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Our mother Joanne was born November 26, 1925 in the Netherlands, one of nine children, into the Van Loenen family. She spent a few early years of her life in a hospital due to a spinal defect. In her late teens she fell in love with Simon van der Kooij, Simon joined the Dutch army in 1946-49 and served his country in Indonesia so they were not able to marry until April 14, 1951. Due to dire economic conditions in post WWII Holland, the happy newlyweds decided to start a new life in Canada and emigrated on May 15, 1951. Soon after their arrival they settled in Huttonville, Ontario and Simon worked at Calvert Dales Estate bringing his greenhouse business experience from Holland with him. In the next ten years 4 children were born: Jake, John, Ellen, and Raymond.
On Thanksgiving Day, October 14, 1963 Joanne’s life took a major turn when Simon passed away of cancer leaving her to raise four young children by herself. In March of 1964 she moved from rural Huttonville into Brampton on Brisco St. It was a difficult time raising four young children as a single mother however thankfully help came from family and church members. Fourteen years later she married Harry Van Roon on a cold winter day on January 28, 1977. They lived happily together on Brisco St., Charolais Blvd, and then Holland Christian Homes with plenty of travelling before Harry passed away on July 20, 2010.
Joanne’s journey continued on at Holland Christian Homes living independently till the age of ninety-six at which time she went to Bethell Hospice and then Grace Manor. There she felt at home, was comfortable and surrounded by people she loved.
She always enjoyed children and spent much time with her six grandchildren. She loved to volunteer at Holland Christian Homes which she did for 30 years. She was always sewing, knitting or crocheting and our family have all enjoyed her handwork. Coffee socials were important to Mom as a way of connecting with people. Mom also collected stamps and saved every stamp that came in the mail to her, it was another way to see the world. In the last years she experienced the joy of having a great grandson, Mackenzie and knowing more great grandchildren are on the way.
Joanne is survived by her children Jake, John (Carol), Ellen, Raymond (Renee) and grandchildren, Lindsay (Scott Simon), Marlee (Nigel Ward), Nikolas (Kendra), Kristopher (Jen), Sarah, Mikael and great-grandson Mackenzie.
We will all miss Joanne dearly and take comfort knowing she is with Jesus in Heaven.
A private family service will be held on Friday January 6 at 1:00 p.m.
The family has provided the opportunity to view a livestream of the service from the comfort of your own home. Please visit the link above to view the service.