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Marianne Walvoord

Marianne Walvoord
b: 31 OCT 1928
d: 09 AUG 2002
Biography
A Biography

Marianne Sundberg ("Mary" to many of her family and friends), daughterof Chester ("Chet") and Ann Walvoord and sister of John ("Jack")Walvoord of Pella, Iowa; Mark Walvoord of Kalamazoo, Michigan; and TomWalvoord of Plymouth, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully Friday, August9th, 2002 at around 12:40 pm in Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara at age73 after a 5-year bout with melanoma (skin cancer). Marianne issurvived by her husband Art Sundberg in Santa Barbara, California; sonPaul in Urbana, Illinois; and daughter Ann Sundberg-Johnston in SanDiego.

She was born in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin on October 31, 1928 and wasraised in a very devout and musical (Dutch) Reformed home, where shelearned to love God and develop a life-long interest in hymnody andmissions. She graduated from the local public high school in 1946, afeat neither of her parents had accomplished. An exceptional student,she chose to go on further still and received a scholarship from theUniversity of Wisconsin but chose instead to attend a Reformed Churchdenominational institution instead, Central College in Pella, Iowa(Class of '50) to prepare for a missionary career. At Central, sheexcelled in many extracurricular activities including the debatingletter society, women’s chorale, biology club, and theatre, playingMama in the 1949 production of "I Remember Mama". But her heart wasin her Bible study and mission groups.

She was determined to get the best quality nursing training she couldand was accepted at all three of her nursing program choices:Columbia, Yale, and Johns Hopkins, ultimately choosing the latter.She received her RN from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in1952. A devout Christian since high school, she had dedicated hercareer - and marital status - to God as a missionary nurse with theArabian Mission (of the Reformed Church), leaving New York harbor on atramp steamer in August 1952 to serve first on the island of PersianGulf island of Bahrain, then in Muscat, Oman (the first RN in thatnation's history) from 1954 until 1955. That year she married Ernest("Art") Sundberg, a young auditor with Aramco (the Arabian-AmericanOil Company) that she had met through mutual friends on a furlough inLebanon. She was that rare American who actually learned to speak,read and write another language - in her case, Arabic - and developedlife-long friendships with some of the Gulf Arab women she met andworked with.

During 22 very happy years in Dhahran, Sa'udi Arabia as an Aramcowife, she stayed true both to her professional roots, volunteering asan Arabic-speaking nurse with the Arab women’s hospital in Dhahran,and to her spiritual roots, participating actively in the life of theDhahran Protestant Fellowship, where she was a jack-of-all-trades:organist, choir member, and Sunday School teacher. She bore and raisedtwo children there, son Paul and daughter Ann, and developed tight,family-like ties with scores of other expatriate Aramcons living inArabia - something only other Aramcons can ever truly appreciate.

In 1972-73, she took a year out and set up a household in the Stateswith Paul and Ann when Paul went away to high school in Pella, Iowa.There she reconnected with the Dutch immigrant community and churchwhere she had spent her college years, then headed back to Hopkins fora nursing refresher course before returning to her life in Aramco.

Unexpectedly later in life, she had the privilege of reconnecting withher Dutch roots during an idyllic 6-year stint with Aramco in theHague, Netherlands 1977-83, where Art was transferred. There she - asalways - was an active church member, this time with the AmericanProtestant Church of the Hague, where she sang in the choir andparticipated in the greater life of that church. Again, many strongfriendships were made.

In 1983, she and Art retired to Woodland Hills in the Los Angelesarea, where Art had grown up. As always, she dived in and becameactive in the Bel Air Presbyterian Church, serving as a teacher andmentor to many in the Bel Air Women’s group.

After 15 years in Woodland Hills, Marianne and Art moved to theSamarkand Retirement Community in Santa Barbara in 1998. Again, atage 70, she accepted the challenge of becoming part of a new communityand church - El Montecito Presbyterian Church ("Elmo") - where sheloved singing with the close-knit choir and where she had four goodyears to develop friendships with so many.

