We have some heart breaking news to share with the TSX family. Jan was on his second hike of the day last Friday afternoon, just a "short one" to the top of Meadow Trail in San Antonia Park, near his home in the Bay Area. He was found by another hiker, sitting on a bench, with his backpack beside him. According to his Fitbit, he had arrived just a few minutes before. Jan had an indomitable spirit. We are so sad for his loss.
Jan positively impacted just about everyone he touched. On his first trip with us roughly seven years ago, he earned his trail name, "El Tanko." He relished a challenge of the trail, fought through adversity, and never gave up. Jan trekked with us three times across the Sierra, twice in the Grand Canyon, and twice to Hell For Sure, and igniting smiles, laughter, and inspiration for participants on every trip. for At age 76, just two days shy of his 77th birthday, his completed his seventh TSX Challenge, and stood adopt Mt. Goddard.
If you talked to Jan, he'd tell you the story of when he first saw mountains at the age of 18 after growing up in the Netherlands, and it was love at first sight. He had so many stories to share... some of which were real, others that were completely made up to get a laugh... we're going to miss them all, and him, around the campfire this year.
Jan's wife, Ann, would drop him off before every trip with simple instructions to bring him home safe. I know she is devastated by this loss. We'd like to do something nice for Ann, and Jan's family. If you've hiked with Jan and have a picture or story you'd like to share, please add it to this post, or drop us an email at email@example.com. We'll be compiling a memory book this week to share with the family and would love to include your thoughts or comments.
Personal notes can be sent to the Gazenbeek Family, c/o TSX Challenge, PO Box 1844, Orinda, CA. We'll make sure they get to the right place.
We love you Jan! Cedo Nulli!