NORMAN — Willem Jan Ebbink, 86, passed away Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, in Norman. Willem was born in Soekaboemi, Indonesia, on May 17, 1927, to Warji Marjane and Willem Jan Ebbink. He grew up with his parents and eight siblings, one of whom died in infancy.
He married Elisabeth Wessels-Beljaars on March 17, 1943. During World War II, he was captured and served time in a Japanese prison camp. Willem and Elisabeth had six children, eight grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. They remained married until Elisabeth passed away Nov. 18, 2008.
Willem, Elisabeth, and their four children, Joyce, Hedy, Grace and Theo, left Indonesia in 1958 and moved to the Netherlands. Their son, Bart, was born in Utrecht, Holland. In 1960, the family was sponsored to the United States by a Methodist church in Snohomish, Wash. The Ebbinks lived in Washington and later moved to California, where their son, Gerald, was born in Glendale, Calif. The family lived in Orange, Calif., for many years before moving to Norman.
Willem owned a photo studio and radio shop in Indonesia and later owned a television repair business in Orange, Slaughterville and Norman. Willem was dedicated to his family and loved spending time with them. He enjoyed photography, fishing and gardening; his gardens were always filled with vegetables and flowers, especially irises.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, four brothers and his wife, Elisabeth.
Survivors include his six children, Joyce, Hedy, Grace, Theo, Bart and Gerald; a sister in California; a brother and sister in the Netherlands; eight grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandchild.
Memorial contributions may be made to the local American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association.
Memorial services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at the Havenbrook Funeral Home chapel, 3401 N. Havenbrook St. in Norman.
Arrangements for Willem and his family were placed in the care of the Vice family at Havenbrook Funeral Home in Norman.
Online condolences may be shared at HavenbrookFuneralHome.com.
Norman Transcript, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014
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