Featured Story

Shelter Island obituaries: van der Eems, Westover

Jeffrey ‘Jeff’ P. van der Eems
Jeffrey “Jeff” P. van der Eems, aged 56, passed away on Sept. 6, 2019, at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in Manhattan of lymphoma cancer.

Jeff was born Nov. 5, 1962 in Kincardine, Toronto, of Dutch parents who had immigrated from Holland after World War II. He spent the first 10 years of his life in Streetsville, near Kincardine, and became a keenly skilled hockey player, and at the same age, his family moved to Malibu, Calif. and soon after settled permanently in Mission Viejo, Calif.

Jeff attended local schools where, at 17, he became a track star, running several miles a day through the California hills, eventually becoming 3rd in the United States for the mile; his time was 4:08.

After attending University of California at Irvine, where he achieved a degree in English Literature, he decided to attain his graduate degree in Master of International Business from Thunderbird University.

Jeff began his professional career as an analyst with Geneva Bank in California and New York City and then with Mitsui Bank. Preferring industry, he made the switch to PepsiCo headquarters in the mergers and acquisitions department and eventually became CFO of Pepsi UK, where the family moved and became full-time residents.

Jeff then became CFO of United Biscuits where, after taking the McVitie’s brand across the world, including India, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, he eventually became CEO. United Biscuits paid tribute by stating: “He was extremely bright and strategically brilliant. He championed young talent across the business and will also be remembered for his relentless passion and drive for the success of the McVitie’s brand.”

He left United Biscuits to start his own plural business as an industry adviser and investor sitting on six company boards, one primary school Governor’s board and the board of Build Africa, a charity devoted to educating girls in rural Africa. He so enjoyed the international aspect of his work and was inspired by his associates and the energy of starting and running successful businesses.

Jeff and his wife Beth began coming to Shelter Island in the 1990s and subsequently purchased a house in Hay Beach where they have been coming with their children ever since. Every year Jeff kayaked around Shelter Island and was the subject of a feature article in the Shelter Island Reporter.

As members of the Shelter Island Yacht Club, Jeff and Beth also sailed their Cape Dory Typhoon, “The Biscuit.” He loved every aspect of life on Shelter Island, in the U.K. and in the world. He will be very missed by all who knew him.

He leaves his son Willem, 22, his daughter Alida, 21, and his wife, Beth.

Robert M. Westover
Robert M. Westover of Cutchogue, formerly of Shelter Island, died suddenly on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. He was 73 years old.

Robert is survived by his life partner of 39 years, Tom Speeches, his brother, Richard and Richard’s wife Tamara of Skaneateles, N.Y.

The family has chosen to remember Mr. Westover’s life privately at this time.