Mandy Rosalie (Wynperle) Sarphatie, 89, of Allendale, MI, died peacefully on May 16. She was surrounded by her son and daughter and the wonderful loving staff of Green Acres of Alllendale.
Mandy was born in Sittard, Netherlands and was one of six siblings (two had passed early on) to Emanuel and Elsa (nee Silbernberg) Wynperle. Mandy and her family were entrenched in the Holocaust and were separated throughout the war hidden by selfless families who protected them. Due to the heroic efforts of Kees and Lieske Zwaans, Mandy’s mother, father and three siblings survived the war.
Mandy eventually immigrated to Canada and later moved to the United States. She loved both countries and was always grateful for the Canadian and American soldiers who liberated her family.
Growing up in The Netherlands, she was able to speak four languages: Dutch, English, German and French. It was her ability to to speak German that provided her safety during the War. Mandy loved animals - dogs and cats especially. She always said she identified with animals who were injured or less fortunate, probably because she could relate to feeling that way as a child.
Mandy loved classical music and opera and went to many concerts and symphonies in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. This love of classical music was passed onto her family.
Mandy had a great sense of humor, was witty and could always see the lighter side of things. She had an infectious laugh that when she got going, there were no sounds emitted - just the pure joy of laughing until tears were running down her cheeks.
Although she lived in many cities including Amstervleen, Toronto and Vancouver, she also loved the countryside. She especially loved barns and appreciated the quiet tranquility of farm life. Of course, the farm afforded her animals to appreciate.
The love of her life was Bernard Sarphatie. They had a beautiful, fulfilling and rich life - although only 13 years, they loved and lived greater than most people do in a lifetime.
In her working career, she worked for Universal Studios in The Netherlands as a secretary and ended her career working 17 years for Consumers Energy Plant as an executive secretary in Covert, MI. She excelled in her job and was proud of knowing what was happening with the nuclear plant.
One of her greatest highlights was meeting and talking with President Reagan two weeks before his attempted assassination. She met him in the Oval Office during her month-long trip around the United States with Lieske Van Kessel who was instrumental in saving her life.
Shall we talk about sports or politics? Both of these were loves in her life. You could catch her watching the Tour De France, golf, tennis, hockey or soccer. Mom loved the intrigue of politics. She tape recorded every news event on the Iraq war so her grandchildren would have the history on tape - before the internet, of course. Mandy said, if she could do her life again, she would have gone into politics.
Mandy spent the last four years of her life in the care and loving hands of the staff at Green Acres of Allendale. She adored the staff as did our family. The attention, devotion and exemplary care was a gift to all of us.
Mandy is survived by her daughter, Lorraine Medici, her son, John Evans and daughter-in-law, Marcia Evans. She was preceded in death by her late husband, Bernard Sarphatie, her parents, her sister Corrie Jochems and brother, Nathan Wynperle. She is survived by her sister, Rosalie Kiner and several nieces and nephews. She leaves her beloved grandchildren, Parker Evans, Michael-David Medici and (Lauren Medici), Macy (Evans) Dunn and (Josh Dunn), Benjamin Medici and many animals of Bethesda Farm. A private graveside service will be held with a reception following. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Ottawa County Humane Society.