A resident of the area for the past 58 years, Ralph Bouwman passed away at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Saturday, November 5, 2011, following a brief illness. He was 85.
Ralph was born in Nieuw Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on October 22, 1926, and was raised there on the family farm.
He served his country as a member of the Armed Forces, and he fought in the Indonesian war from 1945-49.
On July 14, 1953, he married Jacoba Heuving, and three weeks later they boarded a boat to immigrate to Canada. This, to them, was a land of opportunity even though they both had to learn to read and write the English language.
Ralph and Coby started farming on the 2nd Concession, north of Iroquois, and eventually passed the farm on to their son Henry.
Ralph was a devoted husband to Coby for 58 years and together they raised a family of five boys and one girl.
Ralph loved a lot and got a lot of love in return. He loved the Lord, he loved his family, he loved people, he loved to joke and tease, and he loved to play the harmonica and sing his favorite hymns.
He was an avid soccer fan and was a loyal Toronto Maple Leafs fan.
He was a faithful member of the Williamsburg Christian Reformed Church, and he walked and talked daily with his Lord until the end.
Ralph is survived by his wife Coby Bouwman (nee Heuving), his children Ralph (Wilma) of Morrisburg, Henry (Elsie) of R.R.# 1 Iroquois, Bill (Wendy) of Merrickville, John (Amani) of Williamsburg, Andrew (Lori Ann) of Ingleside and Dorean (Garnet) DeVries of Smiths Falls and his sister Hennie (Walter) Heuving of Athens.
Ralph will be fondly remembered by 21 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He is also survived by nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by sisters Jantje Van Oenen and Jacobtje Boning and brothers Hendrik, Harm, William and Albert.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral service was held at Williamsburg Christian Reformed Church on Wednesday, November 9th at 11 a.m., with Rev. John Noordhof officiating.
Interment followed at New Union Cemetery, Williamsburg.
Pallbearers were grandsons Adam Bouwman, Jonathan Bouwman, Joshua Bouwman, Eric Bouwman, Jared DeVries, and Lucas Bouwman
Donations to Timothy Christian School would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.