Our “Opa Bill” passed away peacefully on November 24, 2012 at 90 years of age. Survived by his beloved wife Tonita, their seven children: Hans, Eric, Fred, Robin, Steven, Danny and Molly and spouses: Connie, Alice, Anna, Rosa, Lorraine, Cindy, Laing. He also leaves behind a legacy of 16 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. “Wild” Bill will also be deeply missed by his faithful walking companion Happy. Bill was born in the Netherlands on September 18, 1922. He spent much of his childhood in Dutch Indonesia before returning to Holland prior to WW2.
He married Tonita in 1948 after reconnecting at horticultural college. They immigrated to Canada in 1951. Bill and Tonita first settled in Beaverlodge, AB and then travelled by tractor and homemade trailer to Mt. Lehman, BC. They moved to Qualicum Beach in 1982, where they lived ever since.
Bill was strong in spirit, known to have a good sense of humour and immensely generous. Anyone and everyone was welcome in their home. His grand kids and their friends would often hang out being fed and playing pool. He spent many evenings with his wife at the local beach watching the sunset. Bill loved to garden and could often be seen weeding and dead heading plants wherever he went. Until most recently, he worked every day in his own yard. Bill and Tonita’s shared Dutch heritage were celebrated every December for Sinterklaas. It was always a large, loud and most memorable gathering.
A special thanks goes out to all those who cared for and supported Bill and Tonita over the past few years. You helped him live with dignity and allowed him to remain at home at long as possible.
“If I should die before the rest of you,
Break not a flower, nor inscribe a stone.
Nor, when I’m gone, speak in a Sunday voice,
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell.
But life goes on,
So…sing as well.” – Joyce Grenfell.
A family celebration of life will take place on Saturday December 1, at Fred & Anna’s from 2-5.