Thierry Verhaegen


10:30 am - 11:30 am
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
St. Paul's Church
216 Nassau St.
Princeton, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of Thierry Verhaegen

Thierry Verhaegen, 68, passed away on November 20, 2020 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Thierry was born in The Hague, Netherlands, to Baudouin and Anne-Michelle Verhaegen on August 14th, 1952. As the child of a diplomat, Thierry lived in many countries including Chile, Turkey, Morocco, and Ireland. Thierry received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy and a License en Droit (JD) from Louvain University in Belgium. He received his Master’s Degree (LLM) from the London School of Economics in England. After moving to the United States, he studied for and was admitted to the New York Bar.

Early in his career, he made the switch from law to business. Thierry worked at Munich Reinsurance America, formerly American Reinsurance, for almost 30 years. During his career, he rose to become a Senior Vice President and Account Manager. Thierry was a proud participant in multiple professional activities, both internationally and locally. He was a US delegate to the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. Locally, he was a Trustee Advisor for the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs and a Board Member for the Princeton Water Treatment Plant.

In 1981, Thierry met the love of his life, Milka Petrovich Verhaegen, in an unexpected place: on a transatlantic flight. They married on May 11th, 1986 in Crestwood, New York. Thierry lived in Princeton with his wife and three children for over 30 years. He enjoyed gardening and riding his bicycle along the D&R Canal. He was an avid reader of both French and English literature as well as a listener of classical music, especially of the WWFM Classical Radio Station.

Thierry volunteered for a number of local organizations. He was quiet about his work but proud to serve the annual June Fête Fundraiser for the Princeton Medical Center. He also supported Eden Autism Services and would participate in their 5K run fundraiser. Many weeknights he would volunteer recording audio textbooks for the visually impaired. He was also involved in the Blue Mountain Festival, a local non-profit to bring musical education to the underprivileged.

Thierry is preceded in death by his parents, Baudouin and Anne-Michelle; and sister Chantal Verhaegen.

Thierry is survived by his wife, Milka Verhaegen (Petrovich), of Princeton; son Samuel Verhaegen; daughter Nathalie Emerle (Verhaegen) and her husband Colin Emerle, daughter Anna Verhaegen; and sisters Beatrice De Patoul (Verhaegen) and Helene Buchen (Verhaegen); as well as nephews, nieces, and cousins.

A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 at the St Paul Roman Catholic Church in Princeton. The family suggests memorial contributions be sent to the Eden Autism Foundation or Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

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