The Kings Mountain Herald March 31, 2005 OBITUARIES Dutch couple love America, Kings Mountain just like home BY ANDIE L. BRYMER Staff Writer Leo and Lily Smeijsters have seen more of the United States than some Americans. The Dutch couple have visited Florida, California and the southwest. Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Georgia have been on their itinerary as well. For the next three weeks the couple will be in Kings Mountain visiting Nell and Ken Randall. “I felt at home right away,” Lily Smeijsters said. The two couples met through Nell’s daughter Amy Cannon, whose hus- band was stationed on a Dutch military base. The Smeijsters have gotten to know several American cou- “ples through the nearby base. Leo Smeijsters grew up hearing good things about Americans. When he was one year old, U.S. troops lib- erated his hometown from the Germans. A few soldiers stayed in their home. Just down the street a banquet hall was converted into a - . cafeteria to feed the troops. Lily Smeijsters has equally good memories of the Americans. Just after the lib- eration, a military doctor gave her mother medication for tuberculosis. The drug was not widely available to Dutch citizens at the time. Dutch families have adopted graves of American soldiers, placing flowers on Memorial Day. Many fami- lies bring flowers more often. President George | EEE Yo alli . i Starring Queen Latifah 7 EE |THE RING 2 Sink-BAutler Funeral Home 704-629-2255 We offer a complete funeral service package which includes: Full Traditional Service (including family car), 20 Gauge Steel Casket, Protective Vault. $2595.00 Donna K. Baker, Owner/Manager Ee = PNT To lo = R= 100 S. Cansler St. at East King St. Mon. - Fri. 8-8 «= Sat. 8-6 704-739-5461 YOUR & %0ee® \f | in Kings Mountain Bring in this coupon for ONE FREE KEY | Per Visi ? Soles Tt Tax Not nn BEAUTY SHOP pgs] Bush is scheduled to Sheik at the military cemetery this spring. Some 8,302 soldiers are buried there. While taking one of his frequent walks, Leo Smeijsters discovered a plaque commemorating the liberation. The writing was obscured with dirt. “It’s not right, nobody can "read it,” he said. Now Smeijsters cleans it monthly. The couple say Cleveland County with its rolling hills is similar to their home. They live just outside a city near the German border with a population of 60,000. An American history enthusiasts, Leo Smeijsters is eager to visit the battle grounds of Kings Mountain and Brattonsville, where the movie “The Patriot” was filmed. “He makes me ashamed. He knows more about the battle than I do,” Nell Randall said. Leo Smeijsters jokes that he would like to immigrate to the states for the pick-up trucks. The Dutch man recently sold his Toyota because the monthly tax is increasing from $15 to $75. The wide open country side here appeals to him. “I'm not a city man,” Smeijsters said. Hine Gas prices are triple that in the United States. One gallon of fuel goes for $6. “We can quit complain- ing,” Nell Randall said. . Many people, including senior citizens, ride bicycles. There are no school buses in - the Netherlands. Children walk or bike to school. The Smeijsters describe the Netherlands as approxi- - mately the size of New Hampshire. Americans are often confused about the name of the country. Its proper name is the Netherlands but it is divided into two regions - North Holland and South Holland. Instead of states, the Netherlands is made up of 13 provinces. These are each approximately 10 times the size of a county here. The official language is High Dutch, though the Smeijsters first language is a © dialect common to their region. They also speak German. Leo Smeijsters speaks a little French as well. The couple learned English by watching American television and movies. The “Bold and the Beautiful” is a favorite of Lily Smeijsters. Making friends with Americans also helped. Sunday, they attended ANDIE BRYMER / HERALD . Leo Smeijsters, left, Lily Smeijsters, Nell and Ken Randall enjoy a cross cultural friend- ship. church with the Randalls at Bethlehem Baptist. “I think they do more in church here,” Lily Smeijsters said. “They take everybody into their conversation.” The Smeijsters, like 98 percent of the Netherlands, are Catholic. They say the younger people there do not attend church often. Leo Smeijsters particularly enjoyed meeting Sunday school teacher Boyd Howell who was a prisoner of war during World War II. The Smeijsters are amazed at American buffet restau- rants and the lower price of meat. “No wonder Americans are so big,” Leo Smeijsters joked. Nell Randall also has vis- ited the Smeijsters. “It’s one of the prettiest places I've ever been. Everything is so clean,” she said. Randall was amazed by the frequent visits family members made. They often drop in for coffee and con- versation. The Smeijsters were equally amazed to learn she only saw her sib- lings at holidays. i Before retiring, Leo Smeijsters worked as a coal miner. Lily Smeijsters man- aged a catering business. CITY From 1A county ordinance and is enforced by Cleveland County Animal Control. Linens and Luxuries for Less! . i > 3 oop ylu's 207 1/2 N Mountain St Cherryville "(Behind DB Printing) Mon-Fri 9am-6pm 704-435-8828 “YOUR ONE STOP MEDICAL SHOP!” Jazzy Power Chairs © Scooters © Seat Lift Chairs Complete Home Oxygen Services, CPAP & BIPAP Units Free Monthly Home Delivery for Nebulizers, Nebulizer Medications & Diabetic Supplies - Call for Details! Name Brand Diabetic Shoes & Socks - Great Selection! 