ForeverMissed

This memorial website has been created in memory of our beloved Rachel van Run, 85 years old, born on March 10, 1933 and passed away on January 24, 2019. 

We will remember her forever and hold her dear in our hearts.

Posted by Wendy Bishop on January 31, 2019
Dear Rachel - Chelly (family)
I am so sad to receive this news of your Mum. You are doing an incredible beautiful justice to your beautiful Mum.
I loved sharing moments with your Mum over her journey since I met an unforgettable lady. She lives on through you I have the priviledge of knowing.
Thank you so much for the email of information. You have planned with amazing grace and perfection and I am very grateful you think of me and us all to forward these details.
I have forward this to Julie. I believe she will be in attendance. I hope you dont mind i shared the link with Joys sister in QLD who also shared some nice times with your Mum particularly at the Classic with your Mum and her little dog. Helen asks often after Rachel. Has been following your news and shared photos over the time.
Much much love thoughts and prayers to you and your families in these quiet moments before your Mums resting.
Lots of Love and sending on behalf of myself and Mum Joy Spargo, Rachels very missed. We loved your Mum.
Wendy Bishop.
xxxooo

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Wendy Bishop on January 31, 2019
Dear Rachel - Chelly (family)
I am so sad to receive this news of your Mum. You are doing an incredible beautiful justice to your beautiful Mum.
I loved sharing moments with your Mum over her journey since I met an unforgettable lady. She lives on through you I have the priviledge of knowing.
Thank you so much for the email of information. You have planned with amazing grace and perfection and I am very grateful you think of me and us all to forward these details.
I have forward this to Julie. I believe she will be in attendance. I hope you dont mind i shared the link with Joys sister in QLD who also shared some nice times with your Mum particularly at the Classic with your Mum and her little dog. Helen asks often after Rachel. Has been following your news and shared photos over the time.
Much much love thoughts and prayers to you and your families in these quiet moments before your Mums resting.
Lots of Love and sending on behalf of myself and Mum Joy Spargo, Rachels very missed. We loved your Mum.
Wendy Bishop.
xxxooo
her Life

My Mother

Our mother, Rachel, was a vivacious and tenacious woman, who made friends easily and had complete love for her family.

She was a devoted and loving wife to my father, Martin, for over 62 years, till his death just over four years ago.

She was also a devoted and loving mother to Peter, Chelly and me, mother-in-law to Peter’s wife, Margaret who died in 2011, and my wife Becca, and she also warmly welcomed Rick into Chelly’s life.

She had 4 grandchildren, being Oma to: Chrystal & Jocelyn, and Matt & Emily.  And of course, she was especially proud and loving of Breanna, her first and only great-grandchild.

I’d like you to get to know Rachel a bit better and to see what a remarkable woman she was.

Rachel was born on 10th March 1933 in Rotterdam, the second child of the marriage between Salomon Doof  (1897-1945) and Maria Christina Janzee (1902-1970), following the birth of their son, Willie, in 1931.  They would go on to have more children: twin boys in 1935, Gerrit, who died shortly after birth and Nathan, who passed away in 2016.  And her sister Marianne (known as Jannie) was born in 1938 and passed away in 2014.

However, in what seems to be a terribly modern relationship these days and what you would now call a blended family, both her parents entered the marriage with pre-existing children.  In her father’s case, he already had 4 children: Barend, Sara, Gre & Hartog, while her mother already had a son, Leo, who died in 2008.

To further blend the family, the Doof family were Jews and the Janzee family were Catholics.  As Orthodox Judaism is matrilineal, ie passed on through the mother’s line, our mother was not considered to be Jewish.  Nevertheless, she loved her father and siblings dearly and identified strongly with her Jewish heritage.

Essentially, the family had been formed in 1930 and the years leading up to World War 2.  The Netherlands was then soon occupied by the invading Nazi forces and became unsafe for Jews.  Sadly, her father and three of his original children were arrested, sent to a prison camp and sentenced to die in a gas chamber in the final year of the war, 1945.  Our mother, who was only 6 when the war began, and her sister Jannie were sent to lodge with a sympathetic farming family in Denekamp, which is still only a small village, fairly close to the German border, in the final years of the war.  Her mother, a tiny woman with a walking problem, managed to cycle to see her daughters there from time to time.  You can imagine what the paths were like and the bicycle that she rode.

Formal education was never really an option for Rachel during the war years or the years just after. So she had very little formal schooling.  But those years did sharpen her street smarts, her tenacity and her survival skills, all of which she put to good use throughout her life.

