Maria Bernadette Kusters
Maria Bernadette Kusters passed away peacefully at the age of 81 on January 10, 2021 at home surrounded by the love of her children and husband.
'Miep' was born on July 18, 1939 to Adolf and Hendrika van Dooremolen in the Dutch East Indies, now modern-day Indonesia, where Adolf was stationed with the Aviation Group of the Royal Netherlands Army. After the Japanese invaded and occupied the territory in 1942, she survived several years in a Japanese concentration camp with her mother and siblings, with Adolf being sent off to faraway work camps. After liberation at the end of WWII, the family returned to the Netherlands where Maria would spend the rest of her childhood.
Maria met the love of her life, John 'Jan' Kusters on June 2, 1957 at a train station in Deventer, Overijssel. It was love at first sight and would become a love to last a lifetime. Adolf and his family were headed for America shortly thereafter and began their immigration journey in 1958. John was determined to follow her and within a year had managed to get an expedited visa so he could reunite with his sweetheart and make her his bride. They were married in San Fernando, California on July 23, 1960 and went on to raise four children, Josephine Austin, John Kusters, Jr., Johanna Fanara, and Janelle Bucklin.
Maria was a dedicated and loving mother, always putting family first. She took great pride in her children and their accomplishments. She had each of them convinced they were her "favorite". The greatest joys in Maria's life were her eight grandchildren (Nathan Austin, Luke Austin, and Josiah Austin from Jospehine, Joe Kusters and Bill Kusters from John, Forrest Fanara from Johanna, Annika Bucklin and Sam Bucklin from Janelle). She loved spending time with them and watching them grow, and they were all blessed to know the love of their grandmother, 'Oma'. The hole left by her absence will be impossible to fill.
Maria was a very kind and loving person to everyone she met. She had a way of making everyone feel welcome and important. Whether at work, church, or in her many crafting endeavors she always made friends and kept them for life. She was giving with her time and generous with her heart. She never turned down an opportunity to help or be of service to her friends and community.
Maria will be dearly missed by her friends and family. May they find comfort in knowing she is in Heaven with the Lord. A memorial service will be held at some time in the future when it will be safe for all who loved her to gather.