William (Wybe) De Vries, 86, of Morrisburg, ON, passed away peacefully on Monday, Oct. 12, after having struggled gracefully with the effects of dementia. Bill was the beloved husband for over 61 years of Titia (née van der Veen), loving father and father-in-law of Anna De Vries and Karl Dilcher of Halifax, Kathryn and Fred Vedder of Metcalfe, Duncan and Karin De Vries (née Reusser) of Finch, and Pake to 9 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his brothers Mel De Vries (Courtice), Gerrit De Vries (St. Catharines) and sister Frida Nauta (Bolsward, the Netherlands), their partