Beja (Elisabeth Jacoba) Koeleman

January 6, 1940 – November 1, 2021
Beja was born in Tandjong Karang, Sumatra, Indonesia (former Dutch East Indies). With her mother, little sister and grandma they spent 3 ½ years in Japanese concentration camps, where her mother Thea and Grandma succumbed in 1945.
In April 1946 they repatriated to the Netherlands with their father Leendert van Duijn, who had survived the Japanese labour camp Pakang Baroe.
In 1947 they returned to the Dutch East Indies, but after the independence of Indonesia they had to leave in 1950. Beja returned in the Netherlands she completed elementary school and after she studied to be a kindergarten teacher. She excelled in that profession till her marriage with Pieter, the love of her life. They lived in Driebergen, Zeist, Soestdijk, en Ermelo for a total of 22 years and had a family of four beautiful children, Arjen, Thyra, Aglaia, en Mark.
Beja was instrumental in the family’s immigration to Canada after visiting Pieter’s brothers in the summer of 1984 in Vancouver and Quadra island. Walking along the foreshore in Campbell River she said: “I like to live here’! So it happened on July 3, 1985, when the whole family arrived in Campbell River.
Beja joined Pieter in their Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Clinic as the office manager looking with much care after patients and clinic operations.
Beyond working in the clinic, she looked after the grandchildren, both here and abroad, and shared such a deep love with them.
Beja enjoyed handcrafts such knitting, quilting and crochet making countless treasures for family, friends and strangers. She supported Rotary, its TV Auction and social activities. Family was number one and Beja enjoyed many highlights, eight grandchildren and lately a great grandchild, completing four generations.
The last few years Beja was confronted with declining health and physical condition, which diminished also her social activities. She has lived a life spreading love, care, and tenderness to all she met.
Predeceased by her son Arjen in 2014, which touched her deeply, but she maintained with him a spiritual daily contact; Also predeceasing Beja are her grandchildren Lisa and Mark Jr.
Beja passed away peacefully and content on November 1 surrounded by her husband and children, grandchildren and great grandchild.
Beja is survived by her husband Pieter, being married for 58 years, her children Thyra (Ewald), Aglaia, Mark, her grandchildren Dennis, Rachelle, Arjen and Beja (Gordon), Malcolm (Randi), Natasha and great grandchild Reno.
Beja is also survived by her sister Helene Klinkhamer, many family members and friends in the Netherlands, Belgium, and England.
The family thanks Dr. Alejandra Farias for her excellent and empathic care.
A private service has taken place on Thursday November 4. Donations can be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation.Obituary-

Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.