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Welcome to the memorial page for

Frances Vander Meulen

October 29, 1928 ~ April 25, 2017 (age 88)

Frances Vander Meulen passed away at the age of 88…She is finally free of her Parkinson's!  In the very wise words of her 4-year-old grand-daughter, "Don't be sad daddy, Beppe (Friesian for Grandma) is in heaven with God and Pake (Grandpa) now!"


Born Froukje in Friesland (Netherlands), she lived a long and wonderful life, married over sixty years to her grade school sweetheart, Dirk, with whom she had five sons and one daughter.   


Mom survived the depression as a small child in Holland, as well as German occupation during WWII. Both mom and dad's families helped smuggle downed bomber crews back to England as well as housing and feeding refugees from the cities.


In 1952, they married and sailed to New York on a merchant ship with a few dollars and a few bags. No luxurious honeymoon cruise for them; men and women were segregated in shared cabins.  US immigration Americanized their names to Dick and Frances when they entered the US in 1952 on "the world's longest honeymoon."  Mom talked about not being able to figure out the long lines of white and red lights that never stopped all night when they arrived in NY. In the morning they realized it was traffic. Growing up in rural Holland mostly with horse-drawn wagons, then the privation of post War, they had no frame of reference. She always wanted to return to NY to see the Statue of Liberty again.


Over the years, none of us ever went hungry.  Mom always cooked and baked…All our friends knew exactly where the tin of chocolate chip cookies was in the cupboard, and it never seemed to be empty.


When we weren't working beside mom and dad in the almond orchard, and later chicken ranch, we were on vacation with them.  Mom loved our road trips in the station wagon (mom chose the first one, which was pink) and tiny travel trailer. I can't imagine how we crammed 8 of us in there, but we did, and it was always fun.


In addition to six children, mom has fourteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.


We all love you and miss you mom/grandma/beppe/great grandma!


From the Children:

Robert (Bob) Vander Meulen with wife LuAnn of Ripon,

Peter (Pete) Vander Meulen with wife Alice of Modesto,

Evelyn Tisdale of Apache, Oklahoma,

John Vander Meulen of Ripon,

Edward (Ed) Vander Meulen with wife Carol of Livermore,

Richard (Rick) Vander Meulen with wife Sarah of Ripon

From the Grandchildren:

                Amy Vander Meulen of Ripon,

                Jill Jacklich of Ripon,

                Ann Vander Meulen of Ripon,

                Alisha Vander Meulen of Riverbank,

                Moriah Vander Meulen of Antioch,

                Aaron Tisdale of Monterey,

                Daniel Tisdale of Oklahoma,

                Christine Herrera of New Jersey,

                Tiffany Tisdale of Florida,

                Angel Tisdale of Oklahoma,

                Matt Tisdale of New Jersey,

                Sara Tisdale of Oklahoma

                Richard Vander Meulen of Ripon,

                Elizabeth Vander Meulen of Ripon.

From the Great Grand Children:

                Sophia, Kelsie, Donovan, Kayla, Kyle, Tyler, Thomas, Aubrey, Josh, Emma and Lenora.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to Community Hospice:


 Service Information

Graveside Service
May 5, 2017

9:30 AM
Burwood Cemetery
28320 E. River Rd.
Escalon, CA

Memorial service
May 5, 2017

11:00 AM
First Christian Reformed Church
Boesch Ave.
Ripon, CA

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