John Vandenbrink

 
 
 

Obituary

It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our dear father, grandfather (Opa) and great-grandfather, John Vandenbrink, on January 24th at the age of 87.

He is survived by his children Ė Johan & Rita Vandenbrink, Teresa & Ben Lindemulder, Marina Vandenbrink and Karina & Stan Witten.

He was also the beloved Opa of Julie (Rob) Snijder, Samantha (Clint) Beck, Robyn (Craig) Strain, Andrea Lindemulder, Cherie (Doug) Barr, Benjamin Lindemulder, Jon Vandenbrink, Brent (Amy) Vandenbrink, Karley Witten, Darrell (Alison) Vandenbrink and Katie Witten.

Additionally, he was the proud great-grandfather of Lily and Holly Shih, Madeline and Levi Snijder, Grier and Freya Strain, Cody Barr, Emma Vandenbrink and Baby Vandenbrink, due to arrive soon.

Also left to grieve his passing are his brother Jaap (Ina) in the Netherlands, half- sisters Jo, Annie and Vera, and other extended family in the Netherlands and England. Many nieces and nephews in Canada will also miss him dearly.

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 64 years, Aletta (nee vanWoudenberg), and grandson Grant.

After meeting at a walking club, and a long courtship that included years apart, John and Aletta married in 1955 in Harwich, England and raised their four children in Ipswich, England. John always spoke with great fondness of those early days as a young family, even though he worked two jobs, and Aletta flipped burgers to make ends meet. In 1969, they made the difficult decision to move the family to Canada.

As a teenager John had entered an apprenticeship program for art and engraving at the urging of an uncle. He was a natural artist, a skilled jeweler, and a master hand engraver. While in England some of his engraving was presented to the Royal Family. Once in Canada, he and Aletta established Vandenbrink Engraving Ltd. One of his significant commissions was engraving the chalice gifted to Pope John Paul II. He was also honoured to be the engraver of the medals for the 1978 Commonwealth Games. John continued his craft well into his 80ís, until the arthritic pain in his fingers made it necessary for him to fully retire. He was always grateful for the joy his work provided him.

Even after working long days, John still made the time to volunteer in his church and community. He took on the role of President of the Board of the Emmanuel Home, and oversaw the addition of the Centre Wing to the Home in 1994-95. (Years later he would come to live in that same Centre Wing as a widower and spent two and a half peaceful years there.) Coaching menís soccer, leading church youth groups and helping and enfolding refugees from the Kosovo War in the late 1990s were other ways he gave of his time, shared his knowledge, and showed love and kindness through his volunteering.

Through the years he also enjoyed a multitude of hobbies and was quick to pick up a new interest when given the opportunity. From raising canaries & attracting purple martins to photography, golfing, fishing, curling, growing apple trees, singing in choirs, and creating his own calendars & greeting cards, he did it all with passion.

Over time, Johnís Christian faith deepened and matured, and he committed his life to the Lord shortly after coming to Canada. He would profess to see Godís hand of care and provision throughout his life, albeit sometimes in hindsight. John lived secure in the hope that he would spend eternity with Jesus; this was his comfort right to his last breath. John was a friend to young and old alike, and his warmth, friendliness, humility, and, of course, his sense of humour endeared him to others.

John was dearly loved, will be sorely missed, and will never be forgotten.

In Loving Memory of
John Vandenbrink
 
 
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 Print Funeral Details
Visitation
Friday, February 5, 2021
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Downtown Chapel
10011 - 114 Street
Edmonton, AB
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Funeral Service:
Memorial Service
Saturday, February 6, 2021
1:00 PM
Downtown Chapel
10011 - 114 Street
Edmonton, AB
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Interment:
Little Mountain Cemetery
16025-50 Street
Edmonton, AB
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