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1934 Johanna (VanGemert) Wilder 2024

Johanna (VanGemert) Wilder

November 27, 1934 — April 3, 2024

Salem

Johanna (VanGemert) Wilder, 89, of Salem, Arkansas, passed away from this life on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, in Salem, Arkansas. Johanna was born to Johannes Arie Cornelis VanGemert and Yenneke Basitana (DeGierVanGemert on November 27, 1934, in Eindhoven, Netherlands.  
 
Johanna grew up during the brutal occupation of Adolf Hitler and witnessed first-hand the many atrocities his regime committed. On September 18, 1944, her hometown of Eindhoven had just been liberated by the 101st Airborne during Operation Market Garden. The Germans came back and bombed the city of Eindhoven, killing over 1000 civilians. As a young woman, she worked as an Au Pair, (a nanny), to a family in Paris where she met and married an American GI, Marshall Gross. They moved back to the States where they were blessed with two children, Yenneke and Christopher. As any military wife, she traveled extensively; Georgia, South Carolina, Tokyo, Japan, Kansas, and Virginia. She kept her connection open with her home country and every four years she returned to Holland with her children to visit family, who she was very close to. She eventually went to school to learn how to be a key-punch operator and got a job as a data analyst with AT & T. After 20 years, she retired from that position and got a job at the Kennedy Center as an usher in the Theater Lab. She worked her way up until she was the head usher in the Theater Lab and after 25 years she retired from her position there. During her tenure, she met and shook hands with four US presidents and numerous visiting dignitaries and celebrities. Johanna loved her job and made many friends who loved her as well. After she retired, she looked west to Arkansas where both of her children were living and decided it was time to move closer to family. For the next five years, she lived in Arkansas, getting to know her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The last three years she stayed with her daughter and her family in Salem, Arkansas where she quietly and peacefully passed away on April 3, 2024. She left, professing a belief and a faith in her Lord Jesus Christ, and was looking forward to resting in Heaven. Johanna was a member of the Mt. Olivet Methodist Church in Alexandria, Virginia. She was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and friend. 

 

Johanna leaves to mourn her passing, son, Christopher Gross (Christy) of Forrest City, Arkansas; daughter, Yenneke Robinson (Stanley) of Salem, Arkansas; thirteen grandchildren, Sydney Rogers (Justin), Meredith Bowers (Marcus), Alexa Woods (Robert), Madison Freeman (Marcus), Tyler Heustess, Michael Robinson (Tanya), Christopher Robinson (Melissa), Johannes Robinson (Abbigail), Timothy Robinson (Alesha), Micah Robinson (Emily), Anna Huling (Steven), Philip Robinson (Quinn), and Esther Speaight (Jevin); twenty-one great grandchildren; brother, Henk Grootegoed of the Netherlands; four sisters, Mattie Nieuwenhuis of the Netherlands, Ineke deJonge of the Netherlands, Liesbeth Kiemeney of the Netherlands, and Irene Bos of the Netherlands; and many other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents. 

 

Memorial services will be 2:00 P.M. Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Friendship Baptist Church in Highland, Arkansas with Bro. Barrett Harrelson officiating. Visitation will be 12:00 P.M. until time of service on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at Friendship Baptist Church in Highland, Arkansas. Memorials may be given to Legacy Hospice in Salem, Arkansas. Arrangements are under the direction of Barker Funeral Home in Salem, Arkansas.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Johanna (VanGemert) Wilder, please visit our flower store.

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Visitation

Saturday, April 13, 2024

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

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