Mary Alice van Doorn

Obituary
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Mary Alice van Doorn

August 13, 1925 - August 3, 2014

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. 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 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. 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.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 17, 2014
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