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RIP Muriel Ydo: 1958 -2022 has learned of the death of Muriel Nicolette Ydo, a long-time resident and much-loved community activist in Bali, age 63.

Muriel Ydo, also known as Muriel Loots, was indeed a “force of nature” in her adopted home of Bali – determined to help friends, neighbors, associates, and the people of Indonesia.

Highly intelligent, Muriel was fluent in seven languages and held degrees in tourism, sociology, economics, and international law. 

Together with her husband Willem Loots, Muriel was an accomplished ocean-going sailor. Typical of those who master the four winds on small boats and set sail on the high seas for distant unseen lands, Muriel exuded the quiet self-confidence of those prepared to boldly take the helm to travel to unexplored places and ports. Trimming the mainsail, tying a clove-hitch, or preparing a delicious meal from a cramped galley were all second nature to this remarkable woman.

Born in Den Hague, The Netherlands, and raised in Belgium, Muriel held an international law degree from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and an International Baccalaureate in socio-economy from the Ecole Europeene in Brussels. She also attended Cambridge University in the U.K, where she studied English before commencing her studies to become a hotelier at the Hotel Management School HHS in Den Haag.

Equipped with a keen mind and a genuine love for humanity, social activism came naturally to Muriel Ydo. Blessed or, alternatively, burdened with a mind that incessantly asked “why not?” and “why can’t this be made better?” – she tirelessly contributed her ideas and energies to helping oppressed and deprived members of society, and campaigns to reverse the pace of global environmental ruin.

In Bali, Muriel’s humanitarian instincts naturally drew her to the many community service projects embraced by the Bali International Woman’s Association (BIWA). Established in 1974 by a group she dubbed “seven fearless women,” BIWA is an outlet for a large group of talented Indonesian and international women determined to positively impact their Island community. 

Muriel eventually rose in the ranks of BIWA to serve as the organization’s President in 2002. Nearly 50 years after its founding, BIWA continues to affect positive change in areas that include social welfare projects on behalf of women and children, children’s health and education, assistance to those who have HIV/AIDS, and a range of environmental initiatives.

To this day, BIWA’s mission remains unwavering in its commitment to improving the local community’s wellbeing, health, and welfare.

Muriel Ydo worked in many jobs in hotels, restaurants, tour and travel companies, cruise boat operations, film location scouting, recycling businesses, waste management, environmental protection, and crisis response. While studying international law in Amsterdam, Muriel worked at the headquarters of Amnesty International in Amsterdam.

Muriel died in a Bali hospital on Saturday, 26 March 2022, after a valiant battle with a chronic illness.

A private family cremation will be held on Thursday, 31 March 2022.

Those wishing to pay their respects and celebrate the amazing life of a true heroine of Bali are invited to join the family on Friday, 01 April 2020, between 1:00 and 5:00 pm at the family residence in Pantai Seseh. Attendees are kindly asked to park their vehicles at the Wantilan in Seseh and walk down the beach to the entrance gate.

She is survived by two sons – Vincent and Alexander, and her husband, Willem Loots. She was 63 and died three weeks short of her 64th birthday.

Many who knew Muriel will remember her generous and untiring efforts to help the surrounding community. On a more personal level, many will also smile as they recall a tall, attractive, and vibrant woman, whose resonant baritone voice and laughter brightened every encounter.

Depending on spiritual outlook, people can choose to debate endlessly if Muriel has left her many friends and family for a “better place.” However, what is not subject to argument is that the place Muriel so abruptly left is now certainly a much poorer place without her kind and gentle attendance.

RIP Muriel Ydo, 1958-2022

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