Our beloved mother, Ada Elisabeth McCracken passed away on Sunday, May 23, 2010 at age 73 in her home in Estes Park, Colorado. She was surrounded by her family.
Ada was born on November 2, 1936 to Johann van Drunick and Talechiena Rensema in The Hague, Holland. She lived in the Netherlands as a registered nurse until 1959, when she moved to the United States. Ada spent the early years of her professional life as a registered nurse and the later part as a tumor registrar at the Air Force Academy Hospital. She also earned a degree in medical business administration. Throughout her career, Ada’s care and compassion in helping others was an ever-present part of the jobs to which she was so dedicated. Ada was celebrated by the patients she served and professionally honored by being awarded the Air Force Academy’s Civilian of the Year in 1996. After retiring in 1999, she worked locally in Estes Park at Outdoor World. While the venue changed, her work ethic and dedication to helping others remained consistent.
Ada lived her life with an enviable level of energy that she channeled into travel, experiencing the outdoors, concerts and theater, and, to the delight of all who knew her, she demonstrated an amazing ability to bake and cook. A strong swimmer, she swam in the North Sea (Holland) as a teen. Ada was also a talented dancer and won a bronze medal for a European tango contest. She was involved with theater troupes across the country and thoroughly enjoyed the symphony. Ada loved the Colorado mountains for its cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and biking. Other hobbies included knitting and playing the harp. Ada was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. But, above all, she enjoyed traveling with her children, seeing some of the most beautiful areas on this earth. She was known to carry an extra suitcase filled with snacks, wherever her travels led her.
Ada visited Estes Park annually beginning in 1979, and fulfilled her long-term dream of retiring to Estes in 1999, building a home and creating a respite for her family to share treasured memories, while living out her retirement for 14 wonderful years.
She is survived by five children; daughter Brenda and her husband, Steve; daughter Gloria and her husband Kent; daughter Suzanne and her fiancé Michael; daughter Diana; and son John, his wife Kelly and her granddaughter, Maya Elisabeth. Her sister, Marie Louise, as well as two nieces and three nephews also survive her .
Ada’s friends and loved ones are invited to celebrate her life at a memorial service at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 29, 2010 in the amphitheater at the foot of Estes Valley Memorial Gardens, 1672 Fish Hatchery Road in Estes Park. The memorial service will be preceded by a private, commitment ceremony for the immediate family.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ada McCracken Memorial Fund to honor Ada’s love of and dedication to preserving open space, in care of Allnutt Funeral Service, 1302 Graves Avenue, Estes Park, CO 80517.