Monday, September 27, 2021


Cornelia ‘Corry’ VandenDolder


Cornelia “Corry” VandenDolder, 101, passed away June 8, at Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, North Carolina, with her children by her side.

Born in 1920 in the Netherlands, Corry was a member of the Greatest Generation, having survived both the Great Depression and World War II. Her hometown of Venlo was invaded and occupied during the war. Corry dodged bombs and bullets, experienced hunger, and helped her family to survive by walking miles in search of food. Her then beau and future husband, Jan, worked with the Dutch Resistance. From Jan, who listened to the BBC on a hidden radio, and from the newspaper office where she worked, Corry learned the latest news on the Allied war effort and relayed that information to family and friends. She kept a journal during the last six months of the war, which was donated to the Venlo archives and was published in 2017 in the book Vlucht Naar Tegelen (Flight to Tegelen).

In 1948, Corry and Jan immigrated to the United States and settled in New Jersey, where all six of their children were born. Supporting her husband’s career as a chemist, Corry moved her family 12 years later to Illinois and 12 years after that to Connecticut, where she lived for more than 40 years. After being widowed for seven years, she moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina in 2012 to live with her daughter and son-in-law.

Corry served as chairman of the Altar Committee for many years at the Catholic church she attended in Illinois. She won several trophies as a bowling champion on her senior citizens team in Connecticut. She enjoyed gardening, playing cards, going to the beach, and taking adventurous camping trips with her family, the memories of which her children cherish to this day.

Corry was devoted to her family and Catholic faith, was loved and admired by many, inspired others on a daily basis, and was known for her beautiful smile, kind eyes, youthful laugh, and sense of humor. She always treated others in a way that made them feel respected and appreciated.

Corry was preceded in death by Jan, her beloved husband of 57 years; her siblings; her parents; and one daughter-in-law. She is survived by her six children, William (late wife Joyce) of Fresno, California, Paul (Cheryl) of Mundelein, Illinois, Richard (Carolyn) of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Evelyn (William Erickson) of Hendersonville, North Carolina, Ronald (Linda) of Sunderland, Massachusetts, and Teresa of Madison. She is also survived by 8 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Corry’s favorite charities, Catholic Relief Services and Doctors Without Borders.

Per church policy, face masks are optional for those who are vaccinated against COVID, but unvaccinated individuals should wear masks. Visitation will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. Friday, June 25, at the Guilford Funeral Home, 115 Church Street, Guilford. A Catholic Mass will follow at 11 a.m. at St. Margaret Church, 24 Academy Street, Madison. Burial will follow in West Cemetery, Boston Post Road, Madison.

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