Epigraph Vol. 17 Issue 3, Fall 2015

Obituary: Hanneke de Boer (1946 – 2015)

Hanneke de Boer

When Hanneke de Boer died peacefully in her own home after a long illness faced with great dignity a light was extinguished on a life devoted to sufferers with epilepsy. Hanneke was one of the longest serving and greatest advocates of people with epilepsy of all ages, not only in her much loved country, The Netherlands, but across the world.

Hanneke was born in 1946 and at the age of 19 she first joined SEIN (Stichting Epilepsie Instellingen Nederland) as a vocational consultant, where she remained until shortly before her death. She was committed to empowering people with epilepsy to find employment by interacting personally with them and with potential employers. She was also engaged in the lives of her patients and often freely provided support to those struggling with their education courses.

Hanneke's dedication to promoting the needs and advancing the hopes and aspirations of people with epilepsy and their families by personal and collective action is testified not only by her track record, but also by our own personal observations and reflections. At the professional level she had an extraordinary capacity for detailed attention to agendas, priorities, plans of action, and minutes. But implementing such actions and goals required considerable diplomatic and social skills, which she combined with a steely determination.

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