When Yap’s wife died (1934 – 2022) she said: “You have to find a mother for the children” | Utrecht

From the base to the shovelThe loyal Zeistenaar Jaap Bouterse was an introverted man, but because of his warm appearance he always felt close.

Suddenly tears came. Jaap Potters was standing with his youngest son in Cumberland Cemetery, his hometown of Zeeland, when feelings overwhelmed him. This was the case every now and then. Talk a little about his feelings. Sometimes it was very difficult. It was 2013, more than 35 years after his wife’s death.

Jani had cancer. short illness. They had just returned from Germany with their family of children, where they are enjoying a good life. Jaap was stationed there from the Royal Dutch Air Force and was very active in the community. For his services as a major, later also at Zeist, he was awarded a Royal Medal. Jaap and Jani were ready to start a new life in the Netherlands when the bad news arrived. Jab’s sons were six, twelve, and fourteen years old.

in From cradle to grave We tell the story behind a family letter. Today’s life story: yap potters (1934 – 2022).

On her deathbed, Janie said to Gap, “You have to find a mother for the children.”

personal ad

Despite his loyalty, he placed a personal ad in Centraal Weekblad, the largest media magazine in the ecclesiastical Netherlands. A widower (42 years old) looking for a loyal woman with good general development to start a happy family again. There was a reaction from Janneke van de Weg, a nurse at Pronovo Hospital in The Hague. When they met, they knew: God has brought us together. “What a reliable guy,” Janneke thinks. He is dressed in uniform, with a strong and friendly appearance.

Jaap inherited his parents’ home in Cumberland, Zeeland, and would often stay there. © family photo

People all over Yap thought it was weird to get married again in a year. But Yap was not sensitive to what the outside world thought. What is the right time for a new love? What worried him the most was the cause of Janie’s death at a young age. His faith in God was damaged, leaving him with many questions. He solved the problem himself. Life could not be perfect and this did not affect his faith.

warm family

Janneke took it with her. After a while, when everyone got used to each other, a warm family arose. Although he was a man of few words, he showed his love for Janek with little interest. Big kiss in the morning and evening, fixed table daily. Or he told her to buy flowers and not worry about money.

Although he expressed quite a bit of emotion, he definitely did express his opinion. Especially at the political level and not always tactical. He told his mother-in-law that the actions of the police in Indonesia were a dark page in Dutch history, while his father-in-law was an army chaplain in Indonesia during that time. When he found something, he didn’t turn around. Since his youth he has been a member of the CDA (First ARP), but canceled his membership two years ago because he felt the party was denying its social principles.

No more going to church

Jaap did not always understand everything that was happening around him. He found divorce difficult to bear, especially when it came to children. However, he will continue to offer his support to anyone close to him. He found it difficult, but had to accept that his children chose not to go to church after the age of eighteen.

The fact that he could no longer go to the Swiss mountains at such a late age was a huge blow.
The fact that he could no longer go to the Swiss mountains at such a late age was a huge blow. © family photo

Over the years, he has become more open. It was nice to see him take his grandchildren to his knees and give him his full attention. Also enjoy Zealand, its original home. As if he came home. After his mother’s death, he inherited his birth house and used it as a vacation home. He sold it five years ago, because his physical condition deteriorated due to heart and kidney problems, among other things.

hard to go back

It was a severe blow that he could not take up hobbies such as cooking, driving and going to the Swiss mountains, either less or no longer. Yap’s condition deteriorated faster when his son Kis died at the end of last year. But no matter how much he suffered, he did not complain.

For Janneke, in addition to the great loss of her husband, there is also solace. She was hoping and praying that she would live longer than Yap. She became a widower again, and the accompanying conflict with his feelings, was something she didn’t really want to do to.

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