You are viewing the print version of this article. Click here to view the full version.
Columbia Missourian

Ada Van Gelder Bartlett, August 8, 1921 - October 21, 2012, of Columbia

By Submitted by Memorial Funeral Home
October 22, 2012 | 4:25 p.m. CDT

Ada Van Gelder Bartlett, 91, passed peacefully away at her home in Lenoir Woods Village in Columbia, MO on October 21, 2012. She and her husband, Robert L. “Bob” Bartlett, have lived in the Lenoir Woods retirement community in Columbia for the past 7 years.

Ada Van Gelder was born August 8, 1921 in Hamburg, Germany. Her parents, Maurice and Caroline Van Gelder were Dutch citizens. The family returned to Holland when Ada was 3 years old and settled in Hilversum, Holland. She graduated from high school there in 1939. Recognizing the imminence of war, her father transferred his business headquarters and moved the family to New York, where they all became naturalized citizens.

During World War II, Ada worked for the Dutch Consulate in New York and later for the Office of War Information as a translator. She attended Columbia University and graduated in 1948. She then went to work for Time magazine as an editorial researcher.

In June 1950 she traveled to Paris, France with the intention of finding a job there. She found a husband instead. She met Bob Bartlett in a pastry shop in Paris. Ten weeks later, September 6, 1950, she and Bob were married in Rome. They went to live in Istanbul, Turkey where Bob was teaching engineering at Robert College. Two years later they returned to the U.S. with their three month old son, Paul, and settled in Schenectady, New York. Two more children were born in Schenectady, Russell M. Bartlett and David V.G. Bartlett.

Corporate transfers led to the family living successively in Chicago, Schenectady NY, Boston, Baltimore, Columbia MO, Dayton OH and retirement in Juno Beach, FL. While living in Columbia, Ada attended the University of Missouri and in June 1981, at age 60, received her Master’s Degree in Child and Family Development.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Robert L. Bartlett, three sons and eight grandchildren: Paul Bartlett of  Baltimore, MD, wife, Gail, and sons Daniel and Benjamin; Russ and Sandy Bartlett of Atlanta GA and children Melissa Lawrence, Kristen and Bradley; and David and Lisa Bartlett of Hallsville MO and children Asia Klassen, Mason and Tonia. Ada is also survived by her brother Edgar Van Gelder (wife, Igne) of Westport, CT. Another brother, Joost Van Gelder (survived by wife, Nikki) died several years ago. Ada is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Ada was a veteran traveler and camper. She spoke four languages and loved traveling overseas. She never complained about moving and regarded each move as an opportunity to learn about a different part of the country. She will be sorely missed by all her family and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 10 am on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at Lenoir Woods Epple Chapel. Burial is to follow in Memorial Park Cemetery at 12:30 pm.

Memorial donations are suggested to Lenoir Woods Benevolent Association.

Online tributes may be left at