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Herman C. Belderok Sr.

October 16, 2015
Herman C. Belderok, Sr., 86, passed away Friday, October 16, 2015, at 2:10 PM.
He was born on April 6, 1929, in Antwerp, Belgium, son of Jacques J. and Elisa Maria (Knapen) Belderok.
He completed grades K through 8 at Saint Stanislaus in Antwerp, a Jesuit-run school, and left with his parents and brother, Fred, on May 10, 1944, for London, England at the start of World War II when the Germans invaded the Low Countries.  He completed his high school studies in Beulah Hill, London at Saint Joseph’s College run by the Christian brothers of De La Sales. Since all of his studies thus far had been in Flemish and French, he had to repeat all previous exams in English in order to obtain credit.
After World War II the family emigrated to Bayshore, Long Island, New York, where he received his high school diploma.
Subsequently, he attended the RCA Institute for Radio and Electronics in New York City, graduating Magna Cum Laud. He then continued his education as an evening student at the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, New York, receiving his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 1957, while working full-time at Republic Aviation, Farmingdale, New York, as an Electronics Engineer.
In 1957, Herman was promoted to Chief Electronic System Engineer, and was tasked to supervise the electrical and environmental tests of the latest state-of-the-art aviation electronics at Collins Radio, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
During the 1950’s he worked on the P47 Thunderbolt, F84 and F105 jet fighter bombers. Due to his expertise in electronics, he headed up several teams to educate the pilots flying those advanced electronic system equipped aircraft.
As part of his duties, he visited a number of US and European Air Force bases, giving lectures at each of them in the operation and limitations of the equipment.
He continued his studies and received his Master of Science degree in Atomic Physics in 1963 from Hofstra University, and subsequently his Master of Business administration from St. John’s University in 1967.
Just prior to receiving his MBA, he passed the three-day New York Professional Engineering exam.
During this time, Herman met Ellen Agnes Ryan, a native of Hempstead, Long Island, New York. It was love at first sight. They were married in Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Center, Long Island, New York on April 8, 1967.
After 1967, Republic Aviation promoted Herman to Chief Engineer at the Saint Augustine Division, and subsequently as Program Manager responsible for modifying C119 aircraft, a “Puff the Magic Dragon” gunship used during the Vietnam conflict.
Subsequently, he was assigned to be the manager of the Republic – Fairchild team installing and testing environmental systems on the over-the-horizon early warning radar system in North Dakota.
Herman left Republic in 1972 for some short stints. He was the Director of Development for the city of Hagerstown, Maryland, then as Chief Engineer of a small electrical panel manufacture in Connecticut and finally as Chief Systems Engineer at the Piper Aircraft manufacturing plant in Vero Beach, Florida.
In 1979, Herman received a call from Fr. Hector Bolduc asking if he would take charge of the restoration of the St. Mary’s campus.
Herman started flying in 1952 and over the years he received FAA pilot certificates to include commercial and instrument flight, single and multi engine ratings, flight and ground instructor ratings.  He owned several airplanes and amassed 2500 flight hours. While at St. Mary’s in the early 1980s he flew the Society of Saint Pius X’s District superior every weekend to the outlying missions.  He also made twice yearly trips to each coast visiting the far-flung missions.
From 1984 through 1996, working at the Federal Aviation Administration as an Aircraft Certification Engineer, he was tasked to visit and be the FAA representative for all foreign manufacturers of small aircraft and gliders. This necessitated traveling all over Europe and Russia several times a year.
After retiring in 1996, he taught at the St. Mary’s campus in both the high school and college, covering General Science, Biology, Business Operations, Government, Calculus and Micro Economics. He finally retired 2009.
Herman is preceded in death by his grandparents, Louise and Sophie (Waller) Belderok, Flushing, Netherlands, his parents, and brother Fred.
Herman is survived by his wife, Ellen, of 48 years and by two sons, Jacques, and wife Deborah, St. Mary’s, Kansas; Herman Jr. and wife Tara, Kansas City, Missouri and 13 grandchildren.
Requiem Mass will be at 7:00 A.M. Thursday, October 22, 2015 at Assumption Chapel in St. Marys, KS.  Interment will be in Our Lady Of Peace Cemetery, St. Marys, KS.  A Rosary will be recited at 5:20 P.M. Wednesday, October 21, 2015  at the church.  Mr. Belderok will lie in state on Wednesday from 2:00 until 4:00 P.M. at Piper Funeral Home, St. Marys, KS.





