Johanne Bernadine Elisabeth Dekker (nee Wichers)

Mar 10, 1930 – Mar 1, 2018
It is with deep sadness, we announce our mother, Johanne passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 1, 2018.

Mom was born and raised in the Netherlands and lived the majority of her early years in the town of Obdam. Here, she met Sam, neighbour and classmate and the man who was to become her husband. In 1948, at the age of 18, Sam left behind his home country and set out to forge a more prosperous future in Canada. He and Mom kept in touch through letters until she immigrated in 1951 when she was just 21. Soon after her arrival, they were married in Cloverdale, BC and started a family that grew to include 7 children.

The growing family’s housing needs were always met by a father who had the skills to build a new home whenever the family needed more space. Throughout the 1950s and early 60s, Dad built three homes on what was then known as Rankin Road in Surrey, BC (148th St).

Sadly, Dad passed away at the young age of 39 and Mom was left to raise their seven children on her own. With Mom’s determined spirit and pride, she was able to achieve this and so much more. Of Mom’s many talents and interests — from impeccable housekeeping, sewing, and gardening, to traveling, baking and cooking, one of Mom’s greatest pleasures in life was being around people and food.

In 1972, she found a job that was to be the perfect fit. Hired by the Dutchman’s Caterers as a server, Mom worked part-time for close to 40 years. Through catering, Mom enjoyed serving and socializing with the many people she knew in the community as well as forming new friendships along the way. It was common for her to see people she’d met through parties and events, no matter where she went. Remarkably, Mom finally hung up her apron at the age of 80.

In 1986, with her kids grown and on their own, Mom downsized to a smaller home that was designed, built, and maintained by her grown children and their spouses. Mom wanted to remain in her own home as long as she could and with help from her family, managed to do so until she was 86.

As “Oma” to 15 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren, she was extremely proud of all of their accomplishments whether it was education, careers, travels, and relationships. Mom’s sharp memory, appetite for good food, and ability to socialize remained strong until the last day of her long life.

Mom was predeceased by her oldest son, Charlie in 2011 and by her youngest son, Sam in 2016.

She leaves behind her surviving children, Jim (Sharon), Joanne (Wes), Frank (Tracy), Connie (Nick), and Sandra as well as her grandchildren and great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews, and family in Alberta, Spain, Holland, Australia, and New Zealand as well as many friends, neighbours, and former co- workers.

Please join us as we honour our mother with a funeral Mass officiated by Father G. Dion at Gardens of Gethsemani Chapel (15800-32 Ave, Surrey, BC) on March 22, 2018 at 2 pm, followed by a reception at Good Shepherd Parish Hall (2250 150 St. Surrey, BC).


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