Alice DePater


A resident of the Hartford Home in Morrisburg for the past eight months, Alice DePater passed away at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, May 8, 2012, following a brief illness. She was 87.

Alice was born in Ermelo, The Netherlands, on January 14, 1925, to her parents Jacob and Beertje Teunissen (nee Bakker).

She worked in the large family garden, speed skated on the local track, played the harmonica, loved reading and enjoyed school, Sunday church and family socials.

The Teunissen family supported each other through the difficult years of occupation and post war recovery. After the war the music performances started up at the town band stand. Being a music lover, Alice would be there. 

One memorable evening a young man, John, saw her in the crowd. Struck by her beauty and golden curls of hair he followed her home to ask for a cup of water.

Three years after their marriage, John and Alice emigrated to Canada with a newborn baby. It was in those early years that the silent strength and resilience of Alice showed itself. Soon there were four young children who needed her maternal care. 

In a new country under challenging circumstances, she raised and loved her family. Her energy was boundless. She kept everyone happy, fed and organized. With grace and dignity, she made the best of every situation.

When her husband became ordained as a pastor, and two more sons were added to the family, a new chapter of life began.

Each chapter began by moving. With every move the family made, she packed and unpacked and set up another comfortable home. 

Throughout her life, Alice was always there to support her family. When grandchildren were born, she would  be there to quietly do what was required. When a crisis or tragedy affected a family member, her calming comfort would be present. Sociability, family and hospitality were in her character.

Alice’s talents as a good mother were carried on to the next generation. As a grandmother and great-grandmother, her generosity continued. From their birth, she loved and cared for every grandchild and great grandchild.

As a wife and life partner, she was devoted, patient and selfless. She followed her husband through a whirlwind of changes and challenges. 

With dignity and honesty she supported her husband in his calling. She was his life-long love, strength and comfort. 

Alice lived her life with humility, kindness, love and dignity.

Alice is survived by her husband of over 63 years John, and by her children Margo (Jack) VanGilst of Finch, Bea (Renny) VanGilst of Elma, Jan (Elizabeth) of Almonte, Alice Douma (Dean) of Ingleside, James (Barb) of Kemptville and Stephen (Sue) of Cornwall.

She will be remembered by her siblings Harmen Teunissen, Gerrie DeWith and Grietje (Jan) Geurts, all of Ermelo, The Netherlands.  

Alice will be fondly remembered by grandchildren Matthew (Anne), Katrina (Steve), Benjamin (Tracy), Luther, Reuben (Emily), Stephanie (Tim), David (Melissa), Tim (Erin), Andrew (Rachel), Dan (Sarah), Dylan, Dexter, Ava, Nathan, Melissa (Dennis), Jason (Jenny), Aaron, Thomas (Michelle), Miranda (Fraser), Steven, Jennifer, Alexandria, Madison and Erik and by her great-grandchildren Mika, Naomi, Petra, Jonas, Rachel, Ezra, Elijah, Kate, Noah, Leah, Ethan, Gabriel, Allison, Desi, Haley, Micah, Eli, Tristan, Dryden, Logan,  Colton, Jackson and Jacob. 

She is also survived by nieces and nephews. 

Alice was predeceased by her parents Jacob and Beertje Teunissen (nee Bakker), her sister Albertje DeWith, her brothers Dirk and Jan Teunissen and her son-in-law John Douma.   

Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home, Williamsburg, on Friday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.  Funeral service was held at Williamsburg Christian Reformed Church on Saturday, May 12th at 11 a.m., with Rev. John Noordhof officiating.  

Interment followed at New Union Cemetery, Williamsburg.  Pallbearers were grandsons Matthew VanGilst, David Van Gilst, Dylan De Pater, Aaron Douma, Thomas Douma and Erik De Pater 

Donations to the Christian Reformed World Relief Fund or Timothy Christian School would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.  Online condolences may be made at

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