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Born: Aug 02, 1917

Date of Passing: Mar 30, 2005

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JOHANNES (JOHN) VERHAPPEN John Verhappen passed away in Kelowna, BC on March 30, 2005 after a valiant struggle with cancer. He is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Henrica, and his children, Robert (Anita) of Winnipeg, Joey (Geoff) Tipping of Calgary, Thea (Barrie) Graham of Kelowna and Lia (Bruce) Loppe of Oxbow, SK. He is also survived by his five grandchildren, Brent Graham, Sean (Annette) Graham, Christopher (Crystal) Graham, Michelle (Dwayne) Bennett and Jennifer (Mark) Gacek. He was Opa to five great-grandchildren, Micheal and Nicholas Graham, Kendall and Hailey Graham and Lauren Bennett. He is survived by two sisters, Cisca Jansen and Bep (Joop) Evers in Holland and numerous nieces and nephews in Canada and Holland. John was born in Holland on August 2, 1917; there he learned the trade of carpentry which he used during the war to build hiding places in homes for Dutch Jewish citizens and others being sought by the Germans. John, himself, was interred for one year in Germany, in a slave labour camp for curfew violation. He moved his family to Canada in 1954, settling first in Stony Mountain, MB, and later in Winnipeg. In both communities, John worked in the carpentry and construction trades. He later started his own construction company, moved to Carnduff, SK, and constructed many homes, buildings, and the new Catholic Church. In 1969, he returned to Winnipeg and enjoyed his work in the construction trade until his retirement in 1981. John was a very generous man; he would take the shirt off his back if he perceived someone else to be in greater need. John and Rica spent part of their retirement in Fort St. John, BC and Calgary, AB. In his retirement, John enthusiastically pursued his interest in bowling, a game he loved and mastered. He also enjoyed working at Sea Fever Farms, Calgary, designing and building horse jumps. He was commissioned to build a horse jump for the Southern Family at Spruce Meadows, a task that he accomplished with pride. In 2002, John and Rica moved to Kelowna, a home they considered paradise . John fought his final battle with cancer for his last two months in the Palliative Care Unit at Cottonwoods Care Centre in Kelowna. John's great sense of humour and energetic enthusiasm for life will be greatly missed. John's life was celebrated at St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Kelowna on April 4. Donations in John's memory may be made to Cottonwoods Care Centre (Douglas Fir Unit), 2255 Ethel St., Kelowna, BC V1Y 2Z9.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on May 07, 2005

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