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15 thoughts on “Herman C. Belderok Sr.

  1. Herman was in inspiration to me when I was an young International Aerospace Engineer Program Manager at the Brussels Aircraft Certification Office 1991-96. He and I frequently traveled to many general aviation and glider companies to certify new aircraft designs. I also admired his devout Catholic faith, family devotion, and upstanding lifestyle. I miss him.

  2. I had the pleasure of working with Herman during the 90’s when he we worked for the FAA in Kansas City. He was the consummate professional. Always thoughtful and respectful. When I was new to the FAA, he went out of his way to explain the system to me and offer his help in any way. We lost a great advocate for aviation when he retired. I enjoyed seeing him occasionally when he would bring his students on field trips to see the workings of a government office. He was the “same ‘ol Herman” — always helpful, kind, respectful, and upbeat. We need more “Hermans” in this world. May he rest in peace.

  3. We offer our condolences, I am carrying Herman’s obituary with me to visit those who have trouble reading and reading it to them. When I mentioned to one gentleman that I would bring it and read it to him, he said to tell him the gist and I said “Each paragraph is a gist.” I’ll bring and read the paper.

  4. I will always remember Mr. Belderok and his Government class at SMA. I can honestly say that my first interest in politics stems from those morning classes in 12th Grade. You and your family will be in my prayers and may Mr. Belderok rest in peace. Requiem aeternam donna eis Domine et Lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescat in Pace.

  5. Dear Mrs. Belderok and family,
    Mr. Belderok’s soul will remain in my prayers! I hope he has entered into eternal glory already! I was a burden to him in my young and stupid days and I hope he is praying for me as I pray for him. May we all meet in that happy home in the Beatific Vision!
    God bless you all and Requiescat in Pace, Mr. Belderok.

  6. Sean and I (SMA class of 87 and 84 respectively) remember Mr. And Mrs. Bolderok fondly. Be assured of our prayers!

  7. Dear Ellen and family,
    What a great man and leader Herman was. The greatest gift he leaves behind is the example of his great faith in God, touching all with whom he came in contact, especially his young students. We are so grateful to be able to count you both among our friends and have treasured the advice and encouragement you have given us and our children over the years. He will be missed, but with all he has contributed to in St Mary’s, he will never be forgotten. God bless all of you and keep you in His care, Bill and Teri Hamilton

  8. Dear Ellen and Family,
    Our thoughts and Prayers are with you and yours. I don’t remember now how long we have been neighbors. It has been along time. A lot of memories. One we always have enjoyed, is looking out our windows and seeing the Flag proudly being displayed. We still always check to see what direction the wind is from, and how strong it is. Over the years the wind has taken its toll on numerous flags, but has never ever rid it of what the Flag has stood for, “The Proud and the and Strong”, like Hermon, standing tall as a big oak tree that has with stood the wind, never bending, never breaking, and now, has with stood the test of time, for all time, and is now in the company of all the Angels and Saints, seeing the face of Our Lord and Savior for all of eternity.

  9. Herman was a pillar of the Faith and he persevered to the end. What an example to all who knew him! May he rest in peace.

  10. Dear Ellen and family,
    So sorry to hear about your dear Herman. Still remember back in the late 70 ties how you let Henry stay with you until we could get moved up here. That was very kind of you to do that for us and we are forever grateful.. He turned out to be a terrific son and I am sure his having that time with you helped. We will keep all of you in our prayers and will keep in touch. Tom and Teresa

  11. Dear Mrs. Belderok,

    We are so sorry for your loss and assure you of our prayers and thoughts for the repose of Mr Belderok’s soul. Mr. Belderok was one of my favorite teacher’s in high school at SMAC, he was always so patient and kind. He was someone who was well respected and loved by all.
    Love to you and your family.
    Joaquin and Nancy Vargas (Hamilton) and kids

  12. Ellen and family.
    We are so very sorry for your loss. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with each of you during this most difficult time… Herman will be missed by many. Just know that he will suffer no more and now has life everlasting with our Lord. He is flying with the best I am so sure.

  13. Dear Mrs. Belderok and Family,

    May God rest his good soul and comfort all of you. We treasure all that you must have done here in St. Mary’s and we love your children and grandchildren. May God grant him an easy flight plan to Heaven.

  14. Dearest Ellen & Family, Our prayers are with all of you at this time of Herman’s passing. Herman was such a wonderful man we are all richer for knowing him. I know your memories will keep you going and he will be watching over you all.

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