We have received the tragic news tonight of the sudden death of ex-Riwal manager and part owner Jaap Schalekamp, following a short illness.
Schalekamp was in Dubai - where he had a home - when a couple of weeks ago he began to feel unwell, suffering from a cough and then a fever, the illness became worse and he was admitted to hospital earlier this week, where he was diagnosed with Legionnaires disease. Sadly in spite of treatment in an intensive care unit, his situation deteriorated, and he passed away last night. He was 62, just a couple of weeks short of his 63rd birthday.
Jaap was the eldest of three brothers, the others being Jan-Dick who tragically died from a heart attack while playing football in 1995, and Dick junior, who is a now a co-owner of Dutch rental company HWS and dealer Euro supply.
Schalekamp was a sponsor and avid supporter of the football club, FC Dordrecht, where his youngest son Thomas is a player. The club has announced that it will recognise his passing with a mourning band during the game with NAC Breda tomorrow night.
He leaves behind his second wife Mariska, sons Thomas and Dennis, brother Dick, and his two parents both in their late 80s.
Dick Schalekamp senior established the Riwal business in 1968 as Richards & Wallington International, the Dutch division of the UK based crane rental company of that name. He bought the business in 1980, after the Richards and Wallington group ran into financial difficulties, renaming it Riwal in 1987. Jaap ran the crane side of the business, while Dick junior joined the company in 1986 to create the aerial work platform division. Dick senior transferred the ownership of the company to his three sons in 1989, with current owner Doron Livnat taking a 33 percent stake in 2000.
Jaap sold his shares to Dick junior and Livnat in 2008, a year of so after the Riwal crane business had been sold to Sarens.