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Mary Alice VanDoorn


1925 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Mary Alice VanDoorn Obituary
Mary Alice van Doorn
August 13, 1925 - August 3, 2014
Resident of Fremont
Daughter of John Howard van Barneveld and Dorothy Fulton van Barneveld, Mary Alice was born in Los Angeles into a family of passionate horticulturalists. Her ancestors travelled the globe to import rare and exotic species to California. Her father hybridized and cultivated thousands of roses and became a world-renowned rosarian.

Mary Alice studied fine art at Santa Barbara and then UCLA, where she met her future husband, Bill van Doorn, who had returned to UCLA following military service in Germany. They married in Beverly Hills in 1949 and later moved to San Francisco where their two children, Christiane and John ("J") were born.

In 1960 they moved to the newly incorporated city of Fremont where Bill served as councilman and mayor and Mary Alice became an active participant and leader in many local charities and organizations, including Children's Hospital, the American Cancer Society, Olive Hyde Arts Guild, Fremont Cultural Arts, PEO, AAUW, and Delta Gamma. She was also a dynamic member of Niles Discovery Church. She and her husband Bill loved Fremont and worked with countless groups to ensure that the city would evolve to become and remain the 'jewel' that it is today.

She continued her family's tradition of global travel and was involved with The Friendship Force International for 25 years. She loved her garden and remained a talented and enthusiastic gardener throughout her very rich, full life.

As a widow, Mary Alice had the good fortune to encounter an amazing partner in Steve Cooper II, with whom she shared tremendous love and companionship in the last 14 years of her life.
Ever beautiful, elegant, loving and kind, she always had a sparkle in her eye and enriched the lives of all who knew her.

Mary Alice is survived by her partner Steve Cooper; daughter Christiane, her husband Tom and their two daughters, Abigail and Joy, of the United Kingdom and Chile; son J. and his partner Jose of San Francisco and Paris; sister and brother-in-law Joan and Peter Kaplanis of Pasadena; brother and sister-in-law John and Mary Jane van Barneveld of La Habra Heights; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service to celebrate her life will be held Wednesday, August 20th at 2 p.m. at Niles Discovery Church 255 H Street, Fremont, CA 94536.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Niles Discovery Church Angel Fund (memo Mary Alice) P.O. Box 2265, Fremont CA 94536, for landscaping of their new church.
Published in East Bay Times from Aug. 16 to Aug. 17, 2014
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