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Born: Dec 09, 1938

Date of Passing: Jul 20, 2017

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JOHANNA (HERMI) VAN DEN BERG (née KOCH) It's with great sadness that we announce the passing of Johanna (Hermi) van den Berg on July 20, 2017. Hermi was born in Paramaribo, Suriname on December 9, 1938 to Louis Koch and Lucilla Seymour. She is survived by her husband of almost 54 years, Bob van den Berg and their children, daughter Ira (Greg Butterfield) van den Berg and children, Tyler (Hongru), Chase and Mason; son, Roy (Penny) van den Berg and children, Mackenzie and Seth; daughter Gail Kolt (Jack) and her children, Kane and Liam along with their father Blair Kolt; and son Omar (Angelika) van den Berg and children, Yev and Niki; brother and sisters-in-law, Max and Edith van den Berg and Ine van Rijk (Frankie) and their children and grandchildren. She is also survived by her brothers, Robert and Ralph Koch and their respective families as well as many other relatives living overseas. As a young teen, Hermi went to The Netherlands for school and was raised by her tante Betsy van Es who was like a mother to her. During school years as teens in The Hague, was when Hermi and Bob first met each other. They dated for many years and although separated by distance for a few years after finishing their studies, Hermi and Bob remained committed to each other via mail and phone calls. Once reunited, they married on August 9, 1963 and remained in The Hague where they celebrated the births of their eldest children Ira and Roy before embarking on a new chapter in their life and immigrating to Canada in 1968. There, they began their new lives as Canadians and their children, Gail and Omar were born. Hermi worked for many years as a medical assistant for both Drs. Dirk and Richard Blouw. She then went on to work for Wolch, Pinx, Tapper, Scurfield Law firm up until her retirement in 2002. On her down time, Hermi was a Certified Childbirth Educator and taught classes to countless expectant mothers in her home as well as volunteered her time as a companion in labour to mothers who were in need of support. We feel extremely blessed that her skills and knowledge in this field were extended to many family members and close friends. Hermi was an avid volunteer in the community. She dedicated many years and hours to the South Winnipeg Liberal Party, Neighbourhood Revitalization Program and sat on the board as a founding member of Beyond Borders. In 2014, shortly after the decline in her health, Hermi was recognized by Manitoba's Lieutenant Governor for her dedication and work with Beyond Borders. We would like to extend our thanks to West Park Manor and their staff for their care of Mam as well as to Blair for his daily visits to her, which helped to make her final months as comfortable as possible. Mam, you never forgot a birthday, anniversary or special occasion and at times you gave more than you received in return - and that did not go unnoticed. You were a fiercely independent woman who was ahead of your time - a true feminist. You and Papa epitomized what a committed, loving marriage is and we thank you for always supporting us in all of our endeavours. We love you and we will miss you. "Totdat we weer ontmoeten." A funeral service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 at Charleswood United Church, 4820 Roblin Blvd., Winnipeg. Interment to follow at Chapel Lawn Memorial Gardens. For those who wish to sign the online Guest Book please visit our website. Chapel Lawn Funeral Home, 204-885-9715

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Jul 22, 2017

Condolences & Memories (13 entries)

  • I am so sorry for your loss, Gail and family. I remember you always had a funny story about your Mom and spoke very highly of her. I hope you are doing well and would love to reconnect. I left Winnipeg in 2012. You can reach me at Thinking of you, Denise "Dot" Bowman - Posted by: Denise Bowman (Friend of Gail's) on: Feb 19, 2018

  • Dear Bob & Family, We offer our sincerest condelences on the passing of your wife, mother, grandmother. We are so sadden to have missed the funeral as we were away and only learned of Hermi's passing yesterday. She was a truly gifted woman in so many fields and will be dearly missed. I only met her briefly during my dad's funeral (Wolter Bos) 2 years ago and I instantly connected with her spirit. I am sorry I did not have the privilege of knowing her better. We offer you our prayers for peace during this difficult time and pray the Lord surround you and comfort you. All the best, Karen & Robert Springett - Posted by: Karen & Rob Springett (Daughter of Bob's friend 'Wolter Bos') on: Jul 27, 2017

  • Condolences to Bob and the entire Van Den Berg family from the entire Michalchyshyn clan. Hermi was a special person who brought kindness and grace. Eternal is her memory! - Posted by: Ihor Michalchyshyn (family friend) on: Jul 26, 2017

  • Where do I begin to relate how special Hermi was, both as a dear friend and co-worker? Her kindness, friendship, thoughtfulness, tireless energy and compassion were something to aspire to. Hermi never forgot a birthday or an anniversary, and always made sure my family felt extra special at Christmas with chocolate and gifts. It was also a joy to be included in so many wonderful van den Berg family get-togethers, whether birthdays or anniversaries, and to feel the love and admiration everyone felt for Hermi. My heart goes out to Bob, Ira, Gail, Roy and Omar, as well as the many grandchildren who loved her so much. She is and will forever be truly missed. All my love, Cindy Manteuffel - Posted by: Cindy Manteuffel (Friend and co-worker) on: Jul 26, 2017

  • I worked with Hermi for many years. It was a pleasure working with her. She was a great lady and a beautiful person. She was very kind and generous and a great source of wisdom. I always made my homemade "clodhoppers" for her at Christmas time for her family. I will miss her dearly. My condolences to her family. - Posted by: Debby Kalinski (friend) on: Jul 24, 2017

  • I first met Hermi when we worked on the MWCRP committee and then at various Liberal functions. She was a real lady and it is so sad to read of her passing. Our condolences go out to her family. - Posted by: Theckla Brown (Friend) on: Jul 24, 2017

  • Dear Ira, Greg, Tyler, Chase & Mason, My heartfelt sympathies go out to you and of course to your dad and siblings. I am sure you will gain much comfort in having all your family together. Your mom was a very strong woman who lived her life to the fullest and was very much admired by all who knew her. Sincerely, Roslyn Nairn. - Posted by: ROSLYN NAIRN (friend) on: Jul 22, 2017

  • Hermi and Bob made us so welcome when we arrived in Winnipeg in 2009 and we feel very blessed to have enjoyed their company at any number of family occasions since. May you all find strength and comfort among friends and one another at this very sad time. We keep you in our hearts, now and always. Much Love, Trish and Suzanne - Posted by: Suzanne Foreman (friend ) on: Jul 22, 2017

  • Sorry to hear about your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you. - Posted by: Linda Baziuk (Friend) on: Jul 22, 2017

  • I was very sad to read of Hermi's passing today. She was a wonderful lady. I made a great connection with your family while teaching Gail and Omar at Earl Grey. Hermi came to my house to coach me prior to my second daughter's birth. Today we are waiting for that daughter to deliver her baby daughter, thirty four years later. The circle of life. My condolences to the family. I know you will take good care of each other during this time of profound loss. Sincerely, Deborah Thorvaldson - Posted by: Deb Thorvaldson (Friend) on: Jul 22, 2017

  • She was so loved by her family and accomplished so much in her life. - Posted by: Connie Hingert (Good friend) on: Jul 22, 2017

  • We are very saddened to hear of your loss. Wishing you and loved ones peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart. - Posted by: Tom and Didi Noorman () on: Jul 22, 2017

  • I worked with Hermi the entire time she worked at the law firm. She was a joy to work with. We bonded over the fact that she got married the day after I was born. I will never forget her kindness and humour while we worked together. As well, when I was pregnant with my first child, she was an infinite source of wisdom and advice. She was a great lady and will be missed! My condolences to her family. - Posted by: Claudette Thibert (Former co-worker) on: Jul 22, 2017

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