Johanna Van den Akker

Johanna “Catherine” VandenAkker, of Snohomish, WA, left our world on August 11, 2010 after 93 years of a good life mixed with plenty of hard times and trouble. She was born in Boskoop, Holland in 1916 and married Tony VandenAkker in 1943 and had two boys, Robert and Emile, and together they managed to save themselves and their children from the Nazi occupation and postwar Europe and came to America in 1951 to begin a new life and to provide opportunity for their kids. After working hard together for two years and saving every dollar they managed to buy a place on the Sammamish Slough in Bothell, WA that became VandenAkker’s Nursery for 48 years. Catherine became the caretaker of the grand old Monte Villa Farm house in Bothell for over 30 years and loved every minute of it and loved the house. Catherine moved and cleaned so fast and ferociously that Tony often complained of hurricane force winds inside the house. Two more children, Bob and Carole, came along 12 years later. Keeping the family together and connected was a primary purpose in mom’s life and she loved Thanksgivings and Christmases with her family. After Tony’s death in 2000 mom sold the Nursery and moved to Snohomish and retired at age 85 and spent ten years in retirement in another house she loved and was taken care by her daughter, Carole. Mom was hard working, determined, and a fighter who survived by sheer will, and never gave up through much misfortune. An inspiration to her family and her friends. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 24, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church on Pine Street in Snohomish. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Make a Wish Foundation