January 22, 1945 – November 21, 2021
In Loving Memory ~ Willem was born in the Netherlands, the third of twelve children; eight boys and four sisters. He died in ICU at Victoria General Hospital with his daughters Elizabeth and Annamarie, his partner Shirley, and sister-in-law Khrysty at his side.
Willem immigrated to Canada in 1967 at the age of 22, first living in in Kingston, Ontario. Heading west to see the mountains, he drove to Vancouver and arrived with $30.00 to start his life on the west coast. In Vancouver he worked as an entrepreneur and restaurateur. His two beloved daughters, Elizabeth and Annamarie were born there.
Willem retired to the Comox Valley, close to his brother Jabez and sister-in-law Khrysty.
Retirement was rich with friendship, volunteering, and activities. Willem thoroughly enjoyed working with the other wonderful volunteers at Evergreen Seniors lunches. Bicycling throughout the valley often included a stop for coffee and chat with other cyclists.
Walking around the Air Park always provided him with the opportunity to say a friendly word and bring a smile to other walkers. Working out at the Courtenay Recreation Centre gym resulted in more friendships, and even lead to his life with Shirley.
Willem was known for his thoughtfulness, many acts of kindness, and great humor. He enjoyed preparing delicious meals, presenting with them all the garnishes and beautiful settings. He was a great raconteur of stories and jokes, and a singer of songs.
Willem was blessed with a close and loving family. He was in touch frequently with his siblings and relatives in the Netherlands, and reunions were joyous events. He was rightfully tremendously proud of his daughters and delighted with their partners Brandin and David. He was thrilled when his grandchildren arrived, Olly first, then River.
A Celebration of Willem’s Life will be held at a later date. Donations to the food bank would be appreciated.
“Life has an end, love doesn’t.”
Willem will be loved and missed by many.Obituary
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