Anna Spruyt passed away Monday, April 9, 2012.
She was born May 7, 1929 and spent the first part of her life in Zaandam, The Netherlands.
She survived difficult times during WWII, then did secretarial work for a number of years before following her dream to a new life in Canada in 1958.
She worked in Toronto for a few years before meeting Hendrik Spruyt, a fellow immigrant from Holland. They married Oct. 5, 1963 and she moved to his farm in Devlin, Ont., where they raised four children.
Though they eventually separated, they remained strongly loyal to each other.
Mom moved to Welland, Ont. in 1985, and lived there until she was drawn to Winnipeg, Man. by the news that her first grandchild was on the way.
Last year, knowing she likely wouldn’t have too many more years, she decided to move back to Welland, where the spring tends to come earlier than in Winnipeg.
Mom had a strong sense of justice and there have been many people in need that have benefited from her help. She often had very little to draw from, but what she had, she would share.
For years, she supported a number of foster children in developing countries, faithfully writing to each one.
Mom had a brilliant mind, and loved to learn and to read. She had yearned to go to university since she was a child, and when she finally got the chance in her late 40s, she went at it with everything she had, earning a B.A. and a B.Ed. in two-and-a-half years.
All this was accomplished while working part-time as a secretary, part-time on the farm, and taking care of her family.
Although there were years when Mom struggled with her faith, she eventually came to the place of knowing deeply that “in Him we live and move and have our being.”
Anna is survived by her children, Elizabeth Helliar (John), Peter Spruyt, Andrew Spruyt, and Roger Spruyt; daughter-in-law, Tracey Spruyt; grandchildren, Amanda, Nicole and Julie Helliar, and Cody, Joe, Jack, Evan, and Ryan Spruyt; and sister, Greet Meij.
She was predeceased by her parents, Albert Meij and Elisabeth Meij-van der Brugge; husband, Hendrik; and brothers, Dick, Pieter, and Willem Meij.
If desired, in memoriam donations may be made to World Vision or Plan Canada in support of children affected by HIV, or to the Welland Hospital ECU (65 Third St., Welland, Ont., L3B 4W6).
According to mom’s wishes, a family service will be held Saturday, April 21, 2012, with interment of her ashes beside Hendrik in the Box Alder Cemetery in Devlin.