Ian Willem deGroot, age 62, died on February 27, 2019 after a heroic year-long battle with a second round of cancer. He faced his condition with courageous acceptance. Ian was the beloved husband of Amy Lockwood-deGroot for 38 years, and father of twins, Tabor and Kylie.
Ian was born January 8, 1957 to Tineke and Willem deGroot in Brockville, Ontario, CA. Born into a family with a sister of special needs, from the time he was a little boy he strove to bring happiness and joy to his family. The demonstration of his parents’ steadfast care for his sister Margit, and her untimely and sudden death, deeply affected and influenced Ian as a sensitive teenager. Throughout his life he never stopped interacting with and caring for others.
Ian graduated from the University of Vermont in 1979 with a B.S. in Education and was a member of both the UVM Men’s Tennis and Lacrosse teams. Following graduation, he became the Co-Director at Windridge Tennis Camp in Jeffersonville, Vermont, where he met the love of his life, the other Co-Director, Amy. Ian and Amy were married in 1981 at Millbrook School in Millbrook, NY, and three years later moved to Burlington, where Ian started his 23-year long career at UVM.
He began as a Development Officer for the UVM College of Medicine, and in the years following, he served the University in a number of development capacities. As a Vice President, Ian was responsible for all of the Development and Alumni Relations activities for the University’s nine schools and colleges, including all facets of a $250-Million Comprehensive Campaign that was successfully completed in 2007.
In 2007, he started a new career with Morgan Stanley as a Financial Advisor, CFP. Ian was a founding member of a Wealth Management team that grew to become the firm’s largest in northern New England. He was a trusted advisor, intentionally honoring the deeper needs and values of his clients and their families.
Throughout his life Ian exuded a boyish delight in the world around him, especially when he was playing outside with the ones he loved. A graceful and gifted athlete from his feet to his hands, he danced down the steepest ski slopes, feathered drop volleys over the tennis net, waltzed on his skate skis and pounded the pavement on his road bike. He was also a favorite mentor to many young adults getting a start in these sports, enthusiastically sharing his expertise on the technical fine points and the elements of character that would allow them to flourish.
Ian had an uncanny ability with words. His responses were succinct and entirely unique, leaving listeners grabbing for pen and paper to record every word that fell effortlessly from his lips. Outbursts of laughter surrounded Ian as he regaled those around him with stories laced with his fine-tuned embellishments. He was loud and boisterous when people needed a lift, yet calm and introspective when life’s questions needed pondering.
Ian was an irrepressible man of action. But, no matter how engaged he was with his work and athletics, Ian learned from his parents that family time was of the utmost importance. No one knows this better than his loving wife and his two children. As a devoted husband and father, Ian modeled how to best live one’s life: Be ambitious and passionate, but don’t forget to loosen up and enjoy the silly little things that give color to this world. Ian’s strongest skill as a father was supporting his children in whatever they chose to pursue. He held doors open and allowed them to decide which one to walk through.
Ultimately, Ian’s most valued contribution was his love. He would give all he had to help others, rarely stopping to think about his own needs. How he expressed his expansive heart, his brilliant mind and his remarkable sense of humor throughout his life touched many and will continue to reach far and wide. His beloved Amy, precious children Tabor and Kylie, dear mother Tineke and caring sister Erica Lustgarten, and his many nieces and nephews will forever hold Ian in their hearts. He was predeceased by his father, Willem, and his sister, Margit.
A celebration of Ian’s life will be held Saturday, June 29th, at the Ira Allen Chapel in Burlington, VT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UVM Cancer Center in Ian’s honor.