Obituary: Marja Eva Van Rosmalen
Friend, teacher, oma
Longtime Claremont resident Marja (Van Leijenhorst) Van Rosmalen died peacefully in her sleep December 13, 2018 after a long battle with dementia. She was 74 years old.
Marja was born in Groningen, The Netherlands in 1944. She graduated high school in Groningen and her first job was as a laboratory technician at Theodorus Niemeyer. While working there she continued her education and earned her medical technologist degree.
She worked for hospital laboratories in Groningen, Assen and Amsterdam. In 1967 she traveled to America by ocean liner to participate in a medical technologist work exchange program and found herself assigned to Bridgeport Hospital in Connecticut. She quickly made new friends, polished her English, drove a car for the first time and fell in love with America.
While living in Connecticut she met Hans Van Rosmalen, a fellow Dutch immigrant. They married in April 1970 and had two daughters, Mieke and Carla.
In 1977 the family moved west to Claremont. When their girls began elementary school, Ms. Van Rosmalen continued her education by earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Cal Poly Pomona and teaching credentials in both math and history. She accepted a job as a math teacher at El Roble Intermediate School in 1987 and retired 13 years later, in 2000.
She was an avid reader and loved to loan books to everyone from her extensive personal home library. In her free time she enjoyed traveling, golf, bridge, crossword puzzles, the beach and bowling. Many good family memories were shared traveling across the USA, Mexico and Canada in their VW bus. Later in retirement she enjoyed taking cruises and vacationing with family and friends.
“She was a compassionate and giving woman who was always ready to lend a hand or help out,” her family shared. “She truly believed in the goodness of people and that everyone should be given a fair chance. She was happiest spending time with family and friends sharing a good story, a cup of tea, a glass of wine and a good laugh. Her greatest joy was spending time with her precious grandchildren.”
She is lovingly remembered by her husband of 48 years, Hans; daughters Mieke (Todd Tushla) and Carla (Elliott Kopet); and her four grandchildren, Julia, Justin, Alexander and Maxwell.