In Memory

Mieke Van De Oudeweetering (Monasch)

Mieke Van De Oudeweetering (Monasch)

I received the following message from Mieke's sister today informing us that Mieke had passed away yesterday, April 20, 2017:

"I just wanted to let you guys know that my sister, Mieke, passed away yesterday, April 20, 2017 in Groningen, The Netherlands at 9:20 pm (2:20 pm, local time) after a long battle with cancer. She was born in Amsterdam, Holland, on September 20, 1944, She was survived by her sons Pieter, Menno and Tijl, and her daughters Conchita and Simone. Her daughter Alice passed away several years ago. She also had numerous grandchildren. I have no details on memorials. If you create a memorial page for her, please let me know, her children might be interested to see it. I have many fond memories of my sister growing up in Richardson, before she moved away to Holland. We had neighborhood variety shows in our garage on Newberry Drive, much to delight of the local kids. Later in life she continued that tradition by producing her own marionette theater with hand made puppets. She must have entertained thousands of children in the Netherlands with puppet shows in the old style traditions of Europe. Her puppets now reside in a museum in Groningen. She was dearly loved by all us left in Texas, and by her extensive family in Holland. "

I hope if you have any personal memories of Mieke that you will share them with the rest of us.  My personal recollection of her was her ever present smile and ceaseless energy.  Several of you may remember her as Joan Spieker, a name she used for the first several years after her family moved to Richardson.  It sounds as if Mieke lived a full and fruitful life in Holland after her time with us in RHS.

As usual, our class super sleuth, Ralph Norman, was able to add some additional information about Mieke.  I have added those comments below:

"Hi John- Mieke, as you mentioned in her memorial, went by Joan Spieker from grades 7 through 11. I was curious about the name change in our senior year, but I didn't really know her well enough to ask back then. Then, she moved to the Netherlands for her adult life, so my curiosity was further piqued. Also, the fact that she was born in Amsterdam in 1944 was a point of interest since the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands lasted until May, 1945. I located her step-sister, Sandra Spieker (Ringo), RHS 1969, who lives in Weatherford, TX. Being curious, (not nosey), I called her for information. We hit it off well, and we spent about 20 minutes talking about Mieke and RHS. Mieke's parents divorced shortly after her birth, and her mother remarried. They immigrated to the United States, her step-father was employed by Collins Radio and they moved to Richardson. She "adopted" Joan as an Americanized name rather than use her birth name. By her senior year, she decided to use her Dutch name. Following high school graduation, she wanted to reconnect with her biological father so she went to visit him in the Netherlands; she liked the European lifestyle and decided to reside there permanently. She was married three times, and the rest of the story is recounted in the email which was sent to the website by Sandra."


John B.


go to bottom 
  Post Comment

04/21/17 09:28 PM #1    

Ruth Ann Rennels (Hendrick)

So sorry to hear of Mieke's passing! She must have had an awesome gift. Wish she could have shared some photos of her puppets and artwork with us! Blessings to her family!

04/21/17 10:23 PM #2    

James Keener

Thank you for the notice, John.

I remember that it seemed a rite of passage for our class was learning how to pronounce Mieke's name correctly. As soon as I read her first name, the rest just came out naturally.

I also remember someone fully present, not giving ground, yet not being aggressive in the least. Someone fully present. And the smile. I don't remember her face any other way. 

Rest well.

04/22/17 10:09 AM #3    

Julien Caillet

Mieke and I used to laugh about having the two names most unusual and hardest to spell  and pronounce. She had me beat hands down on both counts!


go to top 
  Post Comment