Gysbertha Van de Graaf Obituary
It is with great sadness that the family of Gysbertha “Beppie” Antonia Van de Graaf (Poulissen) announces her passing at her home on Friday, June 18, 2021 at the age of 76. She was born on July 14, 1944, the third of six children to Anthonius and Gijsberta (Sitters) Poulissen, in Utrecht, Netherlands.
She is survived by her husband, Donald Van de Graaf. She is the much loved mother of two daughters, Monique (David) Fisser Miguel and Nicole Fisser of Highlands Ranch, CO, and cherished grandmother of three boys, Andrew, Braeden and Connor Miguel. She is also survived by her stepson’s Fabian, Jeffrey, and David Van de Graaf and their children. She is the beloved sister of Joke (Ruud) Claproth, Lida Poulissen, Ton Poulissen and Jos Poulissen of the Netherlands. She is preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Trudy Verhagen Maks and her grandson, Evan Fisser.
Beppie grew up and attended primary school in Utrecht and secondary school in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Beppie was very close to her three sisters as there was only six years between them, sharing a bedroom together until the age of twelve. Her sisters remember many evenings the sisters would stay up reading books together and Beppie would take joy in elaborating and embellishing the stories. During summers they would often go swimming at the pools of Utrecht and Amsterdam. Beppie, being her charismatic self, could always be found socializing, flirting, and having fun with new and old friends alike who also frequented the pool. The girls were amazed at her hula hoop abilities. She could swing three at a time; around her neck, her waist and her ankles, all while wearing a petticoat dress. In 1956, during the oil crisis, they would roller skate on the empty streets of Amsterdam with kids in the neighbourhood on Car Free Sundays. During the winter, they would go ice skating on wooden skates on the ditches between the cow pastures on the other side of the River Vecht.
As a little girl, she enjoyed gymnastics and ballet. She loved to relive her time at the famous ballet dancer Sonia Gaskell’s ballet studio in Amsterdam where she trained until she was fifteen. She continued her love of dance, ballroom dancing on weekends with her boyfriend and friends in the cellar of a local Catholic church. She and her boyfriend would go on to win medals in ballroom dance competitions. While pursuing her adoration for dance she worked in retail: a bakery, a bookstore and a shoe store. Her daughters reminisce about her pointing out these locations on visits to her hometown. Once engaged, she followed her fiance’ and immigrated to the United States in 1963. She married Aurelius “Auri” Fisser in 1964. They lived in California and were married for 23 years.
Beppie and Auri had two beautiful daughters together: Monique and Nicole. She always dressed them in matching outfits, often making them herself. Beppie was always supportive and involved in her daughters lives and their numerous activities through their upbringing. Beppie would spend hours driving back and forth to gymnastic practices and competitions. When the girls were in high school, she would advocate for them often saying to her husband, “Auri, remember when we were their age? Let them have some fun.” She was their biggest fan. She was so proud and talked fondly of her children and grandchildren to anyone who would listen.
Beppie enjoyed going to bingo, league bowling, camping and boating with friends and family. She always had a passion for fashion, shopping, music, dancing, cooking and traveling. Let’s not forget Beppie was quite the social butterfly, often visiting friends and family for coffee on a regular basis. Her Dutch-Indonesian community was a huge part of her life. She adored being with her fellow Dutch-Indonesian friends at parties; eating good food, listening to live music and, as always, dancing the night away. She hosted many family gatherings and loved the holiday, especially Christmas; frequently going over the top and spoiling her loved ones with gifts.
While raising her daughters, she had many fun part-time jobs: Avon, Tupperware, Princess House, Dressbarn and selling furniture at Montgomery Wards and Lazyboy. She continued to work for Lazyboy in Colorado, retiring in 2010.
Donald and Beppie were married in California on April 29, 2000. This year they celebrated their 21st anniversary. After living most of their lives in California, Donald and Beppie moved to Colorado to be closer to her daughters and grandsons, settling down just two blocks from Monique and David. Donald and Beppie enjoyed going out to dinner and visiting the world together. They found themselves traveling & vacationing with family and friends to Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Hawaii, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and of course, the Netherlands.
Beppie had a warm magnetic personality. She was kind and friendly. Throughout life, spending time with family and friends meant more to her than anything. She cherished her memories: the people, the places, the adventures, the mischief. Above all, she loved sharing stories, retelling them with such vivid detail. Beppie’s storytelling through her passionate and soothing prose will be missed, but her voice will always live on in our hearts.
No services are scheduled, however a celebration of her life will be held at a later date.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gysbertha Antonia Van De Graaf, please visit our floral store.