Shirley Ann Den Brave, 90, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014, in Ripon.
She was born Sijbrigje Antje Hofmeester on Oct. 4, 1923, in Ijsbrechtum, Friesland, the oldest of five children. She spent her childhood and school years in Sneek, Friesland.
As a young adult she taught for the Red Cross swim program. As World War II approached, she helped care for various family members. During the German occupation, she met Cornelis Den Brave, whom she married after the war. They were married for 58 years until his passing in 2005.
Job opportunities in New Zealand saw the young family immigrating. Her siblings and parents followed and the family grew. Together Cor and Shirley raised their children and enjoyed fellowship with family, other immigrants, and church family.
She enjoyed water related activities, sailing, sewing and knitting. She especially enjoyed family gatherings. When the children were older, the family moved to Escalon. Here her husband pursued owning his own accounting business. She typed as necessary and when needed. Being involved in her children’s activities, PTA, Boy Scouts and local swim programs brought joy. The family also enjoyed holiday trips and camping throughout the United States and Canada as well as return trips to New Zealand, visits to the Netherlands, Australia, to visit friends and family.
A member of the Escalon Christian Reformed Church until she joined the Zion United Reformed Church of Ripon, Mrs. Den Brave lived at Bethany Home independent living for more than nine years until moving this past spring to Beth Haven skilled nursing facility. She considered Bethany extended family and her family is grateful to Bethany Home for the comfort care that was provided.
Survivors include her children, Joyce VanGorkum (Chuck) and Michael Den Brave, all of Escalon; grandchildren Casey VanGorkum, Carrie (John) Breneman, Corey VanGorkum, Mitch (Katie) Den Brave and Renee Den Brave; great grandchildren Johnny Breneman, Rhett and Cobi Den Brave; honorary grandchild Brandi (Ryan) Anderson; and great grandchildren Jillian Anderson and Lauryn Donaire; sisters Anneke Prins of Wellington, New Zealand, Branda Van Voorst of South Brighton, New Zealand and numerous nieces and nephews in the Netherlands and New Zealand.
She was preceded in death by her parents H.C. and Dieuwke Hofmeester of New Zealand; sister Henny Stuut of the Netherlands and brother Henk Hofmeester of New Zealand.
A private family gathering will be held in the future.
Burial will be at Burwood Cemetery, Escalon.
Visit www.deeganfuneralchapels for an online guest book.