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Ali "Visser" Laan

March 15th, 2013

Alida Visser Laan, 80, of Caldwell passed away at a Weiser care center on March 15, 2013. A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 22, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church, 14th Avenue and Dearborn in Caldwell. Ali was born on May 14, 1932 in Berkhout, Holland to Pieter Visser and Catharina Elisabeth Punt Visser. She was the oldest of five children and the only daughter. Ali attended school in Berkhout and was active in plays, gymnastics and also played accordion with other young musicians. She later attended a home economics school in Hoorn, Holland, graduating with a degree in Tailoring and Fine Needle Arts. She loved to sew, sewing most of her clothes and her daughters, including their wedding dresses. On her 8th birthday in 1940, Holland capitulated to Nazi Germany and the occupation begun. A young Dutch man, named Jaap, had been conscripted into the German Army. Her family showed defiance to the Nazis, by hiding Jaap on their farm. When word would travel the German soldiers would be conducting house to house searches, Jaap would hide between the floorboards underneath their kitchen floor. Ali would be instructed to sit in the kitchen over the hiding place and peel potatoes while her mother would admonish her not to say a word while she spoke with the German soldiers at the door. At night, Jaap would sleep in a hole made in the haystack. On the occasional summer evening, Jaap, who truly became a part of the Visser Family, would get out his accordion and the whole family would sing along with Jaap in the barn. Her 4 brothers brought these old songs back to life when they sang for her at her 80th birthday celebration last Spring. Her best friend, Aaf, introduced her to a handsome young soccer player that had dreams of going to America. His name was Rein Laan and she always proclaimed he was the man for her. They were married on October 8, 1953 in Berkhout, Holland. They immigrated to the United States in March 1954, sailing from Rotterdam to New York City. They were on the boat for 10 days and Ali was seasick the entire time. Upon arrival in the New York City’s harbor, she told Rein she would never step foot on a boat again and she remained true to her word. They boarded the Portland Rose at Grand Central Station and made the long journey across the United States to Nyssa, Oregon, joining Rein’s brother, Klaas Laan and his family. They settled in Adrian, Oregon and had a small dairy farm. Ali and Rein learned the English language by listening to their radio and reading their nieces’ school books. Rein and Ali started their family while in Adrian. Their oldest daughter, Katie, was born, soon followed by their daughter, Marianne and much to their surprise, twin boys named Piet and Ray. Their family was complete. In 1965, they moved from Adrian to Parma and rented a dairy farm on Stockton Road. Ali was a true partner to Rein in the dairy operation and worked very hard, feeding calves morning and night, while keeping a beautiful home and being a devoted mother to her four children. In 1966, they became American citizens. They then sponsored Ali’s brother, Case Visser and his family, so they too could immigrate to America. In 1974, Ali and Rein pulled up stakes once again and purchased a dairy farm in the Purple Sage area of Caldwell. Ali would always have the coffee pot on for neighbors and friends. During this time, Ali decided to explore the job market. Real estate was always of interest to her, so Ali made the decision she would begin studying for her Real Estate license. She discovered she would first need to obtain her GED. She was very persistent in her pursuit and successfully earned her real estate license. She enjoyed her career as a Realtor and worked for Karn Realty in Caldwell for 17 years. Ali was very active in several quilting and painting clubs and organizations, including Beta Sigma Phi, Soroptimists, and the Embroidery Guild of America. She was a certified judge for Home Arts and judged at the Canyon County Fair and the Western Idaho State Fair. She enjoyed sewing, embroidery, quilting, oil painting and folk art painting. She was also an avid gardener and took great pride in showing her beautiful flowers. She loved going to yard sales and antiquing. She loved getting a good deal and the “thrill of the hunt”. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Rein “Ray” Laan and a granddaughter, Emily Petersen. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in law, Catharina “Katie” & Dennis Parry of Nampa; Marianne & Val Petersen of Boise; her sons & daughters-in-law, Piet & Mary Laan of Middleton & Ray & Karma Laan of Weiser. Her grandchildren, David & Kellie Parry of Dallas, Oregon; Samuel Parry of Boise; Dane & Alex Petersen of Boise; Drew, Dillon & Madeline Laan of Middleton; & Maggi & Rein Laan of Weiser & great-grandchildren, Grace & Ethan Parry of Dallas, Oregon; her brothers, Hans, Nan, & Piet Visser of Holland & Cees (Case) Visser of Notus. Rust zacht onze lieve zuster, moeder en Oma. Service Information

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