Danny was born on May 4, 1982, in Rotterdam. He lived almost his entire life in Hoogvliet, a suburb of the same city. He was a boy far ahead of his age, being concerned with everything around him while the rest of his friends were having fun without thinking. He wanted the world to be a place of joy and peace, and often couldn't stand the way people treated each other. Sometimes his frustrations became too great, and he would burst out in an angry mood which fortunately never lasted long. Unfortunately, the way the world was going sometimes also made him very depressed: One day he couldn't overcome this pain, and in an impulse tried to kill himself -- and succeeded.
Danny had few friends, but he loved and cared deeply for the ones he had. They describe him as:
The kind of friend you only find once in a lifetime. He loved his friends very much. He was always there for us. He tried to solve our problems, and most of the time succeeded. He always cheered us up when we were feeling down, being funny when needed. But he was also able to carry on a serious conversation. He was a very sensitive person who felt responsible for everyone in his environment. Sometimes he would get angry with us, but he could never stay mad long at those he loved.
Ruby, his girlfriend, says, "We have a bond stronger than friendship or love, and though we never can be together anymore, we will never ever part."
Danny loved flowers and plants. His favorite pet was a Doberman-pincher, which he owned for a couple of months.
In the last years of his life, he became a huge fan of Star Trek. This science fiction series appealed to him because of the bright future it promised: a future in which mankind would overcome its differences and make this world a better place to live in whilst exploring the universe around us. He was an enthusiastic volunteer for the local Dutch Star Trek fan club. He would help whenever something needed to be done, whether it was a local fan club promotion or helping organize a Star Trek convention.
It was his biggest wish that, after he died, his remains would be launched into orbit, just like Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's ashes had been. Although his sudden death left us in shock and mourning, we hope that, by fulfilling his final wish, Danny will know the happiness and peace he longed for all his life.
--The van der Hoek Family
The wind has taken you
You're finally free at peace.
So still you lie
Leaving the world behind.
The pain is gone
Gone with the spirit in your eyes.
Now you're wandering around
As we cry.
You've flown into the wind
Escaping all the hurt within
Took the sky
Leaving the world behind.
So young you die
How could you let it all pass you by?
And to the wind so many dreams
That you held inside
Now you're just a memory
Burning in our minds.
So young to die
How could you let life pass you by?
And now you'll never know we love you
And now you'll never know we care.
We really love you
And now you'll never know
You'll only fade into the wind.