Arie D. Bestebreurtje (1916-1983) was a highly decorated WWII veteran and a minister.
Early life and Military Decorations
Bestebreurtje joined the Dutch resistance movement in his mid-twenties before furthering his formal military training in England in order to better execute missions behind enemy lines. Major Bestebreurtje’s awards included a Purple Heart, a French Croix de Guerre, and a British MBE. Bestebreurtje was also a speed skater in his youth, and took any opportunity to ice skate that he could until his death in 1983.
Time in Charlottesville
Instead of continuing his pre-war career in international law, Bestebreurtje moved to Virginia to become a minister. He served as minister at the First Presbyterian Church on Park Street from 1965-1981, and was beloved by his congregation. He took a special interest in helping refugee families find homes in the community.
Frances Brand portrait
Bestebreurtje is one of several people commemorated by the late 20th-century artist Frances Brand as part of her Firsts series.
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- Web. Capt. Arie D. Bestebreurtje, McKeway, Bill, B26.com, 1 February, 2017, retrieved 16 June, 2022.
- Web. Bestebreurtje, Arie Dirk "Harry", Traces of War, retrieved 16 June, 2022.
- Web. The History of the First Presbyterian Church Charlottesville, Virginia, Simpson, Robert E., Presbyterian Church (USA), 2011, retrieved 16 June, 2022.