She went to work in a Gift shop when she was still a young teenager.  She loved all the lovely things that were sold there, and this was also an inspiration for her own way of living as well as her own Gift shop in Australia later on, but you’ll hear more about that from Chelly.

By the time she was 15 or 16, she went to work in the Galak milk factory in Gorinchem, where she was to meet Martin, her husband-to-be, older than her by 6 and a half years.  Whereas she was outgoing he was fairly shy and introverted. Whereas she loved dancing, he had two left feet and moved as gracefully as a plank.  However, something obviously clicked between them.  They became engaged and then married in 1952 – twice!  It’s a Dutch thing.  They needed to have a civil ceremony at the local Town Hall as well as a Church wedding later to follow up.  By the way, Mum was able to make a decent dancer out of Dad over the years.

A little over a year later, children started appearing, first with Peter in 1953 and then me, just 11 months later. Mum was still only 21 years old and had to stay at home to look after the kids.  Many people will be aware that Rotterdam was pretty much flattened during the war and had to be rebuilt.  The four of us occupied the upper floor of a 2 storey terrace house, with a common entrance downstairs.  It was difficult enough to get the kids up and down the stairs, let alone play things and shopping. Our parents didn’t believe that this was a good way to raise a family.

During the 1950s, there was encouragement for the Dutch to migrate to Australia, and the bug bit mum’s side of the family.  Eventually Gre, Leo and Jannie and their families, as well as ourselves came to Australia.  It was all very speculative  and there were no guarantees.  We came without sponsorship or a job for Dad, but he had a letter of introduction and recommendation.  They wanted a better life. 

We left Holland by plane during their summer in 1958 and arrived in Sydney in early August - our winter - and went to the Scheyville Migrant Camp, about 45km north-west of Sydney, where we had a room in an old Nissen Hut.  Shortly after, Dad came to Victoria by train and went to Warrnambool – Dennington actually – and presented his letter of introduction and recommendation at the Nestle’s factory, where in spite of speaking only a few words of English he was given a job as a lab technician, much the same as he had been in Holland.

Mum brought the kids down by train to take up our first accommodation in a musty, dirty, insect-infested beach hut on the Warrnambool foreshore in the middle of a cold, wet miserable winter.  I should mention here that mum was about 5 months pregnant when we left Holland and was not feeling well for most of the journey that took about 4 days with 4 stops.  Not long after, we moved to rented accommodation in town as a severe heatwave moved over Victoria in the summer of 58-59.  Our place didn’t have air-conditioning, not even a ceiling fan. Mum didn’t want us inside the house as the heat was getting to her in her late pregnancy; so she made us go and play in the streets with the kids in the neighbourhood, who were generally a couple of years older than us.  They thought our little sailor suits were a bit odd at first, but they befriended us soon enough and were a great help in our learning English so quickly.

In early 1959, Chelly was born, which was lovely.  I’m not sure if this made things better or worse for mum. Dad wasn’t around that much because he was doing shift-work at Nestle’s for the extra money.  Even when he was home, he was often trying to get some sleep during the day. So far, Mum wasn’t seeing much benefit in having come to Australia for a better life and was feeling homesick and somewhat lonesome.  Still, Mum was tenacious and a fighter and determined to do better.  Within a year or so, we had moved into a flat, mum had started work first as a cleaner/carer with a family, then working in the kitchen at a Golden Fleece service station café, got a driver’s licence and an old Morris Minor, the kind that still had a cold start hand crank and side indicators that flew outwards like wings from the struts between the front and back doors.

Rachel was adamant that we should learn English well if we were going to get on in the new country.  She was actually good at picking up the language, which she did quite quickly.  Of course, she learnt by ear because book-learning was just not her thing.

Not long after that, she got a job as a machinist at the Fletcher Jones factory, where she worked for several years.  With her great appearance, she also did some modelling work for them from time to time.  With her strong work ethic and friendly outgoing nature, she then gained a much sought-after position at the Fletcher Jones shop in town, where she was able to use her retail selling skills from Holland to good effect.  By the early-60s, things were starting to improve and we moved to a new Housing Commission house in West Warrnambool with 3 bedrooms – absolute luxury!

Mum’s love for us was unconditional and there was nothing she would not do to protect us.  While her long work hours meant that we only really had Sundays together – she worked 5½ days at the shop and Saturday afternoons were for shopping and cleaning – when we needed her, she came running. Once, when I had stepped on some broken glass at school on bare feet and had a deep cut that needed stitches, she appeared there almost before I knew it.  She would drop everything and run to her children’s aid. 

