Friday, October 9, 2020
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The Villages

Longtime Villager remembered in drive-by wake organized by her family

A longtime Villager was remembered in a drive-by wake organized by her family.

The threat of the Coronavirus has forced many changes in our lives, including plenty of social distancing, but the family of Josephine Noordover felt it important to find a way to include her vast network of friends in The Villages to celebrate her life.

She and her husband Cornelius bought their home in 2007 on Oak Forest Drive, across from The Villages Polo Fields. The couple was married more than 60 years.

Josephine and Cornelius Noordover

The 87-year-old “never woke up” on the morning of Sept. 14, according to her son, John Noordover.

“COVID-19 prevented us from having a traditional wake or funeral,” he said.

With tradition out the window, the family decided to improvise.   

“We sent emails and hung notices on the neighbors’ doors asking them to stop by to support my Dad. We made a sign and two picture boards so everyone could celebrate my Mom’s life. It was a big success!” he said.

The Noordover family held a drive-by wake in The Villages.

Golf carts lined up for the drive-by wake.

Photos helped tell the story of longtime Villager Josephine Noordover.

The family also broke tradition by using a Delft Blue coffee decanter as her urn.

“We are Dutch after all,” John Noordover said.

A long line of golf carts lined up at the Noordovers’ home to share laughter, tears and stories.

Hien and Anna Baijer with their children in 1935 in the Netherlands.

She was born on April 12, 1933 to Hien and Anna Baijer in Wassenaar, The Netherlands. She was the 10th of 13 children. She is survived by sisters Riet Schouten, Joop Gelauff and Aneka Dirks. She married Cornelius Noordover on May 23, 1956. She immigrated to the United States later that same year, residing in Sheboygan, Wis. They moved to Marion Oaks and later The Villages. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her sons, John Noordover of Summerfield and Francis Noordover of Glenview, along with his wife Maria and their children, Christian and Francesca.

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