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Maria Johanna Jakubiak

Obituary for Maria Johanna Jakubiak

July 24, 1924 - June 2, 2017
Zeeland, Michigan | Age 92


Maria Johanna Jakubiak, 92, of Zeeland, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 2, 2017.

The youngest of five children, Maria was born on July 24, 1924, in the town of Souburg, in the Province of Zeeland, the Netherlands. As a young teen, her life changed dramatically when her country became occupied by the Nazi regime during WWII. The atrocities that she and her family witnessed during that time helped build her strong character. She offered a strong support system to her family, whenever it was needed.

At the end of the war, Maria met a young Polish soldier named Tadeusz (Ted), who had recently come to the Netherlands after fighting as a "freedom fighter" in the Polish Underground Army. Their mission during the war included blowing up railroad tracks to disrupt Nazi operations, and robbing banks to finance the movements' efforts. Near the end of the war, the Polish Underground also battled the Russian army, which occupied part of Poland. Because of this, Ted knew he could not safely return to his homeland. With false French citizenship papers, he traveled through several countries, before ending up in the Netherlands, where work was available.

Ted and Maria were married in 1947, and spent several years building their home in the Netherlands. Maria knew that Ted's dream was to immigrate to the United States, and in 1955, they got that opportunity. With the help of sponsors, they moved to Zeeland with their 6 year old daughter. Ted worked for the City of Zeeland, and Maria retired from Biotec.

Maria, affectionately known to her grandchildren and great grandchildren as Grandma Ria, loved her family with all her heart. Soft spoken and polite, she also had a great sense of humor. When people made mention of her Dutch accent, she would tell them that she had tried to take meds to get rid of it, but it didn't seem to be working. Her hugs and homemade vegetable soup will be missed.

Maria was preceded in death by her husband in 2003. She is survived by daughter, Jolanta (Jim) Rynsburger of Zeeland, grandson Thaddeus (Miska) Rynsburger of Holland, Amanda (Michael) Santana of Baltimore, and Adam (Aimee) Rynsburger of Naples, Fl; great-grandchildren, Kearia, Brayden, Cameron, William, and Miles.

Maria was a member of First Reformed Church of Zeeland. Visitation will be Monday, June 5, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, at Yntema Funeral Home, 251 S. State Street, Zeeland. A Graveside committal service will be held on Tuesday at 10:00 AM in Zeeland Cemetery, 220 East Lincoln Ave., Zeeland. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Holland.

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Yntema Funeral Home

251 S State St
Zeeland, MI 49464
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