Henriette “Yedda” Jockin, 89, passed away peacefully among family and the dedicated staff at Whispering Pines Assisted Living Facility in Plover, Wisconsin, on November 5, 2019.
Yedda was born on July 3, 1930, to Willem and Gerria Krijgers-Janzen in the Netherlands. She was an adolescent during WWII, as the German military occupied her country and her home.
She learned early on to make the best out of even the worst situations. At age 13, she convinced one of these young German soldiers, who also happened to be a concert pianist, to teach her to play the piano. She continued to play until her dying days, often by memory or musical ear. The Canadian military forces liberated her hometown of Aalten in 1945. She recalled SPAM being thrown from the army tanks as they rolled through, saying that nothing has ever tasted better.
Yedda completed her studies in the Netherlands, receiving her master’s degree in social work. However, she started a career for the Dutch government working abroad and was stationed in Dutch Embassies in the Middle East, primarily Istanbul, Turkey.
She loved to travel and met her husband, Hubert “Huib” Jockin, who was also from the Netherlands, during a ski weekend in Albach, Austria. They kept in letter contact for two years before she received a telegram in the Middle East with a marriage proposal and request to move to the United States.
They settled in Buffalo, New York where they lived for over 45 years. She relocated to Wisconsin one year ago to be close to family.
Yedda and Huib were married 54 years before Hubert’s passing and raised five children, Victor, Yvette, Eric, Mark, and Michelle.
She was an exceptional wife and loving mother, making family her top priority. She worked part-time as a real estate broker and continued her service to the Dutch Government. She served as the Honorary Consul of the Netherlands for New York State for over 15 years. She was one of only two women in the United States that held this position.
She was later knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands for her lifelong service to the Dutch government and became a member of the Royal House of Orange.
The same Canadian men who liberated her hometown in 1945, presented her with this medal of honor in 1985 in Buffalo, NY. You may, therefore, refer to her as Lady Henriette.
Most importantly, Yedda had a zest for life that was inspiring. She loved adventure, world travel, the natural world and just being a goofball. She was a strong, sophisticated, highly educated woman who loved to dress her best and enjoy the finer things in life; but also loved a good Whopper and a beer. She had a heart of gold with eternal optimism.
Even in her decline, she took each loss in stride and enjoyed the life that remained; mostly by spending time with her family, including her 13 grandchildren. There was not a day that went by that she didn’t find something to smile about, no matter how rough life could be. There is a lesson there for all of us. She will be greatly missed.
A celebration of life will take place in Buffalo, NY at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please send any contribution to Alzheimer’s Association in her honor. The Mid-Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting the family.
For online condolences, please visit www.HonorOne.com.