Mary Ella Giena Van Keulen

Mary Ella Giena Van Keulen

15/12/1946 - 29/08/2021


ONLINE SERVICE, This funeral will be webcast, starting 5 minutes prior to service start time on

Friday, 03 September, 2021 at 03:30 pm


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Symbols of Love

Tracey Grayden

Tracey Grayden

June and Jim Davies

June and Jim Davies

Heather Mellow

Heather Mellow

Our Love and Condolences to John and the Family ??

Our Love and Condolences to John and the Family ??

Alan and Sallyanne Sanders

Alan and Sallyanne Sanders

Mary Van Toor

Mary Van Toor

Condolence Messages

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Dear Mary, I will always remember you as someone who encouraged and came alongside me in some of my darkest moments. I treasured your support and prayers. You were always smiling, so positive and full of faith, such a brave fighter in spite of your illness. You always looked oh so glamorous and I remember telling you I was envious of your shoes and scarfs, you wore it well! My life is richer for knowing you and we will see each other again in our Lords Kingdom. My prayer for the family is that the God of all comfort would hold you all close and give you His peace.

Dear John, So sorry to hear of Mary’s passing.The wonderful thing is we know she is with Jesus.You have been such a wonderful ,faithful, caring husband. I will miss Mary’s warm welcome in the foyer. Love and prayers, Robyn and Chris Daly.

Safely Home. To our dear friend, John and family: our love and condolences as you commit the treasure you have been blessed to know and love into the hands of the Everlasting Father. Mary - one of those who made our ministry at Mt Evelyn a delight. A woman full of faith and prayer, always encouraging and with a word of comfort for others, and in these past years, a demonstration of faith that endures all things with courage, thanksgiving, patience and a never-ending confidence in the goodness of God. See you on the other side.

Dear John, to you and your family Warren and I send our sincere condolences. Mary is an amazing woman of God who was so inspiring, her positivity and tenaciousness shone from within. I will be forever grateful to Mary for her encouragement to me to re-enter nursing, a career I’m still immersed in and love - without Mary’s so gentle way of coaching me to apply I probably never would have got back into nursing. Once a nurse, always a nurse and Mary was just that - she was a nurse of people’s souls. She emanated God’s love, she literally was His hands & feet nursing people’s lives back together. Well done good and faithful servant, you can retire your nurse’s stripes and dance with the Lord in complete health and freedom. All our love to your beautiful family, Deb & Warren Harper

Mary was a delight to be with and I had the privilege of spending a weekend with her praying for all the pilgrims on the Emmaus weekend. What a wonderful time we had together and I realised what a remarkable and faithful woman of God she was. Sending my love to you also John - may God bring you comfort during this time, and yet we celebrate that she is now at home with our Lord and Saviour.

We are so sorry for your loss. Out thoughts are with you in this difficult time. We hope you can find comfort in the memories and celebration of their life. Sincerely, Susanne Annemieke Marianne

Dear John, to you and your family Jane and I send our sincere condolences. God has taken Mary to be with him now but we have been the richer for knowing her over the past 46 years and being inspired by her positivity, strength of faith and her infectious smile. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all today and in the coming days ahead.

We have such grateful and fond memories of Mary. She was there for us and our dear Katherine even though she had challenges of her own. Jesus used Mary's nursing training and her compassionate heart to help us through such a difficult time. John was also a rock in those days too, and we valued the ongoing friendship. What a joyous reunion there will be for Katherine and Mary. Much love and our condolences to the Van Keulen family.

Mary - a friend for a;; seasons. Caring, compassionate and empathetic, even when she was suffering herself. She loved colour and bling and always tried to look her best even when she was very sick. Over decades of friendship we cherish the memory of dinner parties in each other's homes, sharing marriage ministry and walking with God together. Mary was one tough cookie and proved her inner strength and faith in God during her years of battling cancer. She was an inspiration. She was determined to stick around until she had provided everyone of her beloved children and grandchildren with their own heirloom quilt. I will cherish the memory of the last precious afternoon I (Lynn) spent with Mary helping her sort out her cupboard of sewing materials and then teaching her how to do sudoku. We had conversation about what heaven would be like and shared our anticipation and hope in Jesus. Mary was a warm and loving friend who never forgot your birthday and could be relied on to offer pastoral care when you needed it. thank you Lord for the life of this beautiful friend May she rejoice in your presence for all eternity and may John and the family be comforted in this truth.

Dear John and family, We send you our heartfelt condolences and prayers. We have so much gratitude and fond memories of spending time with you both, as you poured wisdom and insight into our lives when we got married. We thank God for Mary's life, she was truly a blessing to all that knew her. With much love, Mark and Priscilla.

