A resident of Chesterville for the past 60 years, Peter van Kessel passed away at the Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Saturday, December 24, 2016, following a brief illness. He was 77.
Peter was born in Venhorst, the Netherlands. Martin and Petronella van Kessel and their nine children immigrated to Canada in 1952, and settled in Chesterville in 1956.
On April 24, 1965 Peter married Pauline Desormeaux from Finch and together they took over the family farm and were blessed with three wonderful children Peter Jr, Michael, and Lise.
Unfortunately in 1972 disaster struck and a fire destroyed the barn and all animals.
Following the fire Peter became a quality house builder, developing the land he owned along South street and Streeterpete, in addition to building three six unit brick apartment buildings.
He had a dream of building a retirement home in Chesterville which would be achieved with his partners in 2006 what is now The Garden Villa, which is one of the finest senior residences in the area.
Peter was always ready to help out in the community. In the 70’s as a member of the fair board he was one of the first to help in any way possible.
Peter served on Chesterville council before amalgamation and was a member of the Chesterville Rotary Club where he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award which is one of the most prestigious awards given out by Rotary.
On a number of occasions he was called upon to build wheelchair ramps for needy individuals and he supplied all the tools and his know how to get the job done.
Peter loved hockey and he coached many minor hockey teams in Chesterville along with coaching baseball.
In his later years he loved watching his grandchildren and never missed a game no matter where they played.
He and Pauline were heavily involved what is known as the green gang, which consisted of hanging flower baskets and beautifying the village. Peter built all of the flower boxes.
Peter was also famous for selling tickets for many worthy causes including local minor hockey and the annual Dutch heritage dance. For the Rotary Club he sold half of the allotted duck race tickets every year.
Peter is survived by his wife Pauline, his children Peter Jr. (Joanne), Mike (Julie Sullivan) and Lise Buma (Simon), all of Chesterville, his siblings Grace Centen of Morrisburg, Toni Byvelds (John) of Williamsburg, Bert (Theresa) of Chesterville, Anton of Ottawa, Pieta Prokott of Minnesota and Corrie McRae of Chesterville.
He was predeceased by his sister Anna Jacobs and his brother Martin.
Peter will be fondly remembered by grandchildren Bryden, Emma, Laura, Dakota, Aly, Jack, John Gordon, Alice and Peter, Brandon, Shawn and Jason. He is also survived by many nieces & nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Chesterville, on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Mary of the Presentation Roman Catholic Church, Chesterville, on Wednesday, December 28th at 11 a.m., with Father Donnelly officiating. Cremation followed.
Pallbearers were grandchildren Bryden, Emma, Laura, Dakota, Aly, Jack, John Gordon and Alice.
Interment of cremated remains will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Chesterville.
Donations to the Chesterville Rotary Club or Winchester Hospital would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.
Online condolences may be made at marsdenmclaughlin.com