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Leonardus Gijsbert Vermeulen

Leonardus Gijsbert Vermeulen

Leonardus (Leonard) Gijsbert Vermeulen, born May 13, 1918, passed away peacefully on September 30, 2006, at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Bogor, Dutch East Indies, Leonardus served in the Dutch Royal Army. While serving in the Dutch Royal Army during WWII, he was captured and became a POW for — years. Up until the time of his death, he was one of the oldest living survivors of the Bataan Death March.

Retiring in 1956, as a Sergeant-Major, he was awarded the Silver Cross (Medal of Honor), as well as many others.

In February of 1957, Leonardus moved his wife and five daughters from the Netherlands to become one of the first immigrant Dutch families to establish residency in the Rogue Valley under the sponsorship of the Medford Methodist Church Goodwill Program.

Throughout his life in the Rogue Valley, Leonardus worked at Boise Cascade, retiring in 1975. A talented architect and craftsman, his many accomplishments included renovating and remodeling homes, and building landscaped ponds. His other hobbies included raising tropical fish, painting with oils and watercolors, camping, and many trips to the Ocean with his beloved wife of 25 years, Diana, who preceded him in death in December of 2003.

Surviving are his five daughters, Jeannette Fry, of Tigard, Ore., Eugenie Holt, of Bellevue, Wash., Sonja Bell, of Milwaukie, Ore., Charlotte Vermeulen, of Elk Grove, Calif., and Leonie Netherland, of Medford, Ore., and step-daughter Margaret Louise Fletcher, of Corvallis, Ore. Surviving siblings include a brother, Jacob; and sisters, Truus, Coba, and Lena, all of the Netherlands. Additional survivors include 17 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandson.

Memorial services will be held at Ascension Lutheran Church, 2617 Barnett Road, Medford, Oregon, on Saturday October 7, 2006, at 10:00 a.m., with Pastor David Rapp, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Ascension Lutheran Church or charity of your choice in his honor.

Leonardus Gijsbert Vermeulen