Willem Antony Cornelus de Ronde (“Wim”), was born on February 14, 1930 to (the late) Abraham Cornelis de Ronde and Margaretha Wilhelmina Vierdag in Roermond, The Netherlands. He was the youngest of six, with four sisters and one brother. Wim spent the first thirty years of his life in The Netherlands where he received his education up to the college level. He graduated from the Horticultural College in 1954, then continued his education attending the Netherlands College of Landscape-Architecture. After graduating with his second degree in 1958, he worked for the Department of Parks, City of Amsterdam for two years before migrating to the United States under an Exchange program as a Landscape Architect trainee in 1960.
Wim worked for several companies performing his love of landscape architecture before he found his final job home in 1978 with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. There, he spent the last more than thirty years of his working career, and retired as a Construction Project Manager. He contributed to the design of many well-known public spaces across the City, including City Hall Park, Brooklyn Borough Hall, and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. He was also one of the designers of his neighborhood park, Underwood Park. He mentored many young landscape designers. Wim received multiple awards and recognitions for his outstanding work with the NYC Parks & Recreation. In 2008, he was honored by Mayor Bloomberg with the Isaac Liberman Public Service Award.
Wim was a kind-hearted, fun, loving, generous person. He was a huge supporter of the LGBTQ community. He had a great love for flowers and enjoyed spending time gardening. He also enjoyed going to the beach, fitness classes at the YMCA, attending church, watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, visiting his family in The Netherlands, and having dinners with family and friends. He was big on eating healthy and liked cooking healthy meals and making smoothies.
On Christmas eve, Thursday, December 24, 2020, Willem Antony Cornelus de Ronde departed this life at the age of 90. He was preceded in death by his brother Abraham de Ronde, and sisters: Johanna, Anthonia, Grietje and Alida de Ronde. He leaves to cherish his memories, his son Escane Jean whom he mentored as a child then later adopted; three grandchildren: Ethan, Evan and Eli Jean; twenty-one nieces and nephews: Reinko, Marieke, Berend and Bram Abels, Janton, Karin, and Mieneke Waanders, Barbara, Edward, Dirk, Henk, Peggy, Irene and Carolyn Koning, Marijin, Bram, Marco and Tabitha de Ronde, Claire, Onno, and Wessel Zweers; friends who became family: Frank Rodriguez, Vincent Villafane, Emmanuel Thingue, and Eddie Rodriguez; and a host of other relatives and friends.
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