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Councilman Rick Moore asked the mayor to appoint a committee to study crime. Moore said he wanted to keep Kings Mountain from developing the murder and drug problems that Shelby is experiencing. *Council postponed voting on a request by David Faunce to rezone property at the intersection of Ruppe and Gold streets. Faunce wants to see the property developed into a new urbanization-model neigh- borhood. Homes and condo- miniums would be built on small lots to encourage neighbors to know one another. There would exten- sive sidewalks. Faunce asked for more time so he could give the planning and zoning board additional information at its April meeting. Firefighter John Wright was honored for 20 years on + the job. County commissioner Johnny. Hutchins attended the council meeting. The mayor proclaimed Kings Mountain Woman's Club Centennial Day and Club Month. The organiza- tion will celebrate its 100th birthday April 9. President Ann Gamble, centennial committee chairwoman Linda Dixon and members Margaret Pearson and Sandra Murphrey accepted the proclamation. The mayor announced that Kings Mountain will have a litter sweep April 16 to 30. City customer apprecia- tion day will be April 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Council members will be on hand to meet residents. Your Professional Modular Housing Builder IREIECHAN BUILDING SYSTEMS + UVABILITY s DURABILITY » ENERGY RFHICIENCY « 1-800-TAL General Contractor NC 49149 SC 010728 across from Franklin Square in Gastonia www. tri-techbuildingsystems.com BERTIE MCGINNIS KINGS MOUNTAIN - Bertie Lee Houser McGinnis, 87, formerly of Charlotte and Hollywood, FL, died March 24, 2005 at Summit Place. A native of Grover, she was the youngest daughter of the late Clayborne and Hattie Turner Houser. She was also preceded in death by sisters Lillie Houser Lipe, Avalonia Houser Gregg, and brothers Myles Houser, Manual Houser and Marvin Houser. She was a former employee of Hudson Hosiery Mills, Charlotte, and Bobbie Brooks of Hialeah, FL. She was a member of Brainerd Baptist Church, Chattanooga, TN. She is survived by her husband, Richard H. McGinnis of Kings Mountain; son Raymond Alan Coggins of Calabash; brothers Johnny Houser of Charlotte, Herbert Houser of Blacksburg, SC, and Willie Houser of Blacksburg, SC; sisters Corrine Bivens and Shirley Canotas, both of Blacksburg, SC; granddaughter Traci Lynne Stone of Charleston, SC; grandsons Todd Coggins of Boynton Beach, FL and Corey Coggins of Hermitage, TN; and great-grandson Jonathan Conrad Stone of Charleston, SC. A graveside service was held at 2 p.m. Monday at Sharon Memorial Park, Charlotte. Memorials may be made to Life Enrichment Center, 223 Kings Mountain Blvd., Kings Mountain, NC 28086. Harris Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. JUNIOR COLE KINGS MOUNTAIN - Junior Cole, 66, 1006 Shelby Road, died March 28, 2005 at his home. A native of Rutherford County, he was the son of the late Addie Bostic Cole Sr. and Louise Blackburn Cole. He was husband of the late Margie Garren Cole. He was retired from Donaher, Gastonia, after 25 years. He was a member of the National Watch and Clock Association. His nickname was “The Clock Man.” As he is set free from his illnesses he leaves behind his children. Tempus Fugit - “Time Flies” Dad. He is survived by his sons, Don Cole and == wife Cheryl of Kings Mountain and Mike Cole and wife Denise of Cherryville; daughters Crystal Love and husband Darriel of Blacksburg, SC and Debbie C. Williams and hus- band Brad of Kings Mountain; brother Ronnie Cole of Rutherfordton; sisters Susie Arrowood and Wanda Marsengill of Rutherfordton; grandchildren Amber Love, Ashley Love, MaDonna Cole and Amie Cole; and special caregiver Wanda Patterson. » The funeral will be conducted by the Rev. Vernon Craig at 2 p.m. Thursday at Ollie Harris Memorial Chapel. Burial will be in Westview Gardens, Bessemer City. Memorials may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude's Place, Memphis, TN 38105 and Hospice of Gaston County, P.O. Box 3984, Gastonia, NC 28054. Harris Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. NANCY ROGERS KINGS MOUNTAIN - Nancy Featherstone Rogers, 56, died March 23, 2005 at Gaston Memorial Hospital, Gastonia. She was the daughter of Purvia Lee and Alice Lucille Smith Featherstone. She was a member of Ragan Wesleyan Church and Telephone Pioneers of America. She is survived by’her sons, Lance Wright and Mandy of Myrtle Beach, Jessie Wright and Angie of Gastonia, and Dani and Wayne Dills; brother Lynn Featherstone and Brenda of Pittsboro; sisters Barbara F. Franklin and Terrell of Kings Mountain and Marsha F. Morrow and Carl of Kings Mountain; and grandchildren, Chandler and Zachary. The funeral was conducted by the Rev. Dick Whitener at 1 p.m. Saturday at Greene Funeral Service - West Chapel. Interment was in Gaston Memorial Park. Pallbearers were Wayne Dills, Tripp Morrow, Tommy Hudson, Dale Meeks, Roger Dale Cook, and Ken Eudy. Memorials may be made to Bessemer City Relay for Life, c/o Ragan Wesleyan Church, 535 Oates Road, Gastonia, NC 28052. Greene Funeral Service - West Chapel, Gastonia, was in charge of arrangements. : i ANDIE L. BRYMER/HERALD Flowers adorn the cross in front of Central United ~ Methodist. Many churches place flowers on a cross to sig- nify the resurrection at Easter. During Lent a purple drape is used. Black is used on Good Friday and Saturday to sig- nify the crucifixion.