Monday the 10th of March 2003

would become a dramatic and tragic day …


obituary announcement

Foto van Maaike Joce

 “the Jewel in my life has gone
                      what’s left … is a dull existence”

Monday March 10th 2003, 17.34 hrs.:
(voicemail message)

“Hi dad, it’s Maaike! Call me, call me, call me! I’m at work! I’ve got some really exciting news, and it would be great if you could call me back at work. I’ll be here till two o’clock (mexican time), and then I’m going for lunch. You’ll be sure to catch me here if you can call me before nine o’clock (dutch time). Please, I can’t wait to speak to you! Love you! Bye!”

Twice did we talk to each other on the phone that evening.
She was excited about the e-mail from the second assessor of her thesis which had been forwarded to her in Mexico by her thesis supervisor, Lucas Wams, announcing she finally had -cum laude- achieved her economics degree:

From: “Bruce Weaver” <bruceweaver@wanadoo.nl>
To: “Lucas Wams” <was@hesasd.nl>
Sent: zondag 9 maart 2003 22.10 uur
Subject: Struik paper


Having now twice read Maaike Joyce Struik’s paper, I herewith report that I am astounded.

Your estimate of a 10 is far too low for this level paper. I think a 15 would be more appropriate. In fact, I don’t recall having seen such a wonderful bachelor level dissertation.

It contains everything we always wanted to see in a paper but we were always afraid to ask for – because we know that bachelor students generally aren’t at that level yet.

If I didn’t know better, I would even go so far as to suggest that this paper was definitely written by somebody with at least an M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration) degree. This author’s intuitive grasp of the necessity for the introduction of new techniques of analysis is startling in its brilliance and timing. In all my years of writing business and marketing plans for various multinational corporations and consulting companies, I have never seen such a level of expertise – outside the professional level. I would be hard pressed to do better.

Even more impressively, the utilization of the English language is both faultless and perfectly native speaker idiomatic.

The level of English used is totally consistent with somebody who has lived all her life in an English speaking country (in this case, the USA), who has been educated well beyond the BA level, and who has been out working in the business field for a number of years – probably in the consulting field.

There aren’t even the usual translation glitches with which we are so familiar. The only major grammatical errors seen dealt with the use (or, in this case, non-use) of commas. I would be hard pressed to do better.

And this display of English language proficiency comes from a (what, 23 year old?) Dutch student who, over the past 2 years, has spent 2 semesters studying in the German language in Berlin, 1 semester studying in the Spanish language in Mexico, plus 6 months working as an intern in Mexico (presumably also in the Spanish language). Absolutely amazing!

What does this girl have ... a magic language formula? A special tonic? Wherever it is, we should get ahold of the recipe and patent it. I could use it.

Forget the 15 ... let’s go for 25.



At the start of the evening she went out to celebrate her success at her favourite restaurant, but her dreams were to end in a nightmare. At about 21.20 hrs. she crossed the Avenue López Mateos, as usual on the pedestrian crossing, to catch the bus on the other side that would take her home and to her boyfriend Javier. She never stood a chance against the pick-up car. It was this type of car that made it fatal. She immediately fell into a deep coma and battled for her life for five hours before slipping away in Javier’s arms.

‘Sunflower’ was the first Dutch word she translated for him, and that’s how he’ll always remember her - his ‘Sunflower’. And this Sunflower was inspiring to everyone and loyal to all her friends - harmonious, creative in so many ways and always a great 'builder of bridges'.

After the sudden death of her mother in 1990, she set up ‘team the barrier breakers’: an imaginary team that would break through the barrier of sorrow caused by this immense loss, and turn it into a positive force. In the years that followed we worked together to create a new foundation for her life. With her infectious enthusiasm and zest for life, her positive attitude and her dedication, she left an indelible mark on so many people - so unforgettable, so full of life: “… what! Maaike dead?! Impossible, she can’t be …”
She loved a challenge, travelling and spending a year living on her own in Barcelona - her ‘second home’ - when she was only 17. In Mexico I saw for myself how dear she was to só many people - the church was filled with grief-stricken friends.

She died on one of the very best days of her life in a moment of euphoria with a smile on her face. An eager, bright and young butterfly has fluttered from the sky into a sea … she became only 23, a truly remarkable person in all respects. This loss is so, so terrible painful to bear.

we always will remember Maaike Joyce with deep respect and so much love

Guadalajara (Mexico), the 11th of March 2003, 
Jacques, her father

to allow children to study or to continue studying on a permanent basis is our objective

the Maaike-Joyce Foundation
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