The USA (1961 –

Immigration to the United States of America

February 20, 1961

On February 20, 1961 the family arrived in New York via The Holland American Steamship SS Ryndam
Johan (54), Conny (47), Joyce (14), Arthur (5) and Peggy (2).

Through the World Council of Churches, 
The First Baptist Church of Olympia Washington sponsored our family in the United States.  Johan and Conny were granted K-13 VISAs (Dutch National Refugee from Indonesia) and the family as K-14 (Children of Dutch National Refugee from Indonesia).

Thanks to the efforts of Senator Walter about 60,000 Dutch-Indo’s left The Netherlands between 1950 and 1965 to start a new life in the US. The relevant laws were successively the Pastore-Walter Act of 1958 and the Pastore-Walter Act II in 1960. It came down to the fact that the Dutch Indo’s could enter the US as refugees and displaced persons.


There was a national airline strike on at the time and I remember it taking a long time to get to Seattle. We arrived at night in a downpour as we were picked up by  Dr Henry Rahn, the pastor of The First Baptist Church in Olympia Washington and Mrs. Bingham the church’s secretary. The Church set us up with a rental duplex on Olympia’s Westside near the old St Peter’s hospital. They also furnished us with a Ford station wagon with wood panels. We stayed in that house until we gained citizenship in 1966.

Declaration of Intention of Citizenship

July 8, 1961


Johan starts “Johan’s Radio Repair” inside Modern TV on 700 4th Ave E. in Olympia. Johan was one of the first technicians to learn transistor technology and was the place to go for transistor radio repair in Olympia.

  • Family also works at the church, washing dishes and serving food at church functions.


Petitioned and became citizens of the United States, Johan, Conny and Joyce were naturalized and Art and Peggy were “Derivatives of Naturalization”.  We were then able to sponsor Conny’s mother, my grandmother Anna Minke Herrebrugh to America!


Conny starts work as a second-shift Keypunch operator at the Washington State Department of Licensing. She would wait for the kids to come home from school, start dinner, then Johan would come home and bring her to work. At midnight he would pick her up at the Capital Campus.

  • Joyce attends Jefferson Jr High, Olympia High and Western Washington University.
1967 – Joyce marries Russell Chester

1968 – Conny’s first grandchild Tanya Marisa Chester is born to Joyce
1971 – Conny’s second grandchild, Ryan James Chester is born to Joyce.

  • Art attends Garfield Elementary, Jefferson Jr High, Olympia High and Washington State University.
  • Peggy attends Garfield Elementary, Jefferson Jr High, Capital High and Washington State University.


Art graduates from Washington State University, obtains a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and joins The Boeing Company in Seattle Washington. Arthur enjoys a 37 year career as a Principal Lead Engineer in Instrumentation for the Structures Test Laboratories in Seattle.


Johan ends the radio repair shop business.
Conny retires from the State of Washington.

April 10, 1980

January 23, 1984

May 5th, 1995

Johan Albert Rusche passes away at age 72 in Olympia Washington and was cremated at Forest Memorial Gardens in Olympia, Washington.

Anna Minke Teffer passes away at age 94 in Olympia Washington and was buried at Forest Memorial Gardens.

Conny passes at age 80 was cremated at Forest Memorial Gardens in Olympia, Washington.

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