This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Stuart VanDerBiesen, 60 years old, born on July 13, 1960, and passed away on November 12, 2020. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Russ Van Der Biesen on July 13, 2022
Happy Birthday Stuie! Miss you my bro.
Posted by Melissa Haid on July 13, 2022
Happy Birthday, Cuz. ❤️
Posted by Mark Bostwick on July 13, 2022
Always seemed to miss your Bday, Stu. So Happy Bday this year, bro. We had some legendary parties for you in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Hope your still dancing with the angels, My man. Love you. Mark
Posted by Russ Van Der Biesen on December 21, 2021
Miss you my bro. But i know you are flying high!
Posted by Melissa Haid on November 12, 2021
We miss you, your laugh and most of all your love. Too many stories to share in this post but, the good memories have pulled us through. We consider ourselves so lucky to have had you in our lives. Ride free! ❤️ Lissie & Mike
Posted by John Ficquette on August 17, 2021
Hey Stu,

I know you are happy now, but we all miss you!

God Bless!

Posted by Russ Van Der Biesen on July 13, 2021
Happy 61st Birthday Stu! Miss you dearly.
Fly High Free Bird.......

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Russ Van Der Biesen on July 13, 2022
Happy Birthday Stuie! Miss you my bro.
Posted by Melissa Haid on July 13, 2022
Happy Birthday, Cuz. ❤️
Posted by Mark Bostwick on July 13, 2022
Always seemed to miss your Bday, Stu. So Happy Bday this year, bro. We had some legendary parties for you in the late 80’s/early 90’s. Hope your still dancing with the angels, My man. Love you. Mark
his Life

In the fateful year of 1960, rumbles of the turbulent decade to come crackled in the air like thunder before a lightning strike. John F Kennedy announces his run for president of the United States, oral contraceptives becomes available to the public and Stuart Rudolph Van Der Biesen draws his first breath. Born on July 13 at Wiesbaden Airbase to Wilhelmina and Rudolph Van Der Biesen, a young soldier and his wife stationed in Erbeinheim, West Germany, Stuart bore the hopes of parents who grew up during the war. Rudy and Wilma fell in love in a Europe still recovering from World War II and young Stuart would be the beginning of their bright future.

     Rudy, a Dutch soldier whose family lost their Jakarta home when the Japanese invaded Indonesia, spent time in an internment camp, enduring unspeakable conditions. Wilma suffered her own hardship in England, losing her father at the age of 12 but winning a scholarship with the Royal Academy of Ballet the same year. Wilma went on to become a professional dancer where Rudy spotted her in one of her performances and he pursued her until she became his bride.

 Not long after Stuart’s birth, the couple immigrated to the United States where Rudy moved up through the ranks of the United States Airforce. The small family lived in Phoenix, Norfolk, Virginia where brother Russ was born, before finally settling in San Rafael, California during the mid 1960’s. Wilma's brother, Stuart Fleming, and her son's namesake, joined them for a time, later bringing his bride Jan to settle in the US. Uncle Stu, who little boy Stu dubbed Uncle Man, and Auntie Jan became a strong support system for the two boys over the years.

Stu often referred to his childhood as idyllic. Their home on San Marino Drive overlooking the San Francisco bay was the setting of many stories centering on the brothers’ antics and outwitting the expectations of their more traditional European parents. Despite being the neighborhood motorcycle riding bad boy, Stu managed to become an Eagle Scout. His brother Russ told stories of hearing police sirens ringing through the neighborhood and waiting for his brother to roar in on his motorcycle just before he quickly shut the garage door.  

   Though born overseas, becoming a citizen when he was 8 years old, Stu was a California outdoorsman. He loved the ocean and spent endless hours watching sunsets, never finding the daily event commonplace.  He unapologetically loved women, music, motorcycles, and muscle cars, not always in that order.

     He moved to San Diego with his family after high school and embraced the Southern California lifestyle immediately. His pride and joy was a 1966 Chevy Malibu Convertible that he cruised the coast in whenever possible. A stray matted terrier mix he later named Rugger Boy completed his posse.

