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Christina Harrewyn

November 16, 1928 ~ July 26, 2018 (age 89)

Christina Harrewyn, 89, of Modesto, California, went to be with Our Lord on July 26, 2018 after a period of poor health.

She was born Christina Van Oostende in Scheveningen, the Netherlands on November 16, 1928 to Antonius Jacob and Antje Maria (Van Vliet) Van Oostende. Due to the situation in the Netherlands during World War II, Christina went to work in an institution for the handicapped at the age of fourteen.

After the war, she married Leendert Harrewyn, a former Dutch Resistance member and skilled mechanical engineer. Together, they began a family in Den Hulst. Their first child, Annemarie, was quickly followed by Albert and Tony.

In 1960, Christina and her young family made the boat crossing from the Netherlands to the United States and soon had a home in Ripon, California. She later had two more children, Elizabeth and Hugo. The family made several moves, finally ending up in Modesto, California in 1980.

Christina was an avid photographer, traveler, and gardener. Christina also loved animals and kept many over the years, including dogs, goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, horses, cats, and geese. Over the course of her adult life Christina traveled all around the globe, enjoying many beautiful sights in China, Mongolia, Africa, Brazil, and, more locally, a grizzly bear reserve in Alaska. However, she found the greatest joy at home in Modesto with her family.

Christina always had a great love for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and loved to pose them for photos, often with animals or the flowers from her garden. She entered her photos into contests and won awards from the Stanislaus County Fair, Longs Drugs, and even photo magazines.

It was common to see Christina working in the garden with her klompen (wooden shoes) on her feet. The garden was a source of great pride for her. She shared her abundance of vegetables with neighbors, church family, and charities alike; and sold flowers at the farmer’s market in Modesto. She also provided floral arrangements for her church and arranged flowers for weddings, including those of her own children. She even entered some of her arrangements and flowers at the fair and won awards in each category.

Christina was also a skilled seamstress who delighted in sewing clothing for her children and grandchildren. The girls were often gifted with matching dresses every season. They were not the only beneficiaries of her needlework, however, since Christina sewed dresses for her own everyday use as well.

Christina was preceded in death by her husband, Leendert; her siblings Mieke, Anneke, Anton, and Heleen; and son-in law, Gil Wilson.

Christina is survived by her youngest brother, Hugo, and his wife, Laura; her children, Annemarie Wilson, Albert (Rosane), Tony (Kelly), Elizabeth (Randy) Hutsell, and Hugo (Brechtje); her grandchildren, Aaron, Emily, Daniel, Joshua, Sarah, Toni, Christin, Elisa, Arie, and Marina; and her great-grandchildren Hannah, Hayley, Jack, Connor, Rylee, and Sonja.

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