After a brief illness, which he faced with steadfast courage, Harry Spruyt, 88, went peacefully to meet his Lord on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010.
He was born July 21, 1922 in Kockengen, the Netherlands, a country boy who wanted nothing more than to own his own farm one day.
To that end, in 1949, he immigrated to Canada, where he lived and worked on farms in Pilot Mound, Man. and then Souris, Man. while saving every penny for his dream.
Most young single men in his position bought a car as soon as they were able; Dad bought an old bike and kept saving. In 1952, he was able to purchase a farm south of Devlin, Ont., and his dream became reality for 50 busy, fulfilling years.
Dad’s retirement years were spent on another farm, west of Fort Frances, Ont., where he had a huge garden to tend, was welcome to help with chores any time he felt like it, and where he could visit cows whenever he missed their gentle company.
His final weeks were spent in Winnipeg in his daughter’s home, where he received love and the care he needed during his illness.
In 1963, he married Anna (JoAnn) Mey, who survives him along with their children, Elizabeth (John), Peter, Andrew (Tracey), and Roger, and grandchildren, Amanda, Nicole, and Julie Helliar and Cody, Joe, Jack, Evan, and Ryan Spruyt.
Harry’s sisters, Rika van der Paauw, Ali Lokhorst, and Annie van Eck; one brother, Joost Spruijt; and many nieces and nephews, all in the Netherlands, also survive him.
He was predeceased by his parents, Pieter and Hendrika Spruijt; and his brother, Jaap Spruijt.
Dad was a simple, steady, quiet, gentle man who loved to be outside, and for whom hard work was a balm. We have many happy memories of playing with him as children on Sunday afternoons, learning to work from him, and later of watching him with our children, who he was so proud of.
The family would like to thank the countless people who helped make Dad’s last days comfortable, who prayed for him and with him, and who led him to remark so often, “I didn`t know so many people cared about me.”
Harry’s funeral service will be held Monday, Sept. 13, 2010 at 1 p.m. at the Christian Reformed Church in Emo, Ont.
The pallbearers will be his sons, Pete, Andy, and Roger; son-in law, John; and grandsons, Cody and Evan.
A private interment will follow.
Dad would be honoured to be remembered by a donation to the Canadian Bible Society or the Canadian Cancer Society c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.
Online condolences may be offered at www.northridgefuneralhome.com