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Edna Van Popering Vollmer

Obituary Condolences

Edna suffered a stroke the evening of April 20 and was taken to Dominican Hospital. She could not speak or see, but she recognized family members by voice. Her husband and second daughter were present when she died. Death came peacefully.

Edna was born to Hazel and Wolfer Van Popering in Sayville, Long Island, a rural village on the Great South Bay populated largely by Hollanders who gathered oysters commercially. She discovered the public library there, and has been surrounded by books ever since. She graduated from the New York State Teachers College now SUNY at Albany in 1946 and later obtained her Masters in Biology. In 1948 she married David W. Vollmer in Albany, NY and they raised their three children in Rochester, NY.

David and Edna moved to Santa Cruz in 1976 and it was perfect for her. She delighted in the plants, birds, butterflies and the North Coast Beach scene. She observed everything, often through binoculars, and her sketch book was always with her. Edna was a long-time UCSC Arboretum supporter, Life member, and active Arboretum community member. Among many other things, she was a butterfly census taker, a plant propagator, an avid gardener, a birder, a Spanish-speaking regular at the Santa Cruz Flea Market, and staff artist at the Lupin Naturist Club. In her life Edna always had something to share that she was excited about, while in her artwork, butterflies, fruit, flowers, and gently swimming fish mix calmly with naked men and women.

She is survived by her devoted husband, David, a daughter April, of NYC, a daughter Sara, of Birmingham, AL, a son Frederick, of Kingston, NY, and her only sister Shirley, of Bodega Bay, CA.

In accordance with Edna's wishes there will be no ceremony of any kind. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to support the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. They are much needed in these difficult times. Make checks payable to: Arboretum,1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064.

Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on May 10, 2009
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