Money was generally tight, but we never went hungry and she always encouraged us to take part in activities, even if they cost money.  In my case, it was cricket, football and boy scouts.  Still later, she would borrow money to help me go to university.  While not having much schooling herself, she valued education and wanted a better life for us.

There was nothing that Mum would not do for us if it was within her power, and I thank her for that.  It wasn’t always plain sailing, particularly when she thought I was I getting a little too big for my boots, but that would not last very long.  I owe her a massive debt of gratitude and love her deeply.

Her final 4 or 5 years were quite difficult with the onset and worsening of dementia.  We can only imagine what anxiety, confusion and frustration she was living with as the grip of dementia became tighter.  Short term memory was the first to go and eventually long term memory and the ability to think and speak went too.  But I am sure that, right up to her last days, she knew who we, her children, were.  Such was her fierce love for us.

For her final three years, Mum lived at Victoria By The Park in Elsternwick.  We could hardly be happier with the love and care with which she was treated there by the staff and other residents.  We would like to congratulate and thank them for what they did for Rachel throughout her stay, from her arrival with still mild dementia to her last days when she was unable to recover from her broken hip.

Rachel lived her life the best way she knew how.  She was a fighter and a lover. She leaves a legacy via her family and the way she has touched each of us here today.  Quite simply, she had no regrets!

May you rest in eternal peace!


Recent stories

First anniversary of mum's passing

Shared by Martin Van Run on January 26, 2020
The time has passed so quickly since mum passed away on the 24 January last year.  Even so, I often think about her and what she means to me.  Also, over the past year, I have spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen at home, trying out new recipes and generally enjoying cooking.  For that, I think have to give credit and thanks to mum to a large degree.  She was the one that got me going on that, when I was still younger than 10 years old. 

I recall being in the kitchen with her listening to 3YB on our yellow bakelite radio while she was dong the ironing, and instructing and entrusting me to mix the ingredients for Dutch meatballs: beef, breadcrumbs, chopped onion, salt, egg, a dash of tomato sauce and the magic ingredient - Maggi seasoning (used in Europe before they really started using soy sauce and Worchestershire sauce).  And of course, they were made to be a little larger than a golf ball but smaller than a tennis ball, then cooked in lots of butter on the stovetop in a large heavy pan, before some stock was added to make a delicious sauce.  Served with mashed potatoes and boiled vegetables. 

No doubt the recipe has become a bit more elaborate over the years, adding a bit of this and a bit of that, and the vegetables would now be steamed rather than boiled, but the basics remain.  At dinnertime, salt and pepper would be on the table, along with the tomato sauce, and the magic bottle of Maggi seasoning.  A very fond memory.

A Moral Conscience

Shared by Rachel Van Run on March 18, 2019

My mum always followed her heart if she believed strongly in something.

I have two examples of this.

The first was in 2005 when a young Dutch Backpacker was shot here in Melbourne by a gunman.  Mum wanted to do something for the young man so that he would not think too badly of Melbourne.  She purchased an Australian Koala Bear but didn't know how to get it to the young man.  She contacted her local council member and he arranged for the Koala Bear to be delivered to the hospital on behalf of my mother.

The second example was her determination to attend a rally in Melbourne where Derryn Hinch was gathering people to protest against lenient sentences for victims of crime.  She can be seen in the front row (on the left hand side, wearing an orange jacket).  My mum could always be found in the front row when it meant something to her. I will publish this photo to the Photo Gallery.

Memories

Shared by Wim Van Run on January 28, 2019
My memory of Chelly
Hoewel het al bijna 70 jaar geleden is kan ik mij toch nog goed herinneren dat Chelly voor het eerst bij ons thuis kwam. Martin was heel trots op haar toen hij haar aan ons voorstelde en wij vonden haar meteen leuk. Vooral dat Rotterdamse accent. Het klikte meteen. Zij was nog heel jong toen ze gingen trouwen.19 jaar.Toen ze 2 kinderen hadden gingen ze emigreren naar Australia. Toen ze vertrokken was zij in verwachting van haar 3de kind en ik was ook in verwachting van mijn 2de kind. We waren allebei even ver en allebei dachten we een Kerstkindje te krijgen dus de maand December werd steeds spannender.
Maar wat gebeurde er? Onze dochter Ineke werd 10 dagen voor de Kerstmis geboren en hun dochter Chelly 10 dagen na Kerstmis op 3 Koningen. 
Dus geen Kerstkindjes maar wel 2 hele lieve meisjes. En dat zijn ze nog steeds, maar nu zijn ze lieve vrouwen.
Dit is nog altijd een leuke herinnering.
A
                                                                                    Riet Smits-van Run

