Obituary of Hendrika (Henny) Cornelia de Vries
Henny passed away on April 12th, in her own home in Westward Ho with most of her family present.
She was born in Bunnik, the Netherlands 98 1/2 years ago to Hendrik and Johanna van Scherpenzeel. She and her family lived through the occupation of their country during WWII and it left an indelible impression on her life. She and Dad started their relationship during this period, and they married on September 2, 1947. She immigrated to Canada with her husband and three small children in 1953. They travelled from Halifax to Calgary by train. There they were met by elders from the Dutch Reformed Church who helped them to settle in. Mom had to learn Canadian ways and care for her small children, while Dad got his first job with Stewart Hatcheries.
She was determined to help Dad to realize their dream of starting a farm and he worked three jobs at a time to help it come true – Summerland Poultry Farm. She worked side by side with her husband in the business and also cooked, sewed clothes, raised their children, which had now grown to six, and tended a large garden. Mom insured her family had a strong faith and a good education.
In time she was blessed with grandchildren and later great grandchildren. She enjoyed them so much and they brought great pleasure to her life.
Our parents kept in close contact with their families in the Netherlands and would go to visit them from time to time. In later years, after Dad’s passing, Mom enjoyed taking trips with Hilary and their dogs Maggie and Toby.
Mom lived a full and varied life. She was a modern pioneer. A strong woman with strong opinions. We will cherish her sense of humor, enduring faith, love of singing, sense of style, her smile, strict adherence of coffee and tea times, crocheting, a good book and absolute love of flowers! She made an indelible impression on us, and the many things she taught us will be with us always. Our youngest sister Hilary cared for both Mom and Dad in their later years. We owe her our deepest gratitude.
She was predeceased by her husband John Jacob de Vries, sister H.M. van Scherpenzeel and brother J. van Scherpenzeel.
She is survived by her children Elisabeth, Thomas, Wytse (Loreen), Annette (Glen) Kershaw, Hilary & James; her grandchildren: Christopher & Stephen (Cassey) Carlesimo, Bettina (Lance) Engel, & Marjorita (Dwight) Goertzen; her great grandchildren: Jacob, Corben, Carter and Austin Carlesimo; Ellie, Raleigh & Rose Engel; Ivy & Hazel Goertzen; step-great grandchildren: Lyra & Sophie Goertzen; her sister M.G. Liebrecht of Bunnik, and numerous family in the Netherlands.
A Graveside Service will be held Wed., April 19, 2023, 11:00 a.m., at the Bergen Cemetery. Luncheon will follow immediately after the graveside service at the Bergen Missionary Church.
If desired, donations in memory of Henny can be made directly to the Sundre Palliative Care Association, P.O. Box 1259, Sundre, AB, T0M 1X0, or The Salvation Army, 2 Overlea Blvd, Toronto, ON., M4H 1P4.
Hanna Funeral Services Ltd. has been entrusted with the care and arrangements, 403-854-5956, www.hannafuneral.ca.