A resident of the area for the past 50 years Gerry Oosterhof passed away at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Sunday, January 22, 2012, following a brief illness. He was 95.
Gerry was born in Ouderhorne, The Netherlands on February 8, 1916, to his parents Bonne and Sjoerdje (nee Degroot). He met his wife Hendrikje while working as a farm hand; they married in May of 1940 and subsequently had three children during the Second World War, one child died as an infant. They had one more child in the Netherlands before joining the wave of immigration to Canada in 1952.
Once in Canada Gerry and his family lived in Morrisburg where he first worked as a farm hand for his sponsor family and then worked in construction during the creation of the Seaway. After his time on the Seaway project was completed he moved on to work as a builder on the Dupont site at Maitland. When the Seaway went through the home in which they lived was in the path of the water and the family moved to a farm north of Iroquois where their youngest daughter was born.
His final 12 years of employment were spent at Upper Canada Village where he worked with the animals. He drove a team of oxen during the summer months and helped take care of the animals in the barn during the winter months. He enjoyed talking to people and particularly liked to surprise visitors from the Netherlands by answering their questions in Dutch. Following his retirement Gerry continued to farm north of Iroquois until 1986 when he and Hendrikje moved back to Morrisburg.
Never one to sit still he transformed his back half of his property into a large garden that fed not only themselves but all of his family, friends and neighbours as well. It was only this past year that he decided that the garden was too large and he made it smaller.
Gerry was a combination of many things, a hard worker, helpful to his friends, and loving to his family. He had a wonderful dry sense of humour, a ready smile and wee bit of temper. He loved music and dancing and he especially enjoyed polkas and waltzing.
One of the blessings that Gerry had was the ability to make friends and he made many during his lifetime.
Gerry is survived by his children Jean (Bob) Christie of Ottawa, Bonna (Bertha) of R.R.# 2 Brinston, Sue Roos (Ken Whitfield) of Ottawa and Helen (Doug) Tupper of Stampville. He was the Proud Papa of Julie and Mark Christie, Stephen (May) Roos, Michael (Lindsay) Roos, Peter (Louise) Oosterhof, Lynn Oosterhof (Bucky Markell), Christopher, Nicholas and Lesley-Ann Tupper. Papa’s legacy continues in his great-grandchildren Emily Hitsman, Cameron, Tristan and Trinity Oosterhof. He was the dear brother of Geertje of Holland. He was predeceased by his wife Hendrikje, an infant son and sisters Sjoukje and Anneke. He is also survived by nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. and Wednesday, January 25th from 10 a.m. until time of the service at 11 a.m. which was conducted by Rev. Arlyce Schiebout.
Interment followed at New Union Cemetery, Williamsburg. Pallbearers were his grandchildren Peter Oosterhof, Lynn Oosterhof, Julie Christie, Stephen Roos, Lesley-Ann Tupper and son-in-law Doug Tupper.
Donations to the C.N.I.B. or the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by the family. Online condolences may be made at marsdenmclaughlin.com.