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Martha Van Surksum

November 30th, 0002 - February 4th, 2021

Obituary On Tuesday, February 4, 2021, Martha van Surksum passed away at the age of 84. The 14th of 20 children, she was born to Francesco (Frank) and Sofia (Fazzino) Giampapa, on June 3, 1936 in Englewood, CA. She was married to Heiman Maarten van Surksum on August 17, 1957 and divorced January 26, 1977. They raised one daughter, Sofia Diane van Surksum of Boulder, CO and two sons, Jerry van Surksum of Murrieta, CA and Robert (Bobby) van Surksum of Moreno Valley, CA. Early in life she worked as a seamstress in a factory, like her mother. After marriage she took up the role as homemaker and mother, as well as seamstress, and opened her own custom dressmaking shop specializing in bridal gowns. Martha had a passion for singing, sewing, and dancing. She would stay up late many nights to make sure the family had matching outfits to wear to church and special occasions. A remarkable woman. Self-taught, she learned to play the piano by ear and loved to play both at home and at church. Not only did she play, but she loves to sing and dance, you could often find her tapping her foot and singing along to her favorite gospel and country music. Later in life she even became a singer in a country western band. Her feisty Sicilian spirit gave her the determination needed to teach herself to read and write Dutch, to better correspond with her in-laws in Holland. She was always creating something unique, committed to her own style, and was never afraid to be herself or say what she thought (no matter what anyone around her thought). 2016 was the beginning of lots of first time experiences and adventures! Starting with her first mother/ daughter road trip, driving a farm truck back to Colorado for her granddaughter, which included picking up her first hitchhiker (sharing her birthday dinner with him and his dog!), first walk in the Colorado River, and concluded with her first ever bath in a tub! The adventure didn't end there though! A Souther California native, she moved to Colorado in 2018 to be closer to her daughter and granddaughter. Then things really took off. Martha got to get up close with deer and elk in Estes for Mother's Day. She made her first snowball while watching in awe as it fell around her. Hiking in the Great Sand Dunes. Riding in a little red convertible with the breeze blowing through her hair, on her way to her granddaughter's farm. Falling in love with the horses, dogs, and especially the little goats! Going to Italy for her 82nd birthday! Where she got to visit the hometowns of her parents, hike Mt. Etna, enjoy real Gelato after walking for hours, and blending with the locals�. including getting hit on! As a devoted Christian of strong conviction, she loved Jesus and God. She would frequently call the prayer hotline to rally support for others in need. Two nights before she passed away at home, her last words were "Night night Martha, night night." Though she was determined to stick around until she heard the words "Hi Martha, my name is Rosemary, I am a chaplain." before taking her last breath. Over the past 2 years, while participating in the PACE program, she earned the title of "Dancing Queen" as she refused to stop dancing from the first note to the last. She always brought a smile to the faces of the other participants and caregivers. In keeping with her dancing spirit, she was dressed in her dancing clothes and ushered out listening to Johnny Cash. Dancing her way up to heaven. Martha was preceded in death by her parents and 18 siblings. She is survived by her three children, five grandchildren; Sofia, Jerry (wife Rocio), and Bobby. 5 Grandchildren; Sofia's daughter, Kristine Hospodar; Jerry's Daughter, Cory May and Son Ryan; Bobby's Sons, Jacob, Tyler Nelson and three great-grand children, one sister and a multitude of nieces and nephews. Services You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Martha Van Surksum

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