My Mom's page


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If I'm going to have a page about my father I should have a page about my mother. She had a pretty interesting life too, and like my dad treated me as well as anyone could wish for from their parents. Unfortunately, her accomplishments are not so tangible or photographable. She died five years ago which seems more recent than it is. So for now I will have to rest content with this photo with posting her obituary immediately below. (I like the photo insofar as it captures here self-confident and slightly headstrong nature, even though it was taken a bit before I was born.) The obituary leaves out a lot, so after I have a bit more perspective (Which many years later I'm not sure I have yet) I will post more.

Leny van Roojen, 82, of Rockford, Illinois died January 12, 2003 at Milder Manor in Lincoln, Nebraska. The youngest daughter of ten children born January 18, 1920 in the Hague, Netherlands to Leenderd and Femia van der Niet. Married to Jan van Roojen in the Hague on December 16, 1949. She emigrated with her husband to Dundas, Ontario, Canada in 1952 for what was planned to be a short stay in the Americas. In 1957 they moved to Rockford, where Leny volunteered with the mental health society and cared for her two young children. In 1963 the family moved to Mattawan, New Jersey, where she continued her mental health volunteer work before returning to Rockford in 1967. She worked in the Rockford Public schools for several years before directing the Religious Education program of the Unitarian Church of Rockford from 1971 to 1983. In 1983 she graduated magna cum laude from Rockford College with a BA in psychology. Thereafter she worked as a mental health counselor and pursued drawing and painting in her spare time. Advancing memory loss and Janís death in 1998 slowed her down in her last years, but she continued to enjoy the company of her friends and family. She is survived by son Mark van Roojen and daughter-in-law Jennifer Haley of Lincoln, Nebraska, and by daughter Wendy Marijke van Roojen, her spouse Danae Steele, and grandchildren Tobias Jan van Roojen-Logg, Hans Shepherd van Roojen-Fromuth and Thea Noelle Steele, all of Olympia, Washington. Predeceased by her parents, siblings and husband. Memorials to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford Illinois.