GULF STREAM — Betty Brown Van der Wolk, 89, of Gulf Stream and Osterville, Massachusetts, died Aug. 23 in Boynton Beach.
Betty Brown was born on July 18, 1930, in Fort Worth, Texas, where she spent her early life and later graduated from Texas Christian University. She was married in 1958 and had her first child a year later. A product of the Depression era and her Texan roots, Mrs. Van der Wolk lived with strength, determination and self-reliance.
Mrs. Van der Wolk enjoyed taking morning walks and was recognized for her long stride. She was a voracious reader of The New York Times, commonly reaching for the Style section first and sharing articles of interest with family members. An avid entertainer, she orchestrated gatherings of all sorts, from the lavish dinner dance to luncheons by air or by sea.
Mrs. Van der Wolk possessed a mix of wit, grace and glamour — always elegantly dressed — and drew more than her fair share of attention when she entered a room.
Mrs. Van der Wolk will also be remembered for her quiet gestures of kindness. A dedicated wife and lovingly referred to as “Betts” by her husband, she and Jeff could often be found dining at one of the clubs with which they had affiliations, including The Gulf Stream Bath and Tennis Club, The Wianno Club, and The Beach Club of Centerville, Massachusetts. She had also been a longstanding member of The Hyannis Yacht Club, The Gulf Stream Golf Club, and Society of the Four Arts.
Usually dining out and always the last to leave, Mrs. Van der Wolk liked to joke that she didn’t know where the kitchen was located in her house.
While Mrs. Van der Wolk will be sorely missed by many, all are reassured as she joins her husband for the last and final stop on what they referred to as “The Good Life Express.”
She is survived by her daughter, Hope Powell Van der Wolk of Santa Fe, New Mexico, her sons, Philip Jefferson Van der Wolk of Santa Fe and Peter Walton Van der Wolk of Richmond, Virginia, as well as seven grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her mother, Minnie Mae Brown, her father, Lawrence Walton Brown, her sister, Lucille Brown Williams, and her husband, Jefferson Feigl Van der Wolk, as well as by many of her dear friends.
The family will have a private burial in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, on Sept. 14. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Unity Church of Delray Beach, 101 NW 22nd St., Delray Beach, FL 33444.
Obituary submitted by the family