June - John - Dolores Wynen

Lies Helder (John Wynen's sister)

Lies has been diagnosed with cancer. She has returned home from the hospital and treatment has been suspended
Please keep her and her family in your prayers


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50th Wedding Anniversary
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Lies and Mart
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Sjaak and Mia Wijnen spending time in West Bloomfield, July 2007
They also visited South Bend and most of Canada

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At the reunion 2003


John Wynen in memoriam - Aug-31-2003

John passed away Sunday evening Aug-31-2003 at 8:51 PM in his own bed surrounded by his family. His wife Dolores and all his children were there. In addition his brother, two sisters and a niece from Holland and many of his relatives were present. 

 He died after a lengthy struggle with cancer and was in good spirits throughout his illness. He was able to visit his relatives in Holland several times and as recent as this summer was able to enjoy their company. It was only in the last few days that the cancer was able to dominate his strong body and on Sunday evening he left us to join June and the other family members in heaven.


John A Wynen 
September 3, 2003

The long walk of John's earthly life is complete. The farm, home, yard, and golf course all laid the path for John. He traveled them well and left his mark.

John was born in Holland and moved to America in 1960. While America became his home, those who knew him well understood how important his native Holland was to him. His heart was in both countries. There were so many trips to Holland to visit family. Those who knew John well know that despite his love for South Bend, John believed that most things were actually better in Holland - better food, better beer, better workers, better everything! And, of course, Carnival, there were always so many stories.

Even though John loved Holland, he did make South Bend his home. It was in South Bend that John pursued his American dream. That dream started when he and June moved here followed by the birth of Maureen, then Bryan, Monica and Kevin. And it was here, with June's brothers that John went into business at Veldman's Service Center. It was here that in 1969 John started his won business, WISSCO Irrigation. And lastly, it was here when John invited Tom into their home as one of their own.

John always worked hard and met life's challenges and opportunities head on. Weekends were often spent playing cards and visiting with June's relatives. John embraced the Veldman family as his own and they embraced him.

What he learned on the farm as a young man, he used in his business at WISSCO. Years of hard work gave John the opportunity to relax in retirement. And after June's untimely death, he met Dolores. His days were filled with gardening, golfing, traveling to Florida with Dolores, playing cards and socializing with friends from Little Flower. It was wonderful to watch John and Dolores enjoying their lives together.

John was a strong man. Well into his sixties he could out lift, out dig, and out work men half his age. Even though he was diagnosed with cancer three years ago, he remained vibrant and strong as an ox until very recently. He endured his cancer treatments relatively unfazed and without any complaints.

John was strong in other ways too. You might say he was the strong silent type. He was a man of few words, but that did not mean he did not have anything to say. He had opinions, but he did not feel the need to be opinionated. He was intelligent and worldly but wasted little time convincing people of that fact.

At the end, John was surrounded by family and friends. This is his true legacy. Now, we the children, who have always been there, remain to carry on his memory through our children, Opa'a 15 grandchildren.

As we carry on now without John, we can remember him and the life he led. There is much to be learned from John, how to work, how to love and how to live.

Finally, Dolores, we thank you for the wonderful care and love you gave Dad, especially as things became so difficult this last week. And to "the Dutchies", Ome Jacques, Gerrie, Tante Truus, and Tante Lies, Dank je, Dank je, Dank je.

For now, until we see him again, we say so long Dad, John, Opa, Uncle John, Ome Jan. We love you, wir lieben dich, Tot ziens.


Click to see the last pictures of John at the reunion picnic
Recent photographs
At Ted and Teresa around 2004
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2001 at Pete 50th
Family photo
On vacation with Dolores

September 2, 2003

Obituary: John A. Wynen  Feb. 12, 1932 -- Aug. 31, 2003


John A. Wynen (Johannes Antonius Wijnen), 71, of Ravenna Drive, South Bend, Ind., died at 8:51 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31, in his home.

He was born in Kessel, The Netherlands, on Feb. 12, 1932, to Petronella (Jansen) and Peter Wijnen.

John is survived by his wife, Dolores (Greene) Wynen, whom he married on Dec. 5, 1998; two daughters, Maureen (Stephan Stolz) Wijnen of South Bend and Monica (Kevin) Thompson of Zurich, Switzerland; three sons, Bryan (Theresa) Wynen and Kevin (Nancy) Wynen, all of South Bend, and Tom (Catherine) Birchfield of Louisville, Ky.; two stepdaughters, Cheri Davis of Largo, Fla., and Karen (Dietmar) Spindler of Niles, Mich.; two stepsons, Edward Halterman of El Segundo, Calif., and Kevin Halterman of Mishawaka, Ind.; 15 grandchildren, Andy, Rebecca, Jennifer, Nalani, Jonathon, Thomas, Marijke, Amanda, Alexander, Sarah, Carter, Carsten, Jordan, Alexandra and Matte; three step-grandchildren, Nicole, Jill and Ian; and by two step-great-grandchildren.

On May 9, 1959, he married June Veldman, who preceded him in death on Sept. 27, 1996.

In 1960, he and June immigrated from The Netherlands to South Bend where he became a part-owner, with his brothers-in-law, of Veldman's Service Center. In 1969 he and June founded WISSCO Irrigation, where he worked until his retirement.

John enjoyed golfing and card playing with family and friends. John brought his native country's love for flowers and landscaping to South Bend. He meticulously designed and built the most beautiful rock pond and flower garden around his house for his wife, children, grandchildren and friends to enjoy. The family knows, however, that no one enjoyed this more than John.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Little Flower Catholic Church. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today in the church. Interment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Hospice of St. Joseph County or to the charity of donor's choice.

The HICKEY Funeral Home, 17131 Cleveland Road, 574-289-1000, is in charge of arrangements.

Copied from the South Bend Tribune, Sept-02-2003

Update on John Wynen - Aug-24-2003
As of this past Friday Aug 15 John finished with radiation on his left leg. The pain was so severe the previous night that on his Fri. trip to Chicago, the radiologist Dr. ordered x rays of the left leg again and the Dr. also prescribed stronger meds for pain, morphine and a very strong vicadin. The pain meds gave him some relief and made it possible for him to go to the picnic.

Yesterday Aug. 18 another trip to Chicago to resume the radiation for the lung and throat (lymph node). John also saw the orthopedic Dr. that did the surgery to put the pin in the femur of the left leg. The bone was weakened from the cancer that had spread. We also reviewed the X-ray that had been taken the Fri before. A small chip had broken away which is what has caused the pain. There is nothing that can be done but hope that the radiation will help heal it yet.

Today Tues. John saw the oncologist, he will not continue with the chemo that was to start again this week. The chemo that he had 2 weeks ago with the radiation, is not working because the chip that broke away should never happened according to the Doctor. The radiation will continue this week and next and hope that it will help the healing, of the leg, lung and lymph node. John had a bone scan 2 weeks ago that shows cancer on his head, on his back behind the lungs.

Today the oncologist also told us that there is a spot on John's heart. This showed up on some tests that were done about 2 weeks ago.

That is where we stand at this time.
Dolores Wynen


June Wynen-Veldman John Wynen Bryan Wynen Kevin Wynen Teresa Wynen- Nancy Wynen- Kevin Thompson Tom Birchfield Stephan Stolz Maureen Stolz-Wynen Monica Thompson-Wynen ?? ?? ??

As bridesmaids with Riet