6/12/1924 – 12/27/2019
In the early morning of Dec. 27, 2019, our dear mother, Oma, and great-grandmother, at the age of 95 years, passed into the presence of the Eternal Light. Often in her last years she expressed the desire to have the Good Lord take her to Him. A sudden illness and a short period of suffering preceded her final hours. Her eyes shone with gratitude and peace before she closed them for the last time as she gently took leave of us.
Agatha Van Wingerden was born on June 12, 1924, the youngest of 11 brothers and sisters, to Adrianes and Jacoba Vijverberg in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands. Much of her younger years were spent learning the skills of homemaking and caring for her ailing mother whom she lost at 16 years old. She met Hank Van Wingerden in the same town, and they were married in 1948. Together they had seven children.
In 1967, Agatha and Hank moved their family from The Netherlands to Carpinteria, California, to grow flowers. They were accompanied by three of Hank’s brothers and one sister and their families. At the age of 43, this was quite a change for her as she had to learn English and find her way in a new land and different culture. Her resourcefulness and resolve were instrumental in managing her household and she was an incredible support to her husband, brother and sisters-in-law in growing a prominent cut-flower business in Carpinteria.
As a mother, her life was centered first and foremost on her children and her husband. If there were medals of honor for mothers and wives, our mother would certainly have received one. Her dedication and sacrifice for her family were constant and therefore almost indistinguishable of who she was. Her joy and pride were her family.
She was a supportive, patient and loving mother—only wanting to know we were happy. She graciously had an open door and open heart to all who came to visit from near or far, even unannounced. Their gratitude showed in their comments in the guestbooks that Mom kept over the years. She loved to entertain and was a wonderfully attentive and caring hostess. Her pool parties were memorable and a favorite for all family and friends.
For many years, she brought friendship, meals and flowers to those in need as a volunteer for Meals On Wheels. Her energy was bountiful when someone needed help, particularly the elderly.
When Dad retired, they joined the Lawn Bowling Club in Santa Barbara and made many life-long friends. Additionally, they traveled quite extensively. Mom loved taking photos and put together beautiful photo albums of their amazing trips.
Her last years were spent at GranVida retirement home in Carpinteria where she was surrounded by friends and the loving care of the staff.
Our father and her husband Hank preceded her in death in 2006. She leaves behind her children Harry (Michele), Adrian (José), Elly (Doug), Ineke (Sipko), Fred (Edith), Carl and Yolanda (John); grandchildren Erik, Kristi, Kami, Katie, Kyla, Christopher, Stephanie, Robert, Tony, Marcos and Silvia; and 18 great-grandchildren.
Her funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Church, 1532 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria on Friday, Jan. 10, at 11 a.m., followed by her burial at Carpinteria Cemetery, with a celebration of her life at Carpinteria Lions Club Park.
Viewing hours at Welch-Rice-Haider funeral home, 15 E. Sola St. in Santa Barbara will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9, with the prayer of the Rosary at 7 p.m. at Welch-Rice on Thursday.
In lieu of flowers, we request that donations be made to Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, or your favorite charity in honor of our mother.