Teuntje Adriana Houtriet Finberg died Thursday, January 28, 2010 at Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter.
She died as she lived, surrounded by family. Adriana was born on February 19, 1921 in Arnhem Holland to Pieter and Sjaan Houtriet. She was the first of five children, followed by Gerrit, Geertje, Sjaan, and Pieter.
She will be remembered by her children, Sheri and Wyndel Watson and John Braswell all of Wilmington, grandchildren Mark Watson and Kat, Lisa Watson Amato and Pete, Kathy Watson Conner, Amy Watson Croom and Mac, and Jade Braswell, great-grandchildren Jason Amato, Mark Watson, Jr., Benjamin and Caleb Conner, Trey, Andrew, Jac, and Camden Croom, and Kristen and Emma Doyle. Also surviving are her sister, Geertje Onstein of Brockville, Canada, her brother, Pieter Houtriet of Arnhem, Holland, Renee’ Braswell, Kay Watson and numerous nieces and nephews in Wilmington, Canada, and Holland.
At the age 13, she traveled alone to America aboard the SS Vollendam to finish her education. She graduated from New Hanover High School in 1939. She married Hyatt Braswell later that year. Although they divorced, they remained friends throughout the years. In 1970, she married Louis Finberg.
Adriana was most proud of her family. Her life centered around all of her children. She sang the Dutch lullaby, “Slaap Kinje Slaap” and told childhood stories from Holland to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her family will long remember, “Ik hou van jou, lieve schat” or “I love you, my little sweetheart”. Affectionately known as “Memommy”, she became everyone’s “Memommy” that she knew. Remaining proud of her Dutch heritage, she was not stubborn, but had “Dutch determination”. She lived the last nine years at the Woods at Holly Tree as an active participant in their many plays, productions, and bingo. At the Woods, she developed close relationships and was known for welcoming newcomers. She will be remembered for singing “Stille Nacht” or Silent NIght in Dutch every year at Christmas. Adriana sang “Stille Nacht” one last time this past Christmas at the Woods.
In honoring her wishes, there will be a celebration of her birth and life on February 20th at 4:00p.m. at the Woods at Holly Tree, the day after her 89th birthday. Please wear pink, purple, or bright colors in her memory. The family will inter her ashes this spring on the Amato’s farm in Clover, S.C. in a tulip garden planted in her memory.
Her love of animals was close behind her love of family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your local humane society.
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Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099