September 1, 1931 – August 31, 2023
In Loving Memory ~
Gerrit (Jerry) Van Ek passed away peacefully at the age of 91 in the early hours of August 31, one day before his 92nd birthday.
Jerry was born in Leiden, Netherlands, and immigrated to Canada with his parents and siblings settling in Sooke in 1952, where he met and married Elizabeth (Beth, nee Martin) of Sooke. They had been married for 66 years before she passed away on June 18, 2023.
He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and had an exceptional career as a pilot, serving as Base Commander in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and ending his career as Canada’s National Military Representative for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), the military headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) near Mons, Belgium. He also served on exchange duty with the US Navy in 1968 and conducted air searches for the lost submarine USS SCORPION.
After retiring, he and Beth moved back to Sooke where he was actively involved in the community serving as chair for District 62 School Board and the building committee for Ayre Manor. He joined Sooke’s Region Historical Society and supported the museum’s annual Fine Arts Shows, as well he had his hand in many of Sooke’s Rotary Club projects of which he was a charter member.
He enjoyed singing and sang in Barbershop Quartets at various venues. He loved to play tennis and squash, watch CFL football, and play cribbage with his children. He and Beth especially enjoyed hosting many functions and family gatherings at their farm “Meota”.
Jerry is survived by three of his five brothers Otto, Dirk, and Ben; three of his four sisters Marianne, Anke and Lydia; his children Jamie (Dave) Fulton, Kathleen Richardson, Sheila Van Ek, and Peter (Jen) Van Ek; his grandchildren Courtney (James), Kirby (Val), James (Melanie), Evan (Jena), Tamara (Brandon), Trisha (Kyle) and 10 great-grandchildren.
No service will be held as per his wishes. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kidney Foundation Canada in his memory.
He will be dearly missed by all. May he rest in peace.
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