René Hakkenberg (80) passes away on Bonaire

René Hakkenberg (80) passes away on Bonaire

KRALENDIJK – As became known in the course of Thursday, René Hakkenberg van Gaansbeek, as his full name was, has passed away last Monday, April 18. Rene reached the age of 80.

Many, especially older residents, will remember René, who was born in Curaçao in September 1942, from his time as director of the Salt Company. More recently, René was particularly active at Jong Bonaire, a foundation of which he formed the board with, among others, Allan Gross and Jane Townsend.

René was friendly and respectful to people, but when he set his mind on something, he could be quite persistent. In addition, if he was angry about something, he could make his opinion known in no uncertain terms.

Even at an advanced age, René still showed himself to be very much into sports; something he had been all his life. Countless times you could meet him at the Bon Bida gym where he took, among other things, TRX classes. Something he loved to do. In his younger years he was especially a very avid diver.

The last few years were also filled by his new love, the Argentinian Soledad Paz, with whom he regularly commuted between Bonaire and Argentina. In recent years, René increasingly suffered from Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), which he was diagnosed with a few years ago. The disease ultimately also proved fatal. René died at the beginning of this week in his sleep, in the presence of his loved ones.

With the death of René Hakkenberg, Bonaire has lost a colourful and interesting personality, who had his heart in the right place and who always showed himself to be socially involved.

People who are interested to see photos of René’s life as well as read something on his life story, you can visit

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