Yvonne Uhlenbeck, 81, of Goodyear, AZ and formerly of Chico, CA and Dominguez Hills, CA passed away on August 25, 2017 after a brief, but hard fought battle with cancer.
Yvonne was born on March 9, 1936 in Bandung, Indonesia where her family lived on a tea plantation. During WWII, Yvonne and the female members of her family were held in a concentration camp. This is where her toughness and also her compassion for others were first brought to light. When WWII ended, she and her family immigrated to The Netherlands. She settled in Laren, a small town not far from Amsterdam.
In 1964, Yvonne, along with her then husband Erik Koopmans and their young son Errol Koopmans immigrated to the USA. In 1965, Yvonne was hired by TWA to work in the kitchen preparing in-flight meals. She retired in 1999 after holding various positions throughout the years, finishing up in security. She also worked as a receptionist for the Jansen Animal Hospital in Torrance, CA for many years.
Yvonne moved to Chico, CA in 2013 to be closer to her son and daughter in law. And she moved one last time in 2016 to Goodyear, AZ., again to be nearer to her family. She had several hobbies that she really enjoyed including: cooking, quilting, crocheting, playing dominoes and sharing her incredible stories of living in Indonesia.
She is survived by her son Errol Koopmans, her daughter in law Sophia Pflum, Erik Koopmans, her former husband. In The Netherlands, her family there includes a nephew Tycho Plooyer, nieces Tatiana Van Hemert and Vanessa Van Hemert, cousins Haup & Dan plus Hedy BoI and her husband Ger. She also has another cousin Rob Uhlenbeck, and a number of great nieces and nephews as well.
She is preceded in death by her sister Pauck Uhlenbeck, mother Magda Van Wicheren and father Jan C. Uhlenbeck.
Everyone knows how she loved animals, in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a local animal rescue or shelter. A Celebration of Her Life will be held in So CA at a later date where family and friends will be able to share stories of this incredible lady. She touched so many lives and she will truly be missed.
Finally, a very special thank you goes out to the cancer doctors at Ironwood Cancer & Research Center and Barrow Neurological Institute. Their compassion is truly remarkable!Print Obituary & Condolences