We are so sad to announce that our father, Sam, has passed away after a long energetic life, full of amazing accomplishments. He has joined the love of his life, Catrien, to complete their journey together.
Remembering him with love are his daughters, Trudy (Bob), Emmy (Bruce), Lia (Murray), Catrina (Steve) and Patsy (Trevor). He also leaves behind his wonderful grandchildren, Rob, Chad (Aimee), Ben (Vickie), Lia, Simon and Emily, as well as his great-grandchildren, Cara, Rogan, Briana and Kayden.
Pa was born where beautiful tulips grow in the small village of Grootebroek, Holland, to Ferdinand and Geertje. He was the 2nd youngest of 11 children.
At the age of 19, Sam was taken as a prisoner of war for two years and was liberated by the Canadians. He was a vibrant, energetic, focused young man who never looked back and jumped into life with enthusiasm and gusto.
He fervently pursued the fairest of them all, Catrien, and married her in May of 1949. There was never a doubt that he felt that he had chosen very well. Two years later, they decided to immigrate to Canada with $60 in their pocket, a crate full of furniture and their first-born. They settled in Duncan, BC, worked very hard and raised 5 feisty girls who kept both of them on their toes.
Although strenuous, life was happy for Sam. He was devoted to his family and with a steadfast love led a straight, honest, and hard working life, a model for his girls to follow.
A strong point throughout all his days was his love of God and his Catholic faith. His most favourite treasure and one of the few true constant memories in his last days was his beautiful little Nativity Set. He would gaze upon it with love and reflect on how blessed he was.
He pushed himself tirelessly to ensure his family a safe and beautiful haven. One of his most admirable achievements was building two beautiful, complex homes (without having any construction experience). He was always in his workshop busy making homemade dollhouses, swing sets, teeter-totters, doll cribs, jewelry boxes and furniture for his children and grandchildren to enjoy.
Sam strongest trait was his strength of will. After learning to read and write English on his own, Sam began working at Crofton Pulp and Paper as a First Aid/Security Officer. He was proud of his job and took it very seriously studying hard to make sure he continually got a Double “A” ticket because he felt such a strong obligation to do his best for his fellow workers who might need assistance.
We will miss seeing his joy while painting with his oils, working in his garden, playing his organ or harmonica and watching his favourite sport – soccer.
For their love and kindness, our grateful thanks go to the staff at Sunridge Place in Duncan and Glacier View Lodge in Comox. Thank you to all the angels for their warm hearts and compassionate, loving care whose kisses, hugs and kindnesses helped give him the will to smile till his last days.
The service will be held in Duncan at St. Edwards Church, 10:00 am on Friday, October 14th, 2016. For those so desiring, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity closest to Sam’s heart, Operation Smile (operationsmile.ca), or the favourite charity of your choice.