poort 33, 2651 JX Berkel en Rodenrijs.
Messages of sympathy can also be sent to [email protected]
or Doornbos Equipment BV, attn. Denise Doornbos, Postbus 11017, 3004 EA Rotterdam, Netherlands.
A personal comment
It is hard to believe that Dennis is no longer with us, always immaculate, always looking calm and relaxed, his smile came easily, and he had a great sense of humour. He always seemed to have time for people, and was firm but fair in his business dealings. I always found him a warm, honest, consistent, professional individual. His big smile which was almost always there, could not help but lift your day when you visited, or saw him at a trade show.
The crane and access industry has lost a thoroughly decent and professional member,
he will be greatly missed.