PHOTO: The daily life of Klaas Siersema and Maria Wilhelmina van Erp

Klaas Siersema and Maria Wilhelmina van Erp warm themselves near the stove.

Klaas Siersema and Maria Wilhelmina van Erp warm themselves near the stove.

This photo is a little scarred, but I like how it shows a glimpse into the daily life of Klaas Siersema and Maria Wilhelmina van Erp, or Oma Doorn as I’ve always known her to be called. My mom’s side of the family has always liked dogs (we treat them like kings), and this image fits with that trend. It must have been a cold day, since Klaas and Wilhelmina are situated around a stove. Also, notice the kettle heading on the stove and Maria reading a book — a simpler time!

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Klaas Siersema’s pocket photo book

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I recently borrowed a box of old photographs and documents from my uncle Philip Siersema, and in it I found this little gem. It’s a pocket photo book with images of Klaas Siersema’s second wife Maria Wilhelmina van Erp and his son, Johan. Klaas (born 1895), as I’ve noted before, was a career military man, so it would make sense that he was away from home a lot and wanted something with him to remember his loved ones by. I also like that it shows a softer side of him, especially since his reputation wasn’t exactly super warm and fuzzy.

1985: Maria Wilhelmina van Erp passes away on the 10th of December

Maria Wilhelmina van Erp raised my grandfather, Johan Siersema, and was considered by most to be his mother, since he was borderline estranged from his biological mother — Helena de Wit — for most of his life, according to my mom. “Means,” or “Oma Doorn” as she was called, passed away a little more than a year after I was born, and this is the notice that ran in the newspaper (a rough translation will be posted below):

Rough translation:

Any and general notification
On Wednesday, December 10, 1985 our lively and caring mother and grandmother has gone to sleep

Maria Wilhelmina van Erp
Born August 8, 1901

Widow of Klaas Siersema,
Colonel of infantry B.D.,
Former commander of the Military
Hertellingsgoord “Aardenburg” Doorn.

Soquel Highland / California:
Hans and Nancy Siersema

Los Gatos / California:
Phillippa and Philip Siersema

Campbell / California:
Mike and Marlene Siersema
Michael and Timmy

San Jose / California:
Nick and Priscilla Siersema
Andrew

Boulder Creek / California:
Joy and Steve Gullicksen
Christina

Doorn, “Oranjestein”

Address for correspondence:
J. lith
clover 1
3941 TJ Doorn

The cremation has taken place.

GALLERY: Envelopes sent by Maria Wilhelmina van Erp (Part 4)

Maria Wilhelmina van Erp, my step-great-grandmother who was married to Klaas Siersema, had a reputation for liking stamps. Oma Doorn, as the grandchildren would call her, would regularly send envelopes to my mom and uncles. The envelopes were empty about half the time, with the occasional note on the back saying “There is nothing inside dear, only a big hug!” or a short letter inside.

The way my mom puts it, Oma Doorn didn’t have a lot of money, so what she did have as discretionary income, she put toward these stamps and envelopes so she could send something special to her grandchildren. As a result, these had enough sentimental value for a couple people in my family to keep them through the years, and I have scanned them since.

This gallery is the third in a series of four. Links to the other galleries are at the bottom of this post.

(Hint: Click on the thumbnails to make them bigger)

To see the first gallery, go here.

To see the second gallery, go here.

To see the third gallery, go here.

GALLERY: Envelopes sent by Wilhelmina van Erp (Part 3)

Maria Wilhelmina van Erp, my step-great-grandmother who was married to Klaas Siersema, had a reputation for liking stamps. Oma Doorn, as the grandchildren would call her, would regularly send envelopes to my mom and uncles. The envelopes were empty about half the time, with the occasional note on the back saying “There is nothing inside dear, only a big hug!” or a short letter inside.

The way my mom puts it, Oma Doorn didn’t have a lot of money, so what she did have as discretionary income, she put toward these stamps and envelopes so she could send something special to her grandchildren. As a result, these had enough sentimental value for a couple people in my family to keep them through the years, and I have scanned them since.

This gallery is the third in a series of four. Find links to the others at the bottom of the post.

Hint: Click on the thumbnails to make them bigger.

To see the first gallery, go here.

To see the second gallery, go here.

To see the fourth gallery, go here.

GALLERY: Envelopes sent by Wilhelmina van Erp (Part 2)

Maria Wilhelmina van Erp, my step-great-grandmother who was married to Klaas Siersema, had a reputation for liking stamps. Oma Doorn, as the grandchildren would call her, would regularly send envelopes to my mom and uncles. The envelopes were empty about half the time, with the occasional note on the back saying “There is nothing inside dear, only a big hug!” or a short letter inside.

The way my mom puts it, Oma Doorn didn’t have a lot of money, so what she did have as discretionary income, she put toward these stamps and envelopes so she could send something special to her grandchildren. As a result, these had enough sentimental value for a couple people in my family to keep them through the years, and I have scanned them since.

This gallery is the second in a series of four. Find links to the other galleries at the bottom of this post.

Hint: Click on the thumbnails to make them bigger.

To see the first gallery, go here.

To see the third gallery, go here.

To see the fourth gallery, go here.

GALLERY: Envelopes sent by Maria Wilhelmina van Erp (Part 1)

Maria Wilhelmina van Erp, my step-great-grandmother who was married to Klaas Siersema, had a reputation for liking stamps. Oma Doorn, as the grandchildren would call her, would regularly send envelopes to my mom and uncles. The envelopes were empty about half the time, with the occasional note on the back saying “There is nothing inside dear, only a big hug!” or a short letter inside.

The way my mom puts it, Oma Doorn didn’t have a lot of money, so what she did have as discretionary income, she put toward these stamps and envelopes so she could send something special to her grandchildren. As a result, these had enough sentimental value for a couple people in my family to keep them through the years, and I have scanned them since.

This gallery is the first in a series of four (Hint: Click on the thumbnails to make them bigger):

To see the first gallery, go here.

To see the second gallery, go here.

To see the third gallery, go here.

To see the fourth gallery, go here.