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Corry Stolk throws party to mark 50 years in United States

She invites friends and neighbors to Jan. 14 celebration
by: Barbara Sherman ALWAYS A FRIENDLY SMILE – Corry Stolk now volunteers at the Tigard Senior Center checking people’s blood pressure after doing numerous other jobs there.

Corry Stolk can hardly believe it herself, but the 50th anniversary of her arrival in the United States occurred Dec. 22, and she is throwing a party to celebrate.

The King City resident is inviting all her friends and neighbors to come to Calvin Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Jan. 14, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Corry's life is the stuff that novels are made of: She left her native country for love and lived halfway around the world until moving to the U.S. with her husband and two young sons.

Born and raised on the big island of Java in Indonesia, Corry met a man serving in the Dutch navy, Dirk Stolk, who was stationed there, and they got married six months later. They planned to move to his native Holland together, but when he was ordered to stay longer in Indonesia, she went on ahead for a year until he could join her.

They lived in Holland for 11 years and had two sons, Alex and Ferd.

The Stolks were considered refuges, and as Corry already had family members in the U.S., they came here when the boys were 7 and 4. Corry had a brother living in the Portland area, and the Stolks moved to a farm in Yamhill County, where they raised chickens, alfalfa and more, while Dirk also worked in Portland and Corry was a nurse's aide.

After 25 years on the farm, they moved to Tigard, and Corry went back to school to become a registered nurse. After she later hurt her back, Corry went to work for the American Red Cross as a "blood-sucker."

Dirk died in 1988 after they had been married for 41 years, and Corry retired from the Red Cross the same year. She moved to King City in 1990 and started volunteering at the Tigard Senior Center, checking people's blood pressure when the center was still located in a local church.

Corry also has served on the center's Steering Committee and volunteered at the foot clinic and in the gift shop, and she still takes people's blood pressure.

A longtime fixture at the senior center as well as in Tigard and King City, Corry has friends everywhere, and that is why she is issuing a "public" invitation to celebrate her 50th anniversary in the U.S.

"I was afraid if I sent out invitations that I would leave people out," she said. "Everyone is welcome. We will have food, and this is just an occasion to celebrate and to have fun."

Calvin Presbyterian is located at 10445 S.W. Canterbury Lane in Tigard.