It is with a deep sense of loss that we say farewell to our husband, father, and Opa: Peter de Groot. On December 20, 2004, after a short hospital admission he joined his parents and 3 brothers who have predeceased him.
Dad was born Jan. 28, 1928 in Zoetermeer, Holland, one of 14 children. He spent his youth on a farm where work was hard but many fun times were had. We listened to many stories of the good times and pranks that are part of growing up in a large family. He immigrated to Canada in 1952 with 2 brothers and worked in Salmon Arm and Kamloops. During a brief return to Holland in 1954, he married his sweetheart Nell Vollebregt in a double wedding with his brother Adrian to Martha. The foursome then took a freighter across the ocean and the train across Canada to settle in the Fraser Valley. Surrey was their first home and after a few years in Mission they bought the farm on Lickman Road. The farm was his pride and joy and in his last years he would drive his golf cart around just checking up on things.
Dad was well known for his wonderful sense of humour and we also grew up in a family where pranks were prevalent and love abundant. His interests outside of farming included square dancing, The Chilliwack Fair Board, curling, playing cards, traveling and spending time with his family. Dad had a way with children and in his teasing manner they were drawn to him. Dad lived thru several strokes in the last few years but was able to continue a full life including traveling to New Zealand for a family reunion and with Mom driving across Canada, returning to Halifax 50 years after their first brief visit.
Dad is survived by his wife of 50 years Nell, his children Mary (Keith Sache), Anna (Henry Gouwenberg), Lydia (Glenn Ehlers), Tony (Teresa), Leo (Sandra Irvine), Adrian (Pauline Mahoney) and Theresa (Bryan Swansburg).
Grandchildren: Renée (Kirby Laughlin), Pierre, Emil and Francis Sache; Kate, Gerard, Peter, Stacia, Coral, Lucy, Samuel, Hannah, Naomi, Christine Gouwenberg; Brent Ehlers; Glenn, Craig, Carla de Groot; Lauren, Shawn de Groot and Jacob de Groot. Great-grandchild: Blake Laughlin.
Brothers and sisters: Riet, Greet, Vroon, Nel, Gerard, Henk, Jan, Ria, Lia and Ton.
He was predeceased by his brothers; Adrian, Gus and Chris.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2004 at St. Mary’s Church in Chilliwack with Father Gary Gordon as celebrant.
If family and friends desire donations can be made in his memory to Chilliwack General Hospital.