Ember Maria Rose van Woerkom
February 19, 1970 - May 24, 2021
Ember Maria Rose Van Woerkom passed away peacefully in Medford, OR, less than five minutes after being removed from her ventilator at 3:15 pm PST on May 24, 2021.
Ember was truly a kind and loving member of her close knit family and to those lucky enough to come into contact with her during her lifetime.
Ember was preceded in death by her father Hugo van Woerkom, having left this side of life last year. She is survived by her mother Melchia Crowne and her sister, Melchia Kutches, husband Richard and their daughter, Thalia. "Aunty Ember" was always there for Thalia, talking to her a few times a week on the phone and serving as a best friend, sounding board and even handed advisor.
Ember was born February 19, 1970 in Kingston, NY, attended Anna Devine Elementary school in Rifton, NY, Myron J Michael (MJM) Junior high in Kingston and graduated in 1988 from Kingston High School (KHS) Home of the Tigers! She then moved to San Francisco, CA with her sister and father. She worked Retail Management in SF at Papyrus and as a Security Analyst in Walnut Creek at Denalect Alarm.
Ember met her future husband through a mutual friend in Concord and the marriage ended in divorce.
Ember had a tough time getting back on her feet after her divorce, moving in with Melchia's family in Concord at first, then living on her own in Antioch, CA for a time and finally moving up to Hornbrook, CA to settle in with her mother. She worked on and off at various odd jobs until getting sick this February, eventually losing her 3 month long battle with failing health on May 24, 2021.
Ember rarely turned down a cool tattoo or a brave new body piercing. She will always be remembered by her electric personality, great sense of humor and wonderful storytelling talent. Even this writer, who once considered himself a fairly decent writer and storyteller, would quickly concede the floor to Ember once she took over a room.
Ember's path through life was a little different than that of most people. Her genes weren't designed to work a normal career 9 to 5 type of job. She was much more of an artistic soul, a real free spirit. Ember Maria Rose van Woerkom was more like a Sunflower, she grew and then blossomed, shining brightly for a moment in time, too short for those closest to her, then she slowly faded away at the end.
We will miss you eternally and always remember Ember, our lovely Sunflower.
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Published by San Francisco Chronicle from May 26 to May 30, 2021.