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Obituary - Henry Keizer

It was with great sadness that I heard the news that Henry Keizer died on 5 October 2019, writes Westerleigh Group Ambassador Alan Jose.

Many of us who work in the Cremation industry knew Henry primarily in his role as the President and Chief Executive of the Facultatieve Group, manufacturers of the FT Cremators that so many of us have installed at our crematoria across the UK.

Henry was a regular attender at Conferences and Seminars and was an extremely charming, approachable, knowledgeable and affable man who was always ready to have a chat and offer advice where this was sought. Many pleasant and enjoyable times were had in his company at conferences over the years.  

What is possibly less well known is that FT as we refer to the company – The Dutch ‘Royal Facultatieve’ (founded in 1874) – has several subsidiaries in 10 different countries and operates a number of crematoria and cemeteries including three crematoria in Germany.  

Henry was also non-executive board member of a number of international organizations, both inside and outside the death care industry. In The Netherlands, Henry  was the Vice-Chairman of the National Organization for Crematoria, Chairman of the National Society of Cemeteries and was the Secretary-General of the International Cremation Federation (ICF). In this role too Henry was well known and respected throughout the world.

The ICF was founded in 1937 and has Roster status with the United Nations. This means it is available to be consulted to aid the UN Council’s work.

Henry was made a Vice President of the ICCM in 2004 and was honoured and proud of this position.

A generous man, Henry was also involved with several charities and was always willing to give advice and guidance to young people. Again a fact very likely little known in the UK is that from 2014-2017 he was the party chairman of the largest Dutch governing political party the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy). 

Henry will be deeply missed  by so many in our profession here and throughout the world and I pass on our most sincere sympathies to his family.

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