Penny van der Meer of Tracy went home to her Lord on April 21 after a courageous 4-year battle with brain cancer. Born in 1950 in Berkeley as Penny Geras, she spent her young life in Walnut Creek, San Francisco, and Daly City where she graduated from Westmoor High School. She lived in various places in the Bay Area until 1979 when she and her husband Steven Willson and their two young children Jeremy and Jessica moved to Tracy. After a few years as a stay at home mom, Penny went back to school, first at Delta College and later at Cal State Hayward, now known as Cal State East Bay to get a degree in accounting which she did in 1991. In 1993 she started her own tax preparation and accounting firm called Willson and Company. In 1994 she began dating a longtime friend, Frans van der Meer who she ultimately married in 2000. That also meant adding four children aged 19-25 to her family, who she loved like her own. As grandchildren began arriving in 2006 Penny took on an additional role as "Oma" and proceeded to put even more time and effort into that. As the family grew, Penny decided to remodel the dining room so that family gatherings could accommodate up to 18 people. Many trips to Tahoe, almost yearly, and even to the Netherlands with the whole family were enjoyed over the years.
Penny was a strong believer in community service. She served on the Lammersville School Board, the Tracy Youth Soccer Board, the Hospital Foundation Board, and was a longtime member of the Tracy Sunrise Rotary, where she also served as president for a year. She served as a board member and president of the California Society of Enrolled Agents and was at different times involved with various other community organizations. Penny was a longtime member of Journey Christian Church in Tracy where she led and participated in several different bible study groups.
Penny is survived by her husband Frans, her son Jeremy Willson and daughter Jessica Krablin of Tracy, her son Benjamin and his wife Laura van der Meer of Sacramento, son Martin van der Meer of Sacramento, son Frans van der Meer II of Fremont, and daughter Corina Ketchum and her husband Steven Ketchum of Atascadero, her grandchildren Simon, Olivia, and Isaac Krablin, Zachary Ketchum, and Anneke van der Meer. She is also survived by her sister Nadya and her husband Don Carson of Eugene, Oregon.
Fry Memorial Chapel handled arrangements. Penny will be laid to rest at Valpico Memorial Park at a private funeral service for family.
A memorial service will be on Saturday, April 30th at 11:00 a.m. at Journey Christian Church, 4600 South Tracy Blvd. Services will be broadcast via their website at www.Journeycc.net. An online guest book is available at www.frymemorialchapel.com for condolences and special messages to the family.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Penny's favorite charities; Tracy Interfaith Ministries, or Pregnancy Resource Center of Tracy.
Penny loved the Lord, Penny loved her family, and Penny loved people! May her legacy live on!
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