Gardening 14

Robert Oudemans

October 16, 1931 ~ November 11, 2020 (age 89)


Robert Oudemans, 89, of Ellicott City, Maryland (formerly of Greenbelt, Maryland), passed away on November 11, 2020.

Bob was born on October 16, 1931, in Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia.  After a childhood that included the occupation of Indonesia during World War II, an interrupted education, and more than his share of audacity, after seeing an ad in the Economist magazine for Brigham Young University, he wrote to the president of the school and secured an invitation to enroll.  Along with his love Elly van Ramshorst, he emigrated to the United States in 1958.  They famously married in Las Vegas in 1960, and went on to have four children, Robert William, Randolph Alan, Elysia, and Michael Gaston.  He went on to get his Ph.D. in development economics from the University of Maryland.  One of his proudest achievements was being awarded a Fulbright Fellowship; Henry Kissinger called him to notify him of the special award.

In 1977, his work as a team leader at the World Bank brought a family move to Jakarta, Indonesia, a formative time for the whole family.

Bob’s family meant more to him than anything else in the world.  He often regaled the family with stories of his adventures, but also with his philosophical wisdom with grandiose themes of “We can move mountains!” He was unendingly proud of each of his children, and adored his grandchildren, Skye, Jasper, Remy, Bobby, Mateo, Landon, and Maya. After retirement, he and Elly helped raise many children in their home-based day care center.  They were Oma and Opa to so many children who now walk the earth with Oma and Opa in their hearts.

Bob was also an avid botanist/gardener, splicing and hybridizing numerous plants and spending hours in their Garden of Eden at their home in Greenbelt.  

Anyone who knew Bob knows that he was the most loving father and husband a family could ask for. He was predeceased by the love of his life Elly.  He is survived by his son Robert Oudemans, his son Randolph Oudemans, his daughter Elysia Oudemans-Tilley and son-in-law Brian Oudemans-Tilley, and his son Michael Oudemans and daughter-in-law Melissa Oudemans, and his grandchildren Skye Oudemans, Bobby Oudemans, Jasper Oudemans, Remy Oudemans, Landon Oudemans, Mateo Oudemans, and Maya Oudemans, along with former daughters-in-law Claire Hendy and Anne Oudemans.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Gilchrist Hospice Care, an organization that has been a blessing to the Oudemans family, at Gilchrist, 11311 McCormick Rd., Ste. 350, Hunt Valley, MD 21031 or at




A service summary is not available


Gilchrist Cares
11311 McCormick Rd #350, Hunt Valley MD 21031
Tel: 1-888-823-8880

© 2020 Harry H. Witzke's Family Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy