Romanie M. Gussenhoven, of Portland, formerly of Killingworth, died unexpectedly at home on Sunday, April 14th, 2013 at the age of 77. She was born in Leiden, The Netherlands, the daughter of Joseph and Maria (Verborgh) Gussenhoven. Romanie grew up in Holland during WW II and was educated in a Catholic boarding school after the early death of her mother. She was married and immigrated to Canada in 1957 and then to the United States with her former husband Rudolph Klein-Robbenhaar. They settled in Killingworth where they raised their four children. During the 1960's she began driving a school bus eventually working her way up to Director of Transportation for RSD #17 where she still worked as a "super-sub" driver after her retirement in 2001. Wherever Romanie lived she was an active and vital member of the community. She was a founding member of The Killingworth Volunteer Ambulance Association and was one of the original parishioners of the St Lawrence Catholic Church. After moving to Portland in 2003 she became active in her new community, Grandview Farms, joined the Brownstone Quorum and served on the Portland Housing Authority. Romanie loved the outdoors, whether biking, hiking, snow-shoeing, clearing brush by the CT River or "puttering" in her beloved gardens. She will always be remembered for her candor, quick smile and sociable nature. Romanie is survived by one brother, George Gussenhoven of Leiden, three children, Mary Robbenhaar –Fretz and husband James (Killingworth), John Klein-Robbenhaar (East Haven) and Andrew Klein-Robbenhaar and wife Belinda (Acton, ME). Oma also leaves behind five beloved grandchildren, Michael, Julie and husband Mark, Hannah, Heidi and Johan and many nieces and nephews here in the US, Canada and The Netherlands as well her faithful feline companions Lucky and Lucyfurr. Romanie was predeceased by two sisters, Maria and Annie, brother, Jacques, former husband, Rudolph Klein-Robbenhaar and son, Robert F Klein-Robbenhaar.
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Funeral services will be held Monday, April 22, 2013 at 11 am at St. Mary's Church, 51 Freestone Avenue in Portland. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Killingworth Ambulance Association, 325 Route 81, Killingworth, CT 06419, Brownstone Quorum, Inc., PO Box 402, Portland, CT 06480, or the Portland Food Bank, 7 Waverly Avenue, Portland, CT 06480. To send an online expression of sympathy, please visit www.portlandmemorialfh.net
Published in The Middletown Press on Apr. 17, 2013