A Celebration of Life Service for Evert will be at 10 AM on Thursday, July 1, 2021 at the Nampa First Church of the Nazarene Family Life Center, 601 16th Ave. So. - A private burial took place at the Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, Caldwell. Services are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, 415 12th Ave. So. - 208-442-8171.
Evert Jansen van Beek went to be with Jesus on June 11, 2021.
Evert was born on July 23, 1923, in Angeren, the Netherlands to Jan and Wilhelmina Jansen van Beek. He was the 6th of 8 children.
Evert grew up helping on the family farm. He loved cycling, ice skating, and soccer.
Holland was invaded by the Nazis in 1940. With only a few hours notice, Evert and his family had to evacuate the farm only taking with them what they could carry. His family was scattered, homeless, and food was scarce during this time.
Even during this difficult period, Evert still had a dream. In 1941, Evert and his brother Wim were able to compete in the Netherlands’ famous “Elfstedentocht”- a 125 mile skating event on the canals of 11 cities. Evert and Wim traveled by train, standing for the entire trip because the Nazi soldiers took the seats. Evert completed this event 2 times.
Evert and his brother Gys had a dream of owning their own farms. This was not possible in Holland. Thus, they dreamed of going to America. Due to brother Gys’ involvement in the underground, he found and buried a downed American pilot from Utah. He wrote to this soldier’s family and sent them his “dog tags”. After the war was over, this soldier’s family knew some Mormon missionaries that were going to Holland, and asked them to visit the Jansen van Beeks. These missionaries asked Evert’s father if there was something the family could do for the Jansen van Beek family. He replied that he had two sons that would like to come to America but needed a sponsor.
The Utah family found a sponsor for Evert and Gys, and on October 10th 1948, they boarded the Ernie Pyle in Antwerp, Belgium, and sailed to New York. Evert and Gys each took $70, the maximum dollars allowed to take out of the country, and a wooden suitcase to begin their new life.
On the ship, they met the Klaas Van Vliet family. The Van Vliets were immigrants living in California, but had been visiting Holland. Klaas told Evert and Gys, “Utah is not where you need to go. There is more opportunity in California.”
After 8 days on the boat, Evert and Gys stayed up all night to see the Statue of Liberty for this was this symbolized “the land of opportunity”. They arrived in New York on October 18th and were met by Mr. Piper, their sponsor. Mr. Piper had bought two new Buicks that the three of them were going to drive to Utah. They slept in the cars, ate hot dogs, and milkshakes, and paid for own their gas and food.
Evert worked hard on the Utah dairy farm. In the evening, Evert would spend time with the children of the family he lived with learning English. With the kids as tutors, he learned the language in 6 months.
After earning enough money to buy a car and earn a vacation, he went to “check out” California. During the early years in America, Evert also had the opportunity to do some work in Idaho. He liked Idaho, but returned to Utah because he wanted to be near Gys’s family after learning of his father’s death in Holland.
Evert did eventually move to California where he milked cows.
In 1951, he saw Dora Baarda singing in the choir at church. He was interested in her, but found out that she had a boyfriend so he bided his time. Then while attending a church picnic on the 4th of July, Dora gave him “the green light” by smiling at him. The next Sunday, he saw Dora and her mother Celia. He worked up the courage to ask her out in front of her mother. She said yes, and after their first date, he was “smitten”. On June 20, 1952, they were married. Celia, the first of nine children was born in June of 1953. They moved to Idaho in 1954.
Evert was proud to be an American and sought US citizenship as soon as he was eligible. He and Dora rented a few places in Idaho and started buying cows. In 1960 they purchased the dairy farm where he and Dora resided until their passing.
As life became less hectic, Evert started biking about 20 miles a day. At age 64, he wanted to bike to the Oregon Coast. So in September of 1987, he and his daughter Julie biked 500 miles from Nampa, Idaho, to Newport Beach, Oregon. They did this in 5 days. There were no cell phones so Dora drove the support car. Dora drove ahead and waited for Evert and Julie with water, encouragement, and a few kisses for Evert.
Evert loved his wife Dora, his children, and grandchildren. In the last few years, the great grand children brought him a lot of joy. He always enjoyed people of all ages and enjoyed visiting with “Dutchies”. The Dutch community was very important to both he and Dora. They became like family celebrating life as encouraging each other in the tough times.
He and mom loved going for drives, taking trips around America, and visiting family and friends in Holland.
Evert along with Dora attended Franklin Community Church for many decades. There they had many special friends and appreciated their relationship with Pastor Richard and Tamee Mark.
Evert is survived by his 9 children and their spouses, 15 grandchildren, and 13 great grandchildren.
Celia (John) Thomas, Wilma (Neil) Green, Nellie Jansen van Beek, Jeanette Kroes, John (Julie) Jansen van Beek, Dale (Leslie) Jansen van Beek, Julie (Randy) Heisey, Doreen (Rick) Fouts, and Melody Jansen van Beek; his two sisters, Willy ten Bosch and Corry Scheperboer in The Netherlands; sister-in-law, Jeltje Jansen van Beek; brother-in-law, Pete Baarda, and numerous nieces and nephews in the US and in Holland. Evert was preceded in death by five siblings; Truce, Wim, Gys, Jan, Lucy, and his son-in-law, Marvin Kroes.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Nampa Christian Schools Scholarship Fund, 11920 W. Flamingo Ave., Nampa, ID 83651 or Because International, 1415 1st St. So., Nampa, ID 83651.
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