Green Bay - Anna Maria Van Rybroek (van Rijbroek), née van den Oever, 96, formerly of Appleton, passed away at McCormick Assisted Living on July 10, 2018. As she wished, she was surrounded by family in her final days. She was born in Veghel, Noord Brabant, the Netherlands on November 6, 1921. In 1952, she and her husband, Harry, emigrated to Appleton, Wisconsin where they raised their family. Harry preceded her in death in 1989. She moved to Green Bay in 1991 to be near her daughter and family.
Anna and Harry lived through and withstood WWII and the German occupation of the Netherlands. She recounted many stories of life during wartime, most notably how her family persevered, and how her parents protected a Jewish boy, bringing him into their home for more than a year, until the end of the war. After the war, the Netherlands had few opportunities for work and the newlyweds decided to take a risk, moving to the USA, needing to learn a new language and a new culture. Anna’s greatest joy throughout her life was appreciating her own children by being their "Mum" and then her grandchildren by being their "Oma". She loved attending graduations, weddings and special events, taking pride in the education and milestones of each child. She was kind, hardworking, accepting, resilient and unassuming … and she made sure everyone in her presence had their needs met, especially with her pannenkoeken, meat and potatoes, and Oma’s soup. In later years, she would always offer coffee, cookies and other gebakjes from her kitchenette. Oma wrote cards to each of her 10 grandchildren twice a year, on birthdays and Christmas. There are many recurrent Oma phrases from over the years, perhaps one that is now fitting is, ‘ok, I let you go.’
Anna’s family includes her 3 children: John (Jean) Van Rybroek, Solon, Iowa, Gregory (Diana) Van Rybroek, Madison, and Mary Ann (William) Hitch, Green Bay. Her Van Rybroek grandchildren are Jana (Matt), Pieter (Ashley), and Chris (Kirsten), Dirk, Anneke and Marieke. Her Hitch grandchildren are Alex (Elizabeth), Nick, Greg, and Annemarie. She has 3 great grandchildren - Miles, Maisie and Ezra. She was preceded in death by her husband, her siblings and in-laws, all of whom resided in the Netherlands.
Her celebration of life mass will be at McCormick Assisted Living Chapel on Saturday, July 21 at 9:00am. Reception will follow in the activities room.
Many thanks are extended to every staff member at McCormick - each of you is truly special and you gave Anna wonderful, loving care every day. Thank you to Unity Hospice - you gave all of us and our Mum and Oma great comfort and advice in these final weeks. Thank you to Dr. Abdel-Halim and Dr. Ai, and the Prevea staff, for their kind care over the years.
Memorials can be directed to McCormick Assisted Living or Unity Hospice.