Adrian J. VanWInden
1934 - 2021

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

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Napa Valley Register on Feb. 17, 2021.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Add a Message
19 Entries
Lesette, I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so very sorry for your loss,
Katie Palacios
February 27, 2021
Julia Fuller
February 23, 2021
Dear van Winden family, my heart goes out to all of you at the passing of Adrian. We go way back to our first day in Napa in 1957 when Adrian and Betty came to pick the Zwetsloot family up at the Benicia train station. We are so sorry and will keep you in our prayers.
Hank Zwetsloot
February 22, 2021
We are very sorry to hear about this sudden loss. I remember a visit to your parents in 1994. Together with Oom Louis, Tante Leny and my mum Agnes Ruygt-Verbakel. Adrian and Betty made us most welcome. Our condolences for the family. Wish you strength with this sudden loss p.s. we live in Voorschoten very close to Zoeterwoude where the marriage took place
Marlène Osborne-Ruygt
February 22, 2021
Lesette, Jim & Sonja, Extending my heartfelt condolences to each of you and your families for the sudden passing of dear uncle Adrian. He was a kind and genuine man that always expressed a sincere interest in others. His grace and wisdom will be missed but never forgotten. Love to all. Monique Bontje
Monique Bontje
February 22, 2021
My deepest condolences, prayers and virtual hugs to the Van Winden family during your time of sorrow.
Penny Nevarez
February 21, 2021
When my mother was at Piner´s for several years, I would wheel her across the road to the nursery. The blossoms, trees, herbs and vegetables brought back so many memories for her of shopping at Van Wnden´s with my father, who was an avid gardener. Your father was a gift to our valley in so many ways.
Daphne Birkmyer
February 20, 2021
I was so saddened to hear of Uncle Adrian´s passing. I loved when he visited Canada. He was a true gentleman who was always kind and had wonderful stories to share. I send sincerest condolences to my cousins and their families. May they take comfort in knowing he is with their mom dancing among the stars for all of eternity. All of my love to all of you and healing hugs. Lisa and Andre.
Lisa Bontje
February 20, 2021
My condolences to the family. Although I only had the pleasure of meeting Adrian once I recall how genuine he was, so full of life and love for his family. Sonja I am so sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace with his beloved wife Betty.
Virginia Moreno
February 20, 2021
So sad to hear of uncle Adrian's passing. I always enjoyed his company during his many visits here to Canada. He was great fun to spend time with and always had many stories and jokes to tell. He will be truly missed by all.
Jay Rovers
February 20, 2021
I´m sorry to hear of Adrian´s passing! I loved chatting with him, he was very sweet and kind to everyone! My thoughts and prayers to his family! Rest peacefully Adrian!
Wendy McGlothern
February 20, 2021
Thank you for your beautiful daughter Sonja, and without your bloodline our/your great-grandchildren wouldn't have such strong roots in their family tree, and for that we are thankful.
Kari Nelson
February 19, 2021
I am so sad to learn of Adrian´s passing. I met him shortly after I joined the Elk´s. He was one of the nicest people I ever met. I too attended the Wednesday night dinners and could always look forward to seeing Adrian there. He always was smiling and liked to tease a little too. Whenever I would see him out around town he always had a kind greeting and would ask what you had been doing since seeing him last. He was so proud of his family and all of their accomplishments. Just a down to earth good man. He will be sorely missed by all of us that were fortunate to call him our friend. My condolences to his family. May he Rest In Peace.
John Bullock
February 18, 2021
Adrian will be so missed. He was so full of joy the last time we met. Our prayers are with all of his family and you are all in our thoughts. Sincerely, Kathleen (from the nursery)
Kathleen Knott and Mark Burnett
February 18, 2021
Sad to hear this, I have enjoyed talking to Adrian and am a big supporter of this business. Sad lost from the greatest generation
JV Sevigny
February 17, 2021
Maurits Coppenrath
February 17, 2021
Lesette & Jim - Very sorry to hear of your dad's passing. I remember him as very nice, funny, and kind man. He was part of the group of St. John's folks along with my parents who would go to dinner regularly. I just came across a photo of them taken at my parent's house at one of those gatherings. I think your dad was the last of that group to pass. My condolences.
Cathie Loomis
February 17, 2021
I am so very sorry to hear of Adrians passing from this life & onto eternity! I totally adored him & your whole family! My thoughts & prayers to you all! Heaven definitely has a new Angel! GOD BE WITH YOU TILL YOU MEET AGAIN!
Debra Muck
February 17, 2021
I was deviststed to hear of his passing. I just saw him less than 2 weeks ago and enjoyed our conversations . He was such a kind and humble Man. He will truly be missed. God speed my Friend.
Stacy Butler- Stolp
February 17, 2021