Passed peacefully after a full life, Martin accepted many challenges and always came through with determination, a strong work ethic and a healthy sense of humour.
Predeceased by his loving first wife of 49 years, Irmgard, who he admired and loved deeply throughout their marriage and her two-year battle with breast cancer. Also predeceased by an infant son, John and one of his younger brothers in Holland, Willem.
Survived by his six children, Anne (Peter), Linda (John), Ron, Terry (Zena), Margareth and Diane. He leaves 12 grandchildren, Terri, Dave, Chris, Melissa, Brian, Michael, Treason, Annie, Ali, Racheal, Cordell and Rob and 6 great grandchildren, Katie, Emily, Dylan, Lily, Charlie and Samuel.
His second wife of 19 years, Corrie, with whom he shared his golden years, highlighted by many warm, wonderful winters in Palm Desert. His stepchildren, Gord (Edith), Gerry (Laura) and Cobina (Rick) along with their 8 children and 2 grandchildren.
His beloved siblings in Holland, Siem (Dit) and Sophia.
Martin lived through difficult times in Europe, including two years of forced labor in Germany during WWII. He spoke little of this experience. When asked what he did when the war ended, he said simply that he “walked home”.
In 1952, like many young Dutch couples, he and his young wife emigrated from Holland to Canada with their daughter Anne. Eventually they settled on Vancouver Island where the family grew and benefited from the freedom and kindness small town life provides.
He was persistent and fortunate to land a job at the MacMillan Bloedel sawmill in Chemainus, where he worked for 29 years. He started on the construction crew, became a journeyman millwright and was promoted to the management ranks as maintenance foreman.
Naturally gifted in the art of detail, his true passion was gardening, a skill that he nurtured over many years. He was a prize-winning gardener and orchid expert, who was frequently sought out for his vast knowledge. He also developed and mastered the building of increasingly complex and stunning birdhouses.
Dad was President of the school board at the Duncan Christian School for many years. A scholarship will be made in the family’s name to help a deserving student continue their post-secondary education.
Martin’s family remembers him as hard working, clever, kind and a bit of a rascal.
We love you Dad. We will all miss that twinkle in your eye.
A Celebration of Life is to be held August 16th at 2:00pm at the Christian Reformed Church in Duncan, with a tea to follow.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Vanderkruyk Scholarship Fund at the Duncan Christian School.