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Wim T. Ibes,   Age 93
Visitation Location: Benson Funeral Home, St. Cloud, Minnesota
Visitation Date/Time: Tuesday, April 18, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM and one hour prior to service at St. John's
Funeral Time: Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 11:00 AM
Funeral Location: St. John's Abbey Church, Collegeville, Minnesota
Burial Location: St. John's Abbey Cemetery, Collegeville, Minnesota
    Wim T. Ibes, 93
    St. Cloud, Minnesota
    February 6, 1930 – April 13, 2023
    Surrounded by family, our beloved Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Friend, Uncle, mentor and so much more, died peacefully on Thursday, April 13, 2023, in his home in St. Cloud, Minnesota.
     His funeral will be held at St. John's Abbey Church in Collegeville, MN on Wednesday, April 19th at 11:00 AM Visitation will be Tuesday April 18th from 4:00-7:00 at Benson Funeral Home in St. Cloud, MN; and one hour prior to the funeral service at St. John's.
     He was preceded in death by his parents, Mies and Wim; his siblings Theo, Andre, and Marianne; and first wife Kathryn Ditter Ibes (Vonnie). He is survived by his six children, Jennifer (Marvin) Allen of Kopperl, TX; Wim Ibes of Sumas WA; John (Sabine) Ibes of Minneapolis, MN; Mia (Vince) Boom of Burleston, TX; Katie Ibes of Minneapolis, MN; Dorothy Ibes of Williamsburg, VA; 18 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. He is also survived by the wife of his heart, Akiko Yoshikawa, whom he married August 30, 2015. The only way to describe her is that she has been a miracle, both for our Father and the entire family.
     Wim was born on Thursday, February 6th, 1930, in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He endured the occupation of his home town in WWII for over 4 years. He was 14 years old when Nijmegen was liberated. He found his passion at 12 years old with the piano, often lamenting that he had started "too late" to become a great pianist. His arrival in America, in 1948, at the age of 18, tells a different story. As "a young Dutchman, scarcely more than a boy", at his first major concert at St. John's University, he played a Grieg Concerto with a full orchestra and received a standing ovation. After his return to Europe, he studied in Paris with Marguerite Long, before returning to St. John's where he took an appointment in Music. Years later, in the late 90's, he played in Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center, with one music critic referring to him as "an artist of the highest quality."; and another "those who love the French repertoire will look forward to this pianist’s next visit".
     Wim was a devout Catholic his whole life and retired after teaching at St. John's for over 60 years. It was then that his true work began -- deciphering the texts underlying some of the greatest works by Beethoven, Brahms, Shubert, and more. His vast understanding of Catholicism and languages put him in a unique position to do this work. In his last few months, Wim took his vision of the present and focused that in on himself. He seemed to grow in wisdom and grace exponentially during this time. His blue eyes radiated a peace that seemed to flow throughout his whole body, and filled the space around him.
     It was in these final years that Wim reclaimed the gift that his father feared he had lost, and began again playing not from his mind, but from his heart. In turn, the music that emanated from his fingers takes one out of this world, bringing us instead to the place where he has now gone.
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