Safely Home walking arm in arm with your Lord Jesus.To our dear brother in Christ John and family: our love and condolences, as you say goodbye for now to this absolutely beautiful woman, our friend and sister in Christ. I have been blessed to know you Mary, and feel sad but joyful to see you leave to be in the hands of the Everlasting Father. Well done for a life full of love, servanthood and encouraging others. I will miss you, and have very much appreciated you in my life. Thank you for welcoming our family into the church so many years ago, thank you for encouraging me with my nursing, and thanks for being a splash of colour and fun. See you at Home in Gods timing.

Sending our love and hugs to Mr VK and the family at this very challenging time. We are so very thankful for John and Mary's close friendship with Mum and Dad over many years and of the wonderful trips away they made together. Some amazing stories and moments they shared. Praying for you all over the coming months. Tracey, Steve and boys xx

Sending our love and condolences to you John, and all the family, Nicole, Jody and Simone, spouses and children. What is your loss is now Mary's great gain - home in Jesus' arms. And what a future to look forward to, meeting up again one day, when Mary can show you around! God bless you all in this new chapter of your life, and fill you with His peace, strength and joy. With love Robert and Lynne

Sincere sympathy and love to John and family

We loved Mary & will miss her. She had a wonderful pastoral heart, despite the fact that she wasn't in good health herself. John you've been a steadfast help to her & we admire you for that. Lyn & Mary had a lot of laughs together & of a Sunday we'd look out for each other & take note of what earrings the other was wearing. We are thrilled that where she is now, there is no more sickness!

So blessed to have had the privilege of having Mary as a friend and fellow Servant in many ministry environments. Mary was a Godly Woman who had so much love and empathy for others, She gave freely of herself he time, her experience and expertise.she blessed many people in her pastoral care and counselling roles She had a wonderful sense of humour and was the real deal we will miss her greatly. John was a huge part of their ministry together. We pray that you will find comfort and strength in The Lord John and in your wonderful family and all the wonderful memories you made together.

To John and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Mary was such a beautiful Christian woman, she will be remembered with love.

Mary this rose is a symbol of your loving heart and the good will you extended to all. Especially me Mary. I remember the day you sat with me holding my hand waiting for an Ambulance. You were so special to us all. Love always June Davies

We send our dearest thoughts and prayers to you John, Simone, Nicole, Jody and your families. It has been a blessings to have known Mary, she always brought such joy and greeted us with a smile whenever we met. Peace be with you all.

My sincere condolences to you John. Thank you for being there. Vale Mary.

My deepest sympathy and prayers go out to the Van Keulen family as you say farewell to Mary. Treasured memories of a beautiful lady. My love to all Cindy Ellis

My condolences toall the family. Mary was such a beautiful, caring lady. No matter what she was going through she was always there for others Special memories of a wonderful Christian. May God be with you & bless you with His peace.

We are all so sorry for your loss. May you be surrounded by love and blessings during this time. With Love from Harry, Maria, David and Louise

Thinking of you Simone and your family on this day.. May the memories of your mother Mary live on in your lives. My heart goes out for you and your family. I want you to know I am here for you if you need anything.. lots of love Katrina

With you today, John and family With love Ruth & Stewart

With you today, John and family With love Ruth & Stewart

Love to you all today. Prayers for comfort as you celebrate Mary’s life and legacy. With love, Tim & Janet

What a beautiful woman of God.

Wonderful memories of Mary, may God continue to be near those who have been left behind whilst Mary is with God now. Kind regards from Janny, Cathy and Rob

Dear Nicole and family- So beautiful to hear the wonderful story of your dear Mum. May you be blessed as you remember, laugh and cry together. Your Mum was an amazing person who has passed her legacy on to her family. Take care in the days ahead. Love Di Emery

Many fond memories of Mary and visiting for meals in Lilydale many moon ago now, visiting Simone. Being included in family gatherings for decades. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all during this time . She is is no more pain, but surely miss. Love & God bless The Chung Family.

