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Jacob Coetzer

Also Known As: "Jaap"
Birthdate: (103)
Birthplace: Steenbokfontein, Rustenburg
Death: September 15, 1969 (103)
Rustenburg, Bojanala, North West, South Africa
Place of Burial: Rustenburg, Bojanala, North West, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Wentzel Christoffel Coetzer and Cornelia Coetzer, b1c9d1
Husband of Johanna Martina Coetzer; Unknown Coetzer; Maria Johanna Coetzer; Catharina Coetzer and Maria Johanna Coetzer
Father of Japie Coetzer; Danie Coetzer; Lourens Abraham Coetzer and Ernst Hendrik Coetzer
Brother of Daan Coetzer; Cornelia Snyman; Pieter Wilhelm Johan Coetzer; Sarel Johannes Coetzer; Lodewikus Jacobus Coetzer and 3 others
Half brother of Wenzel Christoffel Coetzer and Anna Sophia Robbertze

Managed by: Cornelius Johannes du Toit
Last Updated:

About Jacob Coetzer

Birth: July 6 1866 - Rustenburg ? Death: Sep 15 1969 - Rustenburg Wife: Johanna Martina Coetzer (gebore Snyman) Son: Lourens Abraham Coetzer


on 28 November 2012. Posted in Historic Rustenburg: 2012

Grandpa Jaap Coetzer ((1866 – 1969).

Rustenburg has known many legendary figures. Some villains, some soldiers and some eccentric. Whatever the case might be, these people and their stories color the pages of the history of Rustenburg.

In the 6th of July, 1866, joy filled the air on the old family farm Steenbokfontein with the birth of Jaap Coetzer, born to the well-known Wentzel and Cornelia Coetzer. As the eight child of the sixth generation, Jaap Coetzer would become a central figure in the history of the Coetzer family in Rustenburg with a rich history and an even richer heritage.

The story of Grandpa Jaap, as he was affectionately known by those who loved him, is full of mischief and adventure. As a young boy Grandpa Jaap and his friends would visit Uncle Paul (President Paul Kruger) on the farm Boekenhoutfontein just outside of Rustenburg on your way to Sun City. Uncle Paul’s wife would treat the young kids with peaches and oranges, "melktert" and all sorts of farm made treats. This was the beginning of a warm relationship between President Paul Kruger and Grandpa Jaap in such a way that Grandpa Jaap served as a personal bodyguard for President Paul Kruger at the homestead in Kerk Street, Pretoria. Not only did Grandpa Jaap serve the country as a personal bodyguard to the President but he also fought in various battles from as young as 14-years of age. Grandpa Jaap was known for his skills with a gun and his heart in battle. But it was the young and beautiful Johanna Martina Snijman from Zeerust who won the heart of the soldier. He married the 15 year-old girl on the 20th of March 1887 and the couple was blessed with 13 children! This was the beginning of a great adventure for Grandpa Jaap as he loved his family with great adoration.

The couple moved to Rustenburg in 1910. It is said that Grandpa Jaap lived in Rustenburg for 59 years! He lived a simple honest life here in our town. He loved hunting and gardening but perhaps he was best known for his knowledge in medicinal herbs. Grandpa Jaap was known in town as a "herbalist" who had anything and everything in his small pharmacy, from "doepa" for fishing to the worst tummy ache! He had an extensive knowledge and was well read on the subject, most of his knowledge gained from medicinal books from Germany.

It would be easy to think that Grandpa Jaap spent his days in his garden, sitting on the porch as time goes by…but no, Grandpa Jaap had a lot of spunk. At the age of 96 he took part in a shooting competition and showed the young men in town a thing or two with his old Metford. His lifelong involvement with the commando showed and he left the boys starring in disbelief! He also did all his chores in town with a friend, Jaap Malan, by bicycle. Yes, at the age of almost 100 years Grandpa Jaap got on his bicycle and took the road to town once a week. Everyone knew the two friends and Grandpa Jaap was easy recognizable with his old hat, which he never took off! Even on the day he died in hospital he refused to take his hat off.

Grandpa Jaap and Grandma Hannie was well loved in town and was popular citizens of the growing Rustenburg. During the year of 1945, the sad news came of the death of "Ouma Hannie". She was 74 years old and she lived a full and happy life, side by side with Grandpa Jaap. For three years Grandpa Jaap mourned the death of his wife until he met Maria Johanna Eloff and married again on the 13th of March 1948. Grandpa Jaap sadly lost his second wife and married for a third time, this time a widow Thompson but death also stole her from him. At the age of 92 Grandpa Jaap married for the fourth time. Catharina Bischoff and Jaap Coetzer received numerous letters and cards from prominent figures in South Africa congratulating the couple on their wedding. All of Grandpa Jaap’s weddings took place in the historical Dutch Reformed Church in Rustenburg.

Grandpa Jaap lived a full life here in Rustenburg. On 15 September, 1969, at the age of 103 years, Grandpa Jaap left to be with Grandma Hannie. He died in the Paul Kruger Memorial Hospital.

He was buried next to Grandma Hannie in the old cemetery. His burial was concluded semi-militarily style, with the old South-African flag draped over his coffin. General Meiring, head of the army of South-Africa at that stage, attended the funeral on behalf of the state. Twelve soldiers in full uniform escorted the funeral procession and fired the final salute to a rich and worthy life.

Information taken with permission from "DIE FAMILIEREGISTER EN MEMOIRS OOR DIE LEWE VAN JACOB COETZER (6 JULIE 1866 -15 SEPTEMBER 1969) EN SY GADE JOHANNA MARTINA SNIJMAN (2 APRIL 1871 - 22 JULIE 1945) EN LEDE VAN HULLE NAGESLAG. Jeugherinnerings soos vertel deur kleindogter Johanna Martina (Jayne) Steyn (nee Coetzer)."

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Jacob Coetzer's Timeline

July 6, 1866
August 27, 1900
Age 34
Age 33
November 1, 1911
Age 45
Age 67
September 15, 1969
Age 103
Rustenburg, Bojanala, North West, South Africa