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Born: Feb 05, 1928

Date of Passing: Jan 16, 2020

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John lived a wonderful life, full of family, travel, and gentle kindness. He was born February 5, 1928 in the town of Leeuwarden, Netherlands. Soccer was a keen life-long interest of his and he avidly followed many sports throughout his life. School was not difficult for him and he had a brilliant mind for numbers.
In 1946, influenced by his father's involvement in the Dutch underground and being impressed by the Canadian military for their liberation of the Netherlands, he enlisted in the Dutch army. He was then stationed in Indonesia where he met a lovely young Indonesian woman named Hok who would become the love of his life.
Once out of the army, John worked in Indonesia as an accountant. In 1957 they headed to Canada with three children in tow and first settled in Winnipeg.
Soon after, he took an accounting position with the Winkler Creamery. A number of years later, when the creamery was sold, he was offered an accounting position with Friesens Corporation in Altona, Manitoba. John held board positions with the Altona Credit Union and Friesens Corporation, and volunteered time with the Altona Housing Authority. He remained at Friesens as VP of Finance until the age of 62 when he retired.
Retirement suited John well. He and Hok immediately moved to Winnipeg. They loved to travel and retirement allowed them to travel as often as they could. When not attending as many Folklorama pavilions as possible during the summer, they travelled to their home countries of Indonesia and the Netherlands and numerous countries in between. A highlight was being able to take his children and grandchildren to Holland, tour the places he was familiar with and tell stories.
John passed away January 16, 2020. He is survived by his loving wife Hok of 71 years; children, Evert (Sonia), Anna (Steve), Paul (Donna), Robert, Irene (Len); grandchildren, David, Laura, Kristi, Kara, Jeff, Andrea, Justin, Nicole, Jenny; as well as 11 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by one daughter Honey; sister Lamberta; and brothers, Siep and Bert.
A private family Celebration of Life is being planned. He will be greatly missed.
The family would like to thank all the friends and family who sent email condolences, thoughts, and prayers. Each one was very much appreciated.
A special thank you is also extended to the wonderful staff at Lions Manor, 4th floor, Personal Care Home for their kindness and care they gave John these past two years.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to: Lions Manor Personal Care Home (Recreation Department).

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 25, 2020

Condolences & Memories (2 entries)

  • My mom and I visited the Wolters home one day. I don't know if Mom realized Evert and I were classmates, but I think Mom just wanted to get to know our neighbours. I remember a delicate, yet tantalizing aroma - now I wonder, Evert, if your mom was cooking an Indonesian dish. I could not have guessed then that I would have the privilege of visiting Indonesia and enjoying the marvellous cuisine. Evert, you were always kind and gentle, and I'm sure this is a fine tribute to both your parents. Please give my condolences to your mother, and know that while I have few memories of your family, they are all very good ones! - Posted by: Pat Gerbrandt (former classmate - Evert) on: Apr 12, 2020

  • I spent a lot of time with Paul in my younger adult days. Later in life I lived next door to John and Hok. They were wonderful neighbors and as kind as you could ask for. I think I remember John loving to listen to his radio while Paul and I were in the basement. As I recall the Bombers were what he loved to listen to. Our condolences to the family and especially to Paul and Donna who we ran into last summer after a long time of not seeing them. Our prayers go out to you and to your mom. - Posted by: Cliff Derksen and Mary Elizabeth Long (Friends of the family) on: Jan 25, 2020

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