Maureen Vanderwoude (née Bennett),

January 19, 1949 ~ September 12, 2021

Maureen, 72, sadly passed away on September 12th after a bravely fought battle against cancer. Mo was born in London, England in January 1949 and at the age of 24 came to the USA, as many before her had, to live the American dream. Mo started her new life in Ohio where she spent many happy years before moving on to Washington D.C., Virginia, and Illinois before finally settling in Vero Beach.
In her younger years she worked as a Legal Secretary but after marrying and giving birth to her only daughter, Abbey, she chose the role of homemaker – something she excelled at. Mo was a wonderfully talented artist and creator of all kinds. From sewing and quilting to painting and jewelry-making, she was truly gifted. Everywhere she lived she brought the community together by organizing and supporting groups such as euchre, gardening, and bridge. Those who were fortunate enough to be invited to her home will testify that she really was the ‘hostess with the mostest’. From hors d’oeuvres to entrees her cooking skills were superb. Even after a few cocktails she could still serve up a mouth wateringly delicious Beef Wellington. Her family and friends knew her to be vibrant, generous, and quick-witted. Mo also loved animals and was a proud mom to many over the years, most recently to her two cats Felix and Oscar.
She is survived by her daughter, Abbey Vanderwoude; son, Matthew Neil Wright; grandson, Benjamin Bryan-Bennett; sister, Rita Wilsher; and brother, Len Bennett. Mo will be greatly missed by her family and the many close friends she has made over the years.
A private celebration of life will be held locally in Vero Beach on October 16th to commemorate Mo’s life.

Condolence

Neil L Bennett (AKA M Neil Wright).

September 22, 2021, 2:26 pm

Very emotive words Abbey.
Ben loved his Nanna Mo and it was his choice to change his surname to hers before starting High School (as I am also in the process of doing). Such a shame that Maureen never got to see that process completed, and things set back to how they always should have been.
Taken too soon, she is already missed.
Love,
Neil.

Dominique Roberts

September 22, 2021, 6:42 pm

Beautifully written. I have very fond memories of Maureen from the swimming years and throughout school, she was always so welcoming and kind. I am so sorry for the family’s loss.

Eileen Michelbrink

September 22, 2021, 8:36 pm

Mo has definitely left a big hole in my heart, we had so much fun together over the years and especially more recently when I would go up earlier than the rest of the family for Christmas and Mo and I would go out on the town Christmas Eve, then when we’d get home she’d put on Elton John (and sometimes Michael Jackson) and we’d have a wee dance in living room. Love you Mo, and sincere condolences to Abbey xxx

Donna Swain

September 23, 2021, 11:36 am

I am so very sorry for the loss of Mo.
I didn’t know her but a few months, but We truly had a connection!

She was very gifted in her sewing skills
And had a wonderful sense of humor!
She shall certainly be missed.

Kelly & Mo Bevan

September 23, 2021, 3:03 pm

It is hard to believe that Mo is no longer with us. She was a dear friend who enjoyed life to the fullest. We first met Mo 45 years ago back in Aylesbury England and have spent many wonderful times together in Ohio, Ontario, Washington DC, California, Massachusetts, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and the UK. Mo V and Mo B even survived the California Earthquake together in San Francisco in 1989! She will be dearly missed and our thoughts go out to Abbey, Neil and Ben.

Patti Fitzgerald

September 23, 2021, 3:35 pm

This perfectly describes Mo. She will be dearly missed by all who knew her. My deepest sympathy goes out to you, Abbey.

Sharon C Olsen

September 23, 2021, 3:56 pm

I am so sad to lose such a sweet friend. Mo was exactly as you described. She will be greatly missed. May she rest in peace.

Gary Thompson

September 23, 2021, 10:50 pm

So very sorry for the families lose. May all the good memories sustain you during this difficult time. I was lucky to meet Mo at her euchre organized events. She was such a special person. We had many laughs. I will miss her and always remember her smile.

Barbara Macaluso

September 27, 2021, 1:32 pm

Mo was”s a wonderful and talented woman. She was loved by everyone in “The Lake’s Community.” She loved life to the fullest, always fun to be around. She loved to entertain us ladies, we had many fun events with her, she was the life of the party whether going to Elton John events or just hanging at her house. I was fortunate to be in her circle. We will cherish the times we had with her and the many laughs. RIP dear Mo. Elton is singing Candle in the Wind.

Kay Delfosse

September 27, 2021, 3:40 pm

Abbey and Family,

I was very blessed to have known Mo and appreciated her for many, many, things, including her warmth, wit, and exceptional artistic talent! She will be missed by many!! Thank you for your beautiful words which so accurately captured Mo!!! My sincerely condolences to you and your family.

Angela M Birch

September 28, 2021, 1:07 pm

Mo was such a giving person. Ask her anything and she was there to help. When I look around my home and see the beautiful things she made for me, some requested and some just because, I will surely think of her. I am so glad she came into my life.

Liz Rickards

September 29, 2021, 2:20 pm

My deepest sympathy to you Amy and Neil on the loss of your Mother. I first met Mo in Ohio in 1980 when she shared a flat with my sister, Marie. She was beautiful, fun loving and funny. She has been part of our family ever since and we shall miss our ‘sister’. I hope that you can take comfort in remembering the happy times you each shared with her. I certainly will. xx

Jan & Paul Dunn

October 1, 2021, 8:37 pm

We had the honor of meeting Mo and her family in Burr Ridge, IL in 1989 in the Newcomers group. We have wonderful memories of Mo & Abby there.

We’ve moved a lot over the years, and Mo visited us in Washington DC, Milwaukee, Mexico, Brooklyn and Philadelphia.

Mo was so talented, funny and kind, and she was so much fun to be around. Mo took our dear pet cat Eliot, and kept him until his final days.

I thank God for the time I had with Mo the last few months of her life. We talked and wrote texts often — and she continued to make me smile and laugh during that time.

Dear Mo — I miss you so much. Thanks for the memories.

Our condolences to the family. I will stay in touch.

leslie & tom baas

October 2, 2021, 5:29 pm

To know Mo is to know laughter and love. She brought joy to many and we will hold onto the lovely memories as solace. Fabulous dinners, bridge games, parties, quiet visits and cat stories (oh, so many cat stories). We are fortunate to have shared time with Mo. She will be missed.

Bob Bevan

October 4, 2021, 6:50 pm

Some gorgeous times shared in the late 70s/early 80s with a funny, warm, caring & very special lady. And lots of fun emails bouncing back & forth across the Atlantic ever since. Thanks for being part of my life & letting me be part of yours. Gone far far too soon xxx

Marie Cole

October 10, 2021, 11:42 am

I first met Mo in December of 1973, and our friendship was instantaneous. She was loved by everyone she met and was the center of attention everywhere we went. I was so happy when she moved to Florida and we were able to spend more time with her. I think of her every day and will miss her so much, Rest In Peace my friend

Kristen and Tim

October 16, 2021, 8:47 pm

What a wonderful way to celebrate your Mom’s life by this celebration Abbey! We are there in spirit and are thinking about you today.

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