Our beloved mother, and friend to so many, Ineke VanWerkhoven, 91, passed away October 3, 2020. She was a professional watercolor artist, a member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, and the Berks Art Alliance. She is well known in Berks County and beyond for her vibrant watercolors.
Born July 26, 1929 as Eugenie Adrienne Fréderique Guljé in Uitgeest, the Netherlands, Ineke lived through five years of German occupation and near-starvation in World War II; this experience left her with a deep appreciation of life and for justice, and formed the basis of her passionate political views.
She left the Netherlands with her husband William, first for Canada, then to the United States in 1956, to Wisconsin and then Michigan, and settled in Berks County in 1974.
A blythe spirit, Ineke was well-known for her infectious joy, her welcoming embrace, her warmth and non-judgmental compassion. She tried to make the best of any situation, and extended her Dutch hospitality to all she met. With an ability to laugh at herself and a gift for telling funny stories, she was welcome at any occasion.
She was a professional watercolor artist, a member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, and the Berks Art Alliance. She is well known in Berks County and beyond for her vibrant watercolors. Ineke has participated in many juried art expositions, showings and has received the Coggins award in 2016. The Yocum Institute for the Arts has created an award in her name, The Ineke VanWerkhoven Award for Excellence in Watercolor. Her elegance and grace will continually be with us in her legacy of watercolor paintings which reside in many homes, offices, and galleries not only in Berks county, but across the state, country and even the world.
Surviving are her children: Miriam VanWerkhoven of Philadelphia; Philip VanWerkhoven of Frederick, Maryland; and Christine Sleppy of Reading; as well as her grandchildren, Cory, Derek, Katrina and Colin; and her sisters Marijke Elich and Marie Pauline Haak. She was preceded in death by her sister, Elisabet VanHovell.
A “Celebration of life” for Ineke will be held in the future once the current heath crisis is resolved.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to any of her favorite charities: Doctors without Borders; Heifer International; Amnesty International.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ineke (Gulje) VanWerkhoven, please visit our floral store.