Wilhelmina (“Willy”) H. Fogg passed away at her home in Fortuna on June 9, 2021 at the age of 80. Born in the Netherlands in 1940 to Wilhelminus and Theodora Van Arensbergen, Willy was the fifth of twelve children. She married and immigrated to the United States in 1962 where she worked as a nurse and had two children, Scott and Andrew. Sadly, her first husband made her fear for her safety and she fled with the boys to Holland, where they were taken in by her parents and loving siblings. Her show of courage in leaving and their tenderness to take care of her and the boys built in her a sense of strength and empathy that would serve her and so many others with whom she came in contact for. the rest of his life.
She returned to the United States and met the love of her life, Robert Fogg, whose kindness, generosity and enthusiasm for life were a mirror of hers. They married within three months of meeting and together raised the boys, before moving to Fortuna in 1975. In Fortuna they found a community they loved.
During those early years, she worked nights at Redwood Memorial Hospital while attending school during the day, completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Humboldt State University. Her bright smile, small stature, strong accent, sharp wit, and complete lack of “filter” attracted her to friends, colleagues and strangers. She was a beloved member of the operating room staff, eventually becoming the Director of Surgical Services at Redwood.
Willy had an indomitable spirit and an ability to overcome adversity. Her history of aggressive breast cancer led her to work with Reach to Recovery, counseling women in the midst of their own struggles. The tragedy of losing her eldest child to suicide prompted her to find new strength, as she was called upon repeatedly over the following years to support other grieving families.
She loved adventure. Regardless of the length, destination, or plan, she would gladly jump in a car or board a plane to seek out a new experience. She could jump into any situation and live life without any shyness. His joy even in the smallest things widened his connection with those around him.
Willy was a passionate gardener, an inspiring quilter, and a dedicated community servant. Everyone who was actively involved in the Eel River Valley community knew Willy Fogg. She was proud to be a member of the Eel River Quilting Guild, Fortuna Garden Club, Soroptimists and volunteered at the hospital after her retirement, frequently acting as a liaison between hospital staff and family members. anxious waiting for news from loved ones. She died suddenly and unexpectedly as she prepared her beautiful home and gardens for a visit to the Fortuna Garden Club.
Willy Fogg was predeceased by his sweetheart, Robert Fogg, his eldest son, Scott, his parents, Wim and Dora, and his siblings, Thea, Ton and Wim.
She is survived by her youngest son, Drew, his wife Elizabeth, her beloved grandchildren Rowan and Violet and her loving companion of the past two decades, Bill Laferrier. She is also survived by her wonderful siblings, their spouses and her nieces and nephews residing in Holland whom she often visited. Too many close friends will miss her to list here, but all of you know how much she truly loved you.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 1 at the River Lodge in Fortuna from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Instead of flowers, she would have been delighted if you had donated to one of her favorite places, the Humboldt Botanical Garden. Donations can be made online at hbgf.org.
The above obituary was submitted on behalf of Willy fogg’s loved ones. the Lost Coast Outpost maintains obituaries for residents of Humboldt County free of charge. See guidelines here.