His devil may care attitude lasted until March 25, 1990, when a leisurely afternoon motor cycle drive through a residential neighborhood to meet his girlfriend for lunch ended in an accident that altered the course of his life. A driver running a stop sign collided with Stu resulting in a C5/C6 spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed for the rest of his life. He spent his 30th birthday in the hospital fighting for his life, unable to leave the hospital for a hundred days. 

His mother, brother, Uncle Stu, along with numerous friends, visited him every day, supporting him through an agonizing journey and an enormous adjustment. His family even managed to sneak in the family pet (Rugger Boy) to lift his spirits. After leaving the hospital, Stu's battle was far from over. His Aunt Jan kept him fed with healthy meals prepared every week. The empty containers would be delivered back to her in Temecula by Uncle Stu only to be filled again, a timely process that forced sacrifices from their young children as well as themselves.

Back in the UK, the Fleming clan also did their part to support Stu's recovery. Ella, his elderly grandmother made the trip from the UK close to biannually, traveling well into her 90's to visit her transplanted children and grandchildren. Young Stu had a way of teasing his Nan with his imitation of her thick Scottish burr, and on occasion was rewarded with one of her rare smiles. Russ Fleming, his uncle, purchased a time-share on the beach to be able to spend summers with his sister and nephews, a convert to the SoCal lifestyle. Sadly, Russ passed away before completing his dream of his coastal home away from home. His sister, Wilma, followed in the same month. The blow compounded by the loss of his beloved Aunt Jan the following year. The blow to their close knit family, made closer by Stu's injury, shook the remaining members. 

But through it all, Stu never lost the mischievous sparkle in his eye or his love of beautiful things in a challenging world. He never stopped having a favorite song that he'd blast on his way to Tamarack beach where he'd call the numerous ones he loved. His big heart was well known.

The year after Stu's injury, he travelled to Hawaii with his little brother and went scuba diving. Stu relearned to drive and had his own carpet store, Ogden Flooring, with his partner and long-time best friend, John Donodio. Through all of Stu’s struggles, he was never too busy to listen to a friend. He loved to drive to the beach in his van, or even better, have a friend drive him in his beloved Malibu. His courage to deal with his everyday struggles was an inspiration to everyone who knew him. His death came almost as suddenly as his accident when he finally succumbed to complications of his chronic injury.

      After he was gone, his brother had a dream of riding in Stu’s Malibu but this time Stu was in the driver seat. He asked Stu how his transition went. He said, “Easy.” Though we will all miss his larger than life spirit, it is important to recognize that he is alas "Free" to Cruise his 66 Malibu on his terms. He’s survived by his brother, Russell Van Der Biesen, his sister-in-law, Cheryl Howe, his uncle, Stuart Fleming, his cousins Melissa Haid, Kristen Dobrovolny, James Fleming and Justin Fleming, and so many amazing friends.

Recent stories

How we met....

Shared by Mark Bostwick on August 31, 2021
Mustard Man here. Got that nickname after I spilled a whole pile of yellow mustard all over Stu's brand new beige living room carpet 1 day after he came home from 100 days in the hospital after his accident. He literally almost got out of his chair and killed me.

I had moved to CA in 1986 and had broken up with an old girlfriend who followed me out from Florida. I was still kind of seeing her when she started dating Stu after she moved into an apartment across the alley from him. We hated each other! I wore a suit and tie to work so I was "that asshole suit" and he was "that asshole carpet guy." One Valentines, I had invited her out to dinner and showed up at her house with a nice bottle of wine. Stuie arrived about the same time with a bottle of wine and we started screaming at each other in front of her house. Now, Stu was a friggin' STUD, so I pretty much knew I was gonna get my ass kicked but my pride was at stake. Just before we came to blows, my old girlfriend's roommate came running out of the house yelling at us not to fight because her roommate had blown both of us off and went to LA to spend Valentines with ANOTHER guy! LOL Well...we just looked at each other, sat down on her stairs, drank those two bottles of wine and got stinkin' drunk. That was it...we were best buds from then on. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Oh man...I miss you, Stu. You were one of a kind, my brother. Keep dancing with the angels, Stuie. Love you, brother. Mustard Man