To dear John and your beautiful family. Such a wonderful tribute from all your family - Mary was a truly Godly woman and has left a rich heritage. John, how special to have such beautiful children in such great relationship with you - they are a tribute to you and Mary. God bless you and we pray for the Holy Spirit’s comfort to be with you all. Love John & Melinda Dwight

Dear Nicole and family. Your mum sounded wonderful. I am so sorry for your loss and though it is good she is heaven and free of pain she will be greatly missed. Praying God's peace and comfort for your family at this time

May the Power of His love surround each of you at this time of loss. It is only the Lord who can give you peace knowing in your hearts that Mary is with the Lord. God watch of you at this time. Love and prayers Ruth 24/741

Dear Nicole & Family What a beautiful and heartfelt celebration of Mary. So may wonderful memories for you to hold on to. Much love to you all as you adjust to life without your mum and oma. Lots of love and prayers Tash & Wes & family xxxxx

To John and Family, Thank you for the privilege of being able to share in this special service for Mary. I only knew Mary for a few short years, but she (and John) were always very friendly to my husband and myself and always caring. I find it especially moving that Mary's favourite passage of scripture (Isaiah 40:31) is mine also.

Steve, Jarvis and Paisley, glad we got to share the celebration of Mary/Oma’s life via livestream.

To dear John and family Sorry to hear of the loss of Mary. Such a beautiful, caring and loving woman. Praying God’s Strength, Comfort and Peace to be yours in the coming days. Our Love, Neil & Lindy Boehringer (Discovery Church)

Our love to John and family. Mary was a dynamic, faith -filled friend who never ceased to find joy in living and believing in the goodness of God. We treasure the times of laughter, prayer and encouragement spent together.

Dear Family, It has been an honour for both of us to know Mary for nearly 40 years. Jeannette has great memories of her days serving with Mary in Calvinettes. We were greatly encouraged when she came to visit us when we lived in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The last 15 years or so we were part of the same Lifegroup. It was an honour to do life together. Our sincere condolences, Mary will be greatly missed.

Thoughts to John and the family

What an amazing, strong lady. An amazing mother of three strong women, and loving grandmother. Not to mention always up for a laugh, even if it was a cheeky British boy practicing his Dutch on New Year by dropping in a ‘neuken in de keuken’.

Our condolences to John and all of your family. Mary was a dear friend

What a privilege it was to have known Mary and be part of the beautiful celebration and tribute to her life today! Lots of love to the family as you adjust to life without Her.

Was a fantastic service, well done to all involved

We were privileged to be friends and praise the Lord for Mary's life. We pray for comfort & strength for John and the family. With our love & blessing Jerry, Elsha & Alice Peet sxx

Lifegroup will not be the same without Mary. Our memory of Mary will always be precious. Much love to John and family.

To my dearest Simone and family, thank you for allowing us to share the service of the celebration of Mary’s life. What an incredible woman. Mary always greeted me with the biggest smile and warm welcoming heart. Much love and strength to you all. Love the Sadler and Van Suylen families

Our sincere condolences

We will always remember Mary's pastoral heart and care of others and her spunk and love of life. Much love and blessings to you John and your beautiful family.

Dear John and family,my sincere condolences ,I was able to watch part of the service .I will never forget how you and Mary picked us up from the boat (while on our way to NZ)and the lovely time we had with you in Lillydale.You are in my thoughts and prayers,love to you all Sannie.

Dear John, Nicole & Richard -Taylor, Gemma & Kasey; Jodyann, Simone and families, What a beautiful and heartfelt celebration of Mary's life. Mary was such a strong woman of faith and character who has passed her legacy on to her family. May God's deep love continue to surround each one of you in the coming days, weeks, months and years ahead as you remember & celebrate all that she has meant to you and as you adjust to life without her. You remain in our thoughts and prayers. With much love Yvonne & Steve Verhagen and family

Mary, it has been a privilege knowing you. From our time with you and John and from the testimonies of you family and friends it is clear you loved God and your neighbour as yourself. You have lived a life that has brought joy to those around you. Your friends, Jen and Liani

To Uncle John, Nic, Jody & Sim. Here's to Aunty Mary! What a beautiful service & great photos too. I remember one of Jody's birthday parties, a dress up one I think, which Aunty Mary ran with fun & precision, keeping an eagle eye out to make sure no one cheated at the chocolate game. We had to put so many things on to get a shot at the chocolate! All of you take care of yourselves & each other & I'm thinking of you all. Love Tiff. P.S. One of my 'splashes of red' is the kimono my dad brought back from a business trip for DA. Pretty sure I wore it at a few sleepovers back in the day. xxx

I have been so blessed with your Mary’s friendship over the years, when we first me at Jennys Shoppe and then at Careforce . Our mutual love for anything Fashion , colour our latest purchase always filled with fun and laughs. Her enjoyment at being a Fashion Model with Simone for my parades and she carried this out with confidence and a great sense of fun and joy. Our great conversation over the past 13 years over the phone , sharing about family, encouraging each other in our walk with Jesus. I will miss you Mary but I know as was our last chat that we are ready to be with Him . Thank you for your wonderful friendship Love Jenny 💖💖❤️❤️

