Emma Leonie Harman (nee Van Dyck)

Emmy passed away peacefully in the early morning of July 9th with her son Fred at her side.

She was born in the Dutch East Indies village of Jambong, Jakarta, Indonesia and at the age of fourteen along with her four sisters she moved to Holland. It was there she started her nursing career during the WW2 Nazi occupation of Holland. It was also there that she was to meet her future husband Fred during the liberation of Holland by the Canadian troops. Two years later she would follow him to Saskatchewan to marry, then on to Jasper Alberta. Further on to Chilliwack BC where she resumed her nursing career at the Coqualeetza TB Hospital. Fred and Emmy moved to Victoria in 1957 where she would eventually become the head ICU nurse at the Veterans Pavilion Hospital. Her final move was to Duncan in 2011 to be close to her family.

Pre deceased by husband Fred in 1977 and by sisters Lottie and Kitty, she is survived by sisters Willy Ford of Kelowna, BC and Marri Van Berkom of Ont., along with many nieces and nephews across Canada and Holland. She was particularly close to niece’s Maureen Breitkreutz and Ellen Van Heerden and Ellen’s close friend Jan Haggerty, who have always been there to offer love and support.

Mum (Oma) had a deep love and affection for her family, son Fred (Sheelagh), grandson Craig (Lyla) and her two very special great grandchildren Kayle and Tyee. We will all miss her tremendous sense of humour, her love and positive outlook on life and her great spirit of adventure for travel. After her retirement in 1979 she travelled the world, including several trips to China, and to Indonesia, Holland, Turkey, Egypt the Balkans and many other countries throughout Europe, as well as Scandinavia and the Canadian Arctic. In her 90th year she toured Haida Gwaii by boat and float plane! Her last adventure at 93 was an Alaskan cruise where “Mama Emmy” was treated like royalty by the Indonesian crew. We were all amazed when she started speaking Indonesian! Who knew?

Emmy was very talented in cross stitch and the lost art of Hardanger embroidering, creating amazing table cloths, runners, wall displays and pillow covers. She enjoyed it most when she could give one of her masterpieces away to those who enjoyed them. She continued with this very detailed hobby until her 94th year!

Her last 2 months were spent living indepently at Sherwood House in Duncan, where she felt safe, cared for and loved by their amazing staff. Our family would like to thank the nursing staff and doctors at Cowichan District Hospital for their care, and a deep gratitude to the We Care RCA’s, the Home & Community Care (VIHA) RCA’s and RN’s, and Dr. Peter Postuk. They all made her final weeks an easier path that allowed her to live her final days on her own terms. Everyone who met her were touched by her kindness, strength, generosity and feisty spirit. In her final hours when asked if there was anything she needed she replied, “peace and love”. This is a reflection of her true spirit.

There will be no service by her request. It was her wish that any donations in her memory be made to the Mustard Seed in Victoria, or the Cowichan Valley Basket Society.

You will be forever in our hearts Mum/Oma. Rest in peace.


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