Harry DeJONG

DeJong, Harry. March 25, 1932 – February 6, 2014. Harry was born in the Netherlands in 1932 where he grew up on a dairy farm. In 1947, after World War II, he immigrated to Canada with his parents and siblings. They settled in the Abbotsford area and established themselves in the local farming industry. In 1950 Harry met his future wife, Ann. They were married in 1954 and started their lives together on a dairy farm in Deroche where Harry successfully built his farming business. While they lived there, Harry and Ann had four children: Joan, Colleen, Ted and Valerie. In the spring of 1962 they moved to Matsqui, continued dairy farming and welcomed their fifth child, Cameron, to the family. Harry was grateful for all that Canada had done to liberate the Netherlands during WWII and as a result he had a strong desire to contribute to his community and his new country. He served on the church council and the Abbotsford Christian School Board. He also served as a Director for the MSA General Hospital (now the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Center), the Matsqui Pool Association and the Matsqui Police Board. With the encouragement of many in the Matsqui community Harry ran for political office serving as alderman (1971 – 1975) and Mayor (1975-1987) for the District of Matsqui. In 1987 Harry was elected MLA for the Social Credit Party. He served in Victoria for several years including a position as Minister of Agriculture and Aquaculture. Following his retirement from politics he continued to contribute to the community in many ways: the Agri-Fair Association being one of his favourite organizations where he served as President for many years. In 2013 Harry was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his service to the community. In all areas of service, Harry has been lauded for his honesty, integrity and compassion. Harry treasured time spent with family. He enjoyed working, fishing, travelling and socializing with his immediate and extended family. Birthday and anniversary celebrations honoring family members were opportunities to give thanks to God for His goodness. Harry’s life was characterized by his love for the Lord, his love for his wife and family, and his love for the community. Harry was pre-deceased by his parents, Tienus and Jeltje, and his older brother, John. He is survived by his wife, Ann; daughters Joan (Tom) LeMahieu, Colleen (Bryan) Gingerich, Valerie (Gerald) Veltkamp; sons Ted (Greta) DeJong and Cameron (Angela) DeJong; 9 grandchildren: DJ (Jordan Freeman) LeMahieu, Denver (Naomi Barrettara) Gingerich, Travis Gingerich, Jonathan Veltkamp, Breanna Veltkamp, Tyler (Stephanie) DeJong, Jared DeJong, Lexi DeJong and Kasi DeJong; 3 great-grandchildren Lily, Willow and Henry DeJong; 3 brothers Henry (Tieny), Ted (Ida) and Ed (Rhea) DeJong, and 5 sisters Jenny Jansen, Ann (Albert) Kampman, Corrie (Bill) Kampman, Gert Hoogendoorn, Alice (John) Dieleman; as well as many nieces and nephews. The family is very grateful for Dr. Bull, the nurses, staff, and volunteers at Cascade Hospice (Chilliwack) for the loving care they provided to Harry in his final days. A memorial service to celebrate Harry’s life will be held, Thursday, February 13th at 2:00pm at Gateway Community Christian Reformed Church, 2884 Gladys Ave., Abbotsford. Donations in memory of Harry may be made to: Food for the Hungry, FH Canada www.fhcanada.org or the Abbotsford Christian School Endowment Fund www.abbotsfordchristian.com. You are invited to leave a personal message of condolence at the families on-Line Obituary at “www.myalternatives.ca”