This is for Simone: Just watching the service right now I wanted to send you this message to say thank you Simone for putting my name forward back in 1999 that opened the door for me to get back into teaching through Stuart Miller at MECS. that opened a whole new door for me, both back into teaching and also back into camps, albeit a very different type of camping. You are speaking right now about your Mum as I write this. Thanks Simone for opening a door back then which has proved to be a great blessing to me in the years since then. May the Lord be with you and all your family today as you celebrate and mourn simultaneously for such a Mum as yours! Blessings Gary Parsons

wij wouden ook ouder

Mrs Van Keulen, you were a feisty and strong woman of Faith. You raised 3 strong, beautiful and passionate daughters and shepherded their incredible children. You lived with conviction and love. We are all better for knowing you. I am so grateful for your life. All my love. Katie (Simone’s loud friend).

So very sad to hear of Mary’s passing but we understand her time is needed with God now. I worked for John back in the 90s and met Mary quite a few times on several occasions. Always a beautiful friendly woman with a warm smile. Sending best wishes to ALL the family through this very sad time.

Beautiful service for a beautiful person. Heartwarming to hear everyone's stories and loved seeing all the pictures. Meeting and seeing Mary at birthday parties was always so nice, I think she smiled the whole time. You could tell she loved being around her family. I know everyone loved her very much and she will be missed. It's a comfort knowing she will no longer need to suffer in pain. She talked to me once about how much she loved to travel. I picture her on one of her best trips yet, waiting for everyone else to join her again some day. Love, The Cornwells

Dear all, thank you for sharing the beautiful and inspiring words and photo's. Lots of love ♥️

RED is my favorite color too 😊 Watching the funeral was a blessing and thank you for allowing us to be a a part of the farewell. A real special tribute for a lovely lady. John you’re a brave and wonderful husband and the girls all read beautifully. Tears flowed easily as we listened to her life of magic memories. X sending strength to you all.

It was lovely tribute to your mother She would be proud Prue and Richard Metzke

So sorry couldn't be there yesterday. Don't have that technology where I live. Was not well enough to travel to family member to access service. Prayed for all of you. Your Mum is now chatting with my Bryan. I can imagine the conversation!! Please explain to your Dad. Your mum loved get togethers. I know you will all miss her so very much. We still miss Bryan heaps. Take care of each other. God bless 😇. Denise Donchi.

My sincerest love and thoughts are with you all as you grieve the passing of Mary. Mary is one of the strongest women I know, she fought an amazing fight for so many years. Through it all Mary still had other people on her mind and in her prayers. You will miss her very much. The only consolation is that she is out ofpain and she is in heaven worshipping the Lord. Love and hugs to you all. xxxx

We love you and will miss you Oma. Love thinking about you doing a double front flip in heaven.

What a lovely funeral tribute from John and family of Mary’s amazing capacity for a life of love, compassion and encouragement. We pray that as you move through your grief that you will know the comfort and peace of the Lord. Mary will be greatly missed in our life group but we are relieved that her suffering is now over and she has been set free in glory. Much love to you all

To John and family our deepest condolences to you all ,Mary will be greatly missed by many . love and blessings Alan and Sallyanne Sanders

Dear John, Nicole, Jody & Simone and families, My deepest condolences as you grieve the loss of Mary. May God give you strength in the coming days as you adjust to life with her. Love from Henny Dubbeld

On behalf of the Mt Evelyn Christian School community, we thank and honour Mary Van Keulen for her passion, commitment and hard work, particularly in the early years of the MECS story. In subsequent years, she has been a great encourager of our school and was a welcome member at our recent AGM’s/ EGM’s. Our sympathies extend to John and the family on this sad occasion, but we know she is safe in the arms of Jesus.

Net met Bas en Nel de dienst voor Marry gekeken, fijn om er op deze manier bij te kunnen zijn. Lieve groet Hans en Gerda

Lieve oom Jan en familie. Wat een prachtige warme afscheidsdienst van een prachtig mens. Dank jullie wel voor de inkijk in haar en jullie leven. Uit ervaring weet ik als geen ander hoe moeilijk maar oo hoe bijzonder mooi deze periode is, je lacht, huilt, haalt veel herinneringen op en moet van alles regelen. Intens maar zo vreselijk waardevol. Ik wens jullie heel veel sterkte met elkaar en hoop dat jullie kunnen terugkijken met heel veel liefde op deze bijzondere periode. Dikke kus voor jullie allemaal💝😘😘

