Wim Mesman passed away on February 3rd, 2023.
MESMAN—Wim Mesman passed away on February 3rd, 2023 after a declining struggle with kidney failure. He led an adventurous life having lived on three continents. He was born in the city of Makassar on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. He was the 5th child born and the first boy born to the historic family of Emelia Elferina Eugenie Frederik and Willem Jacob Mesman. His brother Arthur was born two years later.
His childhood was a life of discovery of nature especially when staying at the family's fish plantation north of Makassar in Maros. His love of nature stayed with him his whole life. It was an idyllic life until suddenly the Japanese occupied the house in Makassar and the Plantation. His father was sent to a prison camp where he died, but his mother and their children were allowed to stay in another house on the plantation so that his mother could run the plantation for the Japanese. She was a strong woman. He had a happy life there because the Japanese colonists wanted to learn and study the fish plantation.
After World War II, Wim and his brother Arthur were sent to Holland because Indonesia was declaring Independence from Holland and they were expelling anyone of Dutch Heritage. In Holland they lived in a boarding house for children with hardly any money except what was sent to the boarding house.
When Wim was old enough, he joined the Dutch army and managed to be selected to be a Commando and wore a Green Beret. He was determined to excel at being a Commando and was given many medals and certifications.
After the military he was trained to be a machinist which was a free education and he met his future wife, Betty Gerritsen. He had a chance to immigrate to the USA in 1962 where he traveled to the Bay Area of California. He had a job the day after he arrived. Betty joined him in 1963 and they married. They have two sons, Norman and Arthur, and they lived together for 30 years as Wim took more classes at Ohlone College.
They separated in the 1990's and Wim met Caroline. They were married in the fall of 1995 and Caroline has three children of her own. They lived in Fremont, CA until they retired and moved to Florence, Ore. in 2002.
Wim loved the beautiful Oregon Coast where they went fishing, crabbing, hunting for mushrooms and hiking. Norman already lived in Eugene where Arthur and his family moved also.
Betty and Peter Boyer followed by moving to Florence also. Betty and Caroline became good friends and their children became a blended family.
Wim is survived by his ex-wife Betty and their two sons, Norman and Arthur, his grandchildren Chesa, Hazel and Willem and two great- grandchildren, Evelyn and Ember.
He is also survived by Caroline and her children, Carrie (James) Jenkins, Brian Abascal and Laurie Abascal (Mike Gazzano) and their grandchildren, Jaleesa and Jessica Jenkins, and Luca Gazzano.
There will be a Celebration of Life on June 16th at 3 p.m. to be held at Florence Universal Unitarian Fellowship on the corner of Heceta Beach Road and Hwy 101. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Food Share or SOS (Siuslaw Outreach).