Boxman, Elisabeth

Boxman, Elisabeth

April 12, 1935 – January 7, 2017
Age 81 of Minneapolis, passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 7th, 2017. She was preceded in death by her parents, Teunis Pieter Boxman and Marie Wilmink, her lifelong friend Ardella Bennett, and brother-in-law Karel Wiersma. Elisabeth (Lies) was born April 12, 1935 in Zwolle, The Netherlands. She studied in Amsterdam and graduated February 1961 with a degree in Medical Technology. She left two weeks after graduation for the USA, to a job at the Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in Seattle, Washington. In 1966, she moved to the Twin Cities to work at the Fairview Southdale Hospital laboratory, eventually serving as manager from 1988 until she retired in 1994. Lies was Dutch through and through. Growing up in occupied Holland during World War II left a lasting imprint on her. She had many stories of those early years, and loved to exchange observations of American culture with others born outside the US. She became a US citizen in 2012 and couldn’t wait to vote in her first election. An avid reader, she knew more American history than 99% people born in the US. She retained her strong Dutch accent throughout her life. Lies was a serious stamp collector. For more than 50 years, she regularly corresponded with people around the world, exchanging stamps and handwritten letters, and building enduring virtual friendships in a time before the Internet. She loved to sit at her roll-top desk, writing letters and getting her albums in order. The perfect birthday gift for Lies was either a box of stationery or a big stack of used, empty envelopes with stamps that had been postmarked–but not torn. When Lies came to the US she developed a lifelong friendship with Ardella Bennett who welcomed her into her home and family life with daughter Jaimie. They remained housemates to the end, from the early days in Seattle to Richfield, Minnesota and finally the assisted living apartments in St. Paul, where Lies passed away two days after Ardella. Elisabeth is survived by her sister Iet Wiersma-Boxman, nephew Peter Wiersma (Liesbeth and children Marieke and Jelle), niece Mariska Langevoort-Wiersma (Rene and children Eva and Nena), nephew Ronald Wiersma (children Hanne and Joost), all of The Netherlands; and Jaimie Bennett (Bret Hesla and children Samuel and Rosina) of Minneapolis. Funeral will be held Saturday January 28th at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 2315 Chicago Avenue, Minneapolis, MN, 55404, USA at 11am with visitation at 10:30 am and lunch following. Memorial gifts may be given to the church. (Published in the Star Tribune on Jan. 14, 2016)