Dear John and Family, Patsy and I would like to express our deepest sympathy for the passing of Mary, we know and hope that God will give you the strength in the time ahead. Come December 9th 54 years ago when I first met you both on our way to Australia, little did I know that we would cross paths again. Memory for me to keep. Love Patsy and Ad

'Wherever a beautiful soul has been, there is a trail of beautiful memories' May God bless and comfort you all, my deepest sympathies xxx

Lieve oom Jan en familie, Vanavond hebben we gekeken naar het intieme, liefdevolle en ontroerende afscheid van tante Mary. Wat hebben jullie mooie woorden gesproken over jullie lieve vrouw, moeder en oma. Hier op de bank in het verre Emmeloord hebben we samen met jullie een traantje weggepinkt, maar ook soms even geglimlacht bij wat jullie vertelden. Het was fijn om te zien en voelen met hoeveel liefde jullie elkaar omringen… Veel liefs, Wieger en Arja

Dear John and family, thinking of you and praying that Gods peace and comfort will surround you with his love..

Dear loved ones of Mary, My deepest condolances in these difficult times. Most of you don't know me but I'm a granddaughter of Jan, Mary's brother and daughter of Ina. I have met Jody and Steve during those warm months in the cold Dutch winter. I was fairly young when they visited but they made quite an impression (Didn't Jody have dreads at the time?). So why was I tuned in for the service? My grandfather could not hear or understand the full service so I offerd to translate for him. It ment a lot to him that, eventhough he could not be there in person, he could still be there to follow the service in someway and pay his respects to his little sister. The things you said about your wife, mother, grandmother and friend were lovely and I've got the feeling I got to know her and your family a little bit. You seem like a very warm and loving family, no doubt a true reflection of Mary. Kind regards and best wishes to you all, Laura

I met Mary through the Melbourne Emmaus Community and was so impressed by her faithfulness, caring and compassion. We enjoyed many women’s retreats, craft weekends and fortnightly craft meetings. I will miss our phone calls. Deepest sympathy to John, her daughters and grandchildren. Alison Morris

Mary was always interested on the life of others. I found her to be very caring, willing to offer advice and guidance where she was able, often while her own health was of concern. She will be sadly missed at the craft get-togethers and no doubt by all her family. With sympathy and love to John and all the family. Valda Morris

Dear Mr VK, Nicole, Jodyann, Simone, and family, My thoughts were with you on the day you remembered your Mum, and I, like many others, watched with many tears, but also a thankful heart. What a beautiful tribute to the wonderful and memorable life that Mary lived. Being best friends with Nicole since birth, memories came flooding back of many days spent at your house under the ever-watchful and discerning eye of Mrs VK. I remember lovely home-cooked meals around the table with the smoked brown glass bowls and plates and a neatly ironed tablecloth. My all-time favourite was hot bread rolls out of the oven after church on a Sunday. The VK table was a more orderly and significantly quieter dinner table than I was used to, and I was careful to watch my manners. There was always time for a joke and a laugh around the table though. I always remember Mrs VK kept such a neat and orderly home. She was so well organised, and there was rarely anything where it didn't belong, and not a speck of dust to be seen. An amazing accomplishment for a woman who also successfully worked out of the home. Mrs VK had an eye for decorating, and I would love to look at the collections from overseas adventures. The turtle shell on the wall from "New Hebrides" was my favourite along with the spinning ashtray by the chair that I would be allowed to try out now and then (I got in a few more turns when Mrs VK wasn't watching!). I also remember how gifted Mrs VK was behind the sewing machine. My Mum and Mrs VK would swap patterns and designs regularly. There wasn't anything they couldn't create including matching doona covers for Nicole, Jody, and my own bedroom. Living only a few streets away, and later only a few houses away from the family VK, I was over regularly, and always felt welcomed into the home. Mrs VK came to be like a second Mum to me, and I respected and loved her as such. Many times when I travelled back from Qld or the USA we would happen to see each other in Lilydale somewhere, the last time at her favourite nail salon, when we happened to get our nails done together, and spent the time chatting away. Little did I know it would be the last time I would get a warm hug and kiss and swap stories. It's a tribute to Mary that she, with John, successfully raised three beautiful, caring, and intelligent daughters, and lived a well-loved life with her partner by her side. Her legacy will live on through them and the grandchildren, and I pass my love on to all of you xxxx

Loving memories of Mary at our many family gatherings over the years We’re sorry we couldn’t be with you today John Love Jack and Margaret Doyle

Memory Timeline