December 10, 1939 - December 17, 2022
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Barend (Bob) Robert Donker on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at the age of 83. After a courageous battle with lung disease, Bob passed away peacefully in his sleep at Heritage River Retirement Home in Elora, ON.
Bob was born December 10, 1939 in Alphen aan de Rijn, Netherlands. He was one of ten children born to his father Barend Donker Sr. and mother Cornelia Laros. In May of 1955, the Donker family immigrated to Canada, landing in Montreal, Quebec before travelling by train to Bowmanville. Some of his family worked on a tobacco farm in the area to earn some money before finally settling in Peterborough, ON.
Bob joined the military when 18 in May of 1958 and served until he was honourably released as a Sergeant in December of 1986. Throughout his service as a Transport Personnel for the Department of National Defense, he had the opportunity to be stationed across Canada as well as in various countries like Egypt, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. He met the love of his life, Eleanor June Doherty, while stationed in Whitehorse, Y.T. and they were married on September 1, 1961. Together they raised two sons and a daughter. Bob was very active throughout his life; he was a big camping enthusiast, loved to hunt and fish, and was an avid golfer and square dancer. Bob was also heavily involved in his community as a Lions Club member for many decades, serving as club President, District Chairman and Zone Chairman throughout his tenure. The Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides, which provides service dogs to Canadians living with disabilities, was a program that was very close to his heart.
Bob is predeceased by his wife Eleanor (nee Doherty) and son Donald; his parents Barend and Cornelia, and his siblings Kees, William, and Anke. Bob leaves behind his loving children Barend Donker (Debra) of Vernon, BC and Shelley Maitland (John) of Elora, ON. Bob found great joy in spending time with his grandchildren Amy Maitland (Matt), Becky Maitland-King (John), Rachel Maitland-Csendes (Jordan), John Maitland (Sheena), Kayla Hoyt (Jessie) and Emily Krehel and his great-grandchildren Claire Csendes, Jase Hoyt and Johnny Maitland. Bob is also survived by his brothers Cornelius, John (Lynn), Nick (Christine) and Leonard and his sisters Agatha Platiel (Rudy) and Nelly Gates (John). Bob will be dearly missed by his close companion Cori Sinstead, his four-legged girlfriend, Tequila as well as his numerous nieces, nephews, friends and extended family members.
A private ceremony will be held for the family at a later date. A Celebration of Life will be held in the Spring of 2023, where a tree will be planted in his honour at the Lions Memorial Forest in Breslau, ON. Memorial donations may be made to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides or the Canadian Cancer Society. www.grahamgiddyfh.com
Graham Giddy Funeral Home