The same year as the move to Santa Barbara, Marianne was diagnosedwith malignant melanoma, and she enrolled in an experimental vaccinestudy at the John Wayne Cancer Center at St. John’s Hospital in SantaMonica. She was in remission for several years until scans in late2001 showed that the tumors had returned. After two heartbreakinglyfutile attempts at chemotherapy, she was removed from treatment in Mayof 2002. In her final six months, many at Elmo Presbyterian with whomshe had formed relationships came by frequently to minister to her,and son Paul took a leave of absence from his graduate studies inIllinois to spend time with her. When, in her last week, themelanoma finally began to invade the brain, her suffering wasblessedly brief, and she died peacefully, calmed by sedatives, withfriends or family at her bedside every moment.

A celebratory, richly musical service of thanksgiving for her life washeld at El Montecito Presbyterian Church, Santa Barbara on August 17at 11:00 am with the enthusiastic participation of her Elmochoirmates. The burial service took place later on August 19 atForest Lawn Cemetery - Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles (just south ofBurbank off I-134, Forest Lawn exit).

If asked, I believe Mom would say she was first of all a disciple ofChrist, then wife, mother, friend, nurse, Bible teacher and spiritualmentor of women, musician, hymnologist.

Mom, we can hardly begin to imagine all the ways we will miss you!

(from her obituary in the Sheboygan County paper)
Facts
  • 31 OCT 1928 - Birth - ; Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
  • 19 AUG 2002 - Burial - ; Forest Lawn Cemetery - Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California
  • 09 AUG 2002 - Death - ; Santa Barbara, California, USA
  • AKA - Mary
Ancestors
   
John Bernard Walvoord
30 MAR 1869 - 22 APR 1955
 
 
Chester Walvoord
11 SEP 1903 - 04 APR 2001
  
  
  
Jennie Nyhof
07 SEP 1878 - 14 SEP 1956
 
Marianne Walvoord
31 OCT 1928 - 09 AUG 2002
  
 
  
?
 
 
Anna Nyenhuis
23 AUG 1905 - 15 DEC 1992
  
  
  
?
 
Family Group Sheet - Child
PARENT (M) Chester Walvoord
Birth11 SEP 1903Oostburg, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
Death04 APR 2001 Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
Marriage18 OCT 1927to Anna Nyenhuis at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
FatherJohn Bernard Walvoord
MotherJennie Nyhof
PARENT (F) Anna Nyenhuis
Birth23 AUG 1905Oostburg, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
Death15 DEC 1992 Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
Marriage18 OCT 1927to Chester Walvoord at Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
Father?
Mother?
CHILDREN
FMarianne Walvoord
Birth31 OCT 1928Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
Death09 AUG 2002Santa Barbara, California, USA
Marriage02 JUN 1955to Ernest Arthur Sundberg at Saudi Arabia
MLiving Walvoord
Birth
Death
Marriageto Living Wassennaar
MLiving Walvoord
Birth
Death
Marriageto Living Froh
MLiving Walvoord
Birth
Death
Marriageto Living Ramsey
Family Group Sheet - Spouse
PARENT (M) Ernest Arthur Sundberg
Birth13 APR 1922Los Angeles, California, USA
Death29 APR 2003
Marriage02 JUN 1955to Marianne Walvoord at Saudi Arabia
Father?
Mother?
PARENT (F) Marianne Walvoord
Birth31 OCT 1928Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA
Death09 AUG 2002 Santa Barbara, California, USA
Marriage02 JUN 1955to Ernest Arthur Sundberg at Saudi Arabia
FatherChester Walvoord
MotherAnna Nyenhuis
CHILDREN
MLiving Sundberg
Birth
Death
FLiving Sundberg
Birth
Death
Marriageto Living Johnston
Descendancy Chart
Marianne Walvoord b: 31 OCT 1928 d: 09 AUG 2002
Ernest Arthur Sundberg b: 13 APR 1922 d: 29 APR 2003
Updated: August 15, 2016 — 9:37 PM
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