Sincere condolences to the family of our good friend and supplier Auke Van Dokkum. Auke lived the art of magic. He was happiest when he was performing and to him performing was so much more than just simple execution of effects. It was a life-form and maintaining an incredible amount of respect for the art that he practiced. A few of his mentors included Tommy Wonder and Armando Lucero. Auke knew the most important aspect of magic and he would often say, (with a sparkle in his eye), “Now we do the real magic!” He always carried his David Martinez Performance Pad, and his miniature sound system, where he had carefully selected specific titles that best complimented his effects. When he made the statement, “now we do the real magic,” it wasn’t meant to be condescending. By this he meant, “making an emotional connection with his audience.” And I assure you – he succeeded in doing just that. Watching him perform was poetic and beautiful. Auke was unique in many ways. I always tried to joke with him to see if I could make him laugh because he was so serious at times. I think I succeed only a few times, but I loved trying. Auke was very was a serious about friendships. He would often come to see us when he was in the States and Wichita, is not such an easy place to get to. He will be missed by many, but not forgotten. When he became ill, I asked him if we could help in anyway… He stated he wanted to keep his personal life – personal. You don’t buck or challenge a man of conviction. Emotional – we are all here at SME – emotional as we should be… Below is a letter the family put out when Auke slipped into a comma, shortly before he passed.
Dearest friends and family,
As you may have heard, our beloved father and husband Auke van Dokkum fell into a coma in the night of october thirteenth 2017. Whilst in the hospital we learned this had happened because he was in one of the advanced stages of cancer.
Everyone was relieved when he woke up a week after this incident, but a treatment plan had to be set up. When he regained some strength, he started his first round of chemo. Even though everyone was ready to start this fight with the utmost confidence and hope, unfortunately the chemo only weakened him to the point that further treatment was no longer an option.
This was a few months ago, and since then we have done everything in our power to make life as comfortable and meaningful as possible. The bed he permanently resided in was set up in the living room, where family and friends from nearby and all over the world gathered to spend time with Auke, usually bonding over their shared love of magic, and basking in his infinite knowledge and expertise about certain technical aspects of it.
We even held a small gathering of like minded people to do magic with, show and talk about magic tricks, every once in a while. First in Auke’s theatre, later when he became bedridden, in the resident living room. These gatherings ment a lot to him, and to us, and we are happy that this was a part of his life up until this point.
The last few days, we have seen a sharp decline in Auke’s state. He has been drifting in and out of consciousness, and at the moment is no longer awake. We are aware that these are indeed his final days. He is not in any pain, and besided discomfort we are grateful he has not experiences too much pain throughout this process.
We are deeply saddened by this situation, but also grateful for a great number of things.
Experiencing so much support, love, and simply the sharing of the memories, respect and admiration for our father and husband, has been heartwarming. We are so very proud of Auke, and the man he is and will be remembered for.
Magic has been such a critical part of his life, and therefor ours, that we wanted to emphasize the gratefulness to this community. His passion had made Auke’s eyes glisten with joy and his spirits up, as he watched other people perform, and reminisce about his own performances, up until the very last days.
We, his family, wanted to share this this with you through this medium, as for some of you it was the main source of contact with Auke. Words cannot express how hard and confusing this is for us, but we are so aware of the love and support that we have been given during this time, and shall remember that forever.
Auke’s wife and children; Grietje, Josephina, Jauke, Maria