August 31, 2011

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My grandmother, Baroness Walravine Mathilde van Heeckeren van Molecaten, born in Java, Dutch East Indies, May 25th, 1916. At 95 years old, she passed away in the night on August 31st, 2011. She did so as she did all things, with grace and dignity and a gentle spirit.

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In her life she exuded elegance, grace, style, bravery, restraint, and intelligence. She grew up on a vineyard in Marin County in the early part of the century after emigrating from Java. She was an excellent horseback rider, attended Berkeley College where she once directed Gregory Peck in a theater production, she married a dashing Naval engineer who moved her and their 4 children to Madrid in 1952, where they lived in a thoroughly modern home (a refrigerator in the kitchen! a car in the garage!) and bought fruit and meat from the donkey carts. Upon returning to the States she survived the death of her youngest child, and raised the rest of her children with faith and strength in Marin. She remained active her whole life, regularly attending aerobics classes well into her 70′s. She never ceased to be kind and gentle and elegant, and though her last years saw her grow weak she will live on as an inspiration to me, as a model of grace and good health.

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Rest in Peace, Nana!

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4 Responses to “”

  1. bri Says:

    Thank you for this.

  2. matt Says:

    amazing. a nice tribute. hope you and yours are filled with good memories and peace.

  3. natashafiga Says:

    I now love your Nana, and i didn’t even know her. I can see how your are her progeny. Love to you.


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