Adrian J. Van Winden
1934 - 2021
We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Adrian Van Winden on February 10, 2021. He passed away unexpectedly from sudden cardiac arrest while doing what he loved to do, tending to his beautiful backyard.
Adrian was born to Jacobus and Maria Van WInden on February 27th, 1934 in Pijnacker, Netherlands. Adrian and his family experienced the ravages of WWII and in 1949 they moved to Napa. While working at the family owned and operated Van Winden Nursery, he attended Napa High School and graduated in 1953.
In 1956, Adrian was introduced to Elizabeth (Betty) Bontje through his parents, who had been friends with her parents in the Netherlands. After Adrian was drafted into the Army in 1957, he proposed to Betty at the top of the Empire State Building. He was then stationed in Stuttgart, Germany and served as the chauffeur for the Officers. Adrian and Betty were married on August 20th 1958 in Zoeterwoude, Netherlands. In 1959 they moved back to Napa and started their family.
In 1961 Adrian became a licensed landscape contractor and opened Van Winden Landscaping. He designed and landscaped countless homes and businesses throughout the Napa Valley. In 1988, Adrian and Betty's son James joined him in the business. Adrian never fully retired and still enjoyed working side by side with his son. Most recently he enjoyed what he called "trucking" as he delivered soil, bark and gravel to customers all over Napa. He was very proud of his driving skills and could maneuver loaded trucks in very tight spaces.
Adrian enjoyed spending time with his family and wide circle of friends. He and his family spent many weekends camping and water skiing at Lake Berryessa. They loved exploring the USA and Canada in their motorhome, and met many wonderful friends as members of the Elk's Lodge Roving Rosters and the Monaco RV groups. Cruises were also a favorite pastime.
For the past 60 years, Adrian was an active member of the Elks Lodge and cherished his weekly Wednesday night card games with his friends. He belonged to the SIRS organization and sponsored many new members. Adrian was a devout Catholic and attended St. Apollinaris Catholic church.
Adrian and Betty were married for almost 59 years until her passing in 2017. He never imagined he would find love again, and then he met Wanda McQueeney. Adrian and Wanda were wonderful companions and made each other very happy.
Adrian leaves behind his daughter Lesette, son James (Kelly) and daughter Sonja Miller. Also grandchildren; Robbie (Blair) Miller, Ian Miller, Adlee and Torrey Van Winden, and great-grandsons Brayden and Carter Miller. He also leaves behind his brother Peter (Ann) Van Winden, and sisters Leny (Louis) Ruygt, Jean (John) Coyle and Tina (Jim) Lloyd, many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Adrian's happy and optimistic nature, his caring and kindness, and endless stories will be missed by all that knew him. We don't cry because we are sad he left us, we cry because we remember all the happy and joyous time we spent with him.
There will be a Celebration of Life at a future date.
If you wish to share a story about Adrian with us, please email to [email protected] or mail to Van Windens Landscaping at 3101 California Blvd, Napa, 94558