My memory of Chelly
Although it is almost 70 years ago, I can still remember that Chelly came home for the first time. Martin was very proud of her when he introduced her to us and we liked her right away. Especially that Rotterdam accent. It clicked immediately. She was still very young when they got married.19 years. When they had 2 children they emigrated to Australia. When she left she was expecting her 3rd child and I was also expecting my 2nd child. We were both equally far and both thought we would get a Christmas child so the month of December became more and more exciting.
But what happened? Our daughter Ineke was born 10 days before Christmas and their daughter Chelly 10 days after Christmas on 3 Kings.
So no Christmas children but 2 very sweet girls. And they still are, but now they are lovely women.
This is still a nice memory.
                                                                                    R. Smits-van Run

Mijn herinnering aan Chelly
De bruiloft van Chelly en Martin kan lk mij nog goed herinneren. Het was een leuk feest met een lookalike van de bekende artiest Lou Bandy. Later op de avond van het feest nam de bruid (Chelly) de microfoon op en begon luidkeels te zingen: 
Over 25 jaar zal ik Martin nog steeds beminnen, ook al hebben wij grijs haar want we blijven jong van binnen...
Nou de hele zaal zong mee en de stemming zat er meteen extra goed in.
En die 25 jaar zijn er ruim 60 geworden.
                                                                                          Nel Rietveld-van Run

My memory of Chelly
I can still remember the wedding of Chelly and Martin. It was a fun party with a lookalike by the famous artist Lou Bandy. Later in the evening of the party the bride (Chelly) took the microphone and began to sing loudly: 
In 25 years I will still love Martin,even though we have gray hair because we stay young inside ...
Well the whole room was singing and the mood was immediately extra good.
And those 25 years have become more than 60.
                                                                                 Nel Rietveld-van Run

Lieve Rachel, 
Je zal voor altijd in onze herinnering blijven als een lieve schoonzus en een zorgzame vrouw en moeder voor onze broer Martin en jullie kinderen. 
Als verkoopster, adviseuse en ontwerpster in een Rotterdamse cadeauwinkel met een uitgebreide sortering  kunstzinnige artikelen op velerlei gebied, toonde je veel eigen initatief, creativiteit en doorzettingsvermogen om je doelen te bereiken. Deze eigenschappen hebben jij en Martin gebruikt om de eerste moeilijke jaren na de emigratie naar Australië te doorstaan. Thuis keken wij uit naar jullie berichten over de kinderen en jullie leven in Australië. 
Wij hebben genoten van jullie bezoeken aan Holland en van onze rondreis in Australië met als hoogtepunten: samen met jullie en je kinderen in Melbourne zijn en samen met jullie logeren aan de Goudkust.
Rachel bedankt voor alles wat je voor je gezin en voor ons bent geweest.
Atie en Wim van Run

Dear Rachel,
You will forever remain in our memory as a sweet sister in law and a caring wife and mother for our brother Martin and your children.
As a saleswoman, consultant and designer in a Rotterdam gift shop with an extensive assortment of artistic articles in many fields, you showed a lot of your own initiative, creativity and perseverance to achieve your purposes. You and Martin used these qualities to endure the first difficult years after emigration to Australia. At home we looked forward to your reports about the children and your life in Australia.
We have enjoyed your visits to Holland and our trip in Australia with the highlights: being with you and your children in Melbourne and staying with you on the Gold Coast.
Thank you Rachel for all you have been for your family and for us.
Atie and Wim van Run


Lieve Familie,

Als zwager, (echtgenoot van Tilly, de overleden zus van Martin) heb ik Chelly leren kennen als een lieve schoonzus. Ik wil jullie allen condoleren met het verlies van jullie moeder en oma, ik wens jullie, mede namens mijn huidige partner Willy, heel veel sterkte met het verlies.
Jan van Straten.
Dear family,
As a brother-in-law, (husband of Tilly, the deceased sister of Martin) I got to know Chelly as a sweet sister in law. I want to condemn all of you with the loss of your mother and grandmother, I wish you, also on behalf of my current partner Willy, a lot of strength with the loss.
Jan van Straten.