Dirk ten Grotenhuis III

Dirk ten Grotenhuis
Courtesy Photo

Dirk ten Grotenhuis III, longtime resident of South Pasadena, passed away peacefully at home at age 80. His wife, Susan ten Grotenhuis, was by his side.

Dirk was born in Manila, Philippines, to Dirk and Ruth ten Grotenhuis. As a toddler during World War II, Dirk and his parents were imprisoned by the Japanese Imperial Army in Santo Tomas Internment Camp, along with nearly 4,000 Allied civilians. The family survived over three years of extreme overcrowding and near starvation conditions. They were liberated by American troops in early February 1945.

Dirk graduated from The Thacher School in Ojai, and went on to earn his B.A. in history at Stanford University in 1960. Particularly skilled at reading people, he made a career in banking, insurance sales and executive search, eventually becoming a partner with Korn Ferry International.

Always community-minded, Dirk was a well-loved South Pasadena Little League team manager in the 1970s, teaching the boys to be “gentlemen’’ while honing their athletic skills. In later years, he served as the President of South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce.

Dirk loved games and sports, and he made any game more special for those playing with him. He was an avid bridge player, golfer and tennis player, and for many years enjoyed all with his beautiful wife, Susan, whom he adored.

A devoted family man and proud American citizen, he will be remembered for his sense of fun, quick wit, keen intellect and infectious laugh.

Dirk is survived by his wife of 55 years, Susan, his children Jeffrey Grotenhuis (Jennifer Ha Pham), Susan Romak, and Dirk ten Grotenhuis IV (Lisa Fuller), eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis (Merton Flemings).