Adrianus Leonardus Verdel, better known as Opa, Papa, or Oom Arie to his family and Arie or Mr.
Independence, to his neighbors, passed on Dec. 13, 2020 and is now in the hands of God.
Born in Roelofarendsveen, Holland, in 1923, to parents Hermanus and Johanna Verdel, Arie lived there
until after getting married when he moved to the Hague where he and his wife had their first two
children. In 1957, he immigrated to the United States to find better housing and opportunities for his
family. He lived for three weeks with his sister in Hyattsville and then moved to an apartment in Takoma
Park where his youngest daughter was born. In 1963, he moved to Landover Hills, where he lived until
well beyond his 95th birthday in 2018. His last home was in Columbia, MD where he no longer had to fix
his own meals. Other than a few years with other jobs, he worked as a gardener starting at the age of
13. His main career was as the head gardener at the Dutch Embassy in Washington, D.C. He kept an
impeccable garden until he sold his house in Landover Hills. He then did gardening at Harmony Hall until
last March when his health started to decline. Hopefully, he will be remembered each spring when the
tulips and daffodils bloom.
Arie is predeceased by 8 of his brothers and sisters and his wife, ‘Do’. He is survived by his sisters, Corrie
Albers and Joop Spierenburg and by his children, Henri Verdel, Mirjam Spaar, and Anita Verdel. He is
also survived by his grandchildren Eugenie, Anna, Melinda, Jessica, Rachel, Nick, and Madeline and his
great grandchildren Wylie, Peyton, and Beatrice.
Arie liked to pick flowers from his yard and present them as gifts. He liked taking walks in the parks and
exploring new places. In his memory please pick or buy some flowers for a loved one or plant a tree in a
favorite park. Also, charitable donations may be sent to the Dementia Society of America or the
A Catholic Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Church in Landover Hills on Dec. 28th at 10:30. Our dad will be
buried with our mom at Gate of Heaven in Silver Spring. Due to COVID, the mass and burial will be
private, but we invite you to follow us virtually via streaming at https://youtu.be/DHmpMkcRjoE at 10:30 AM EST
in America (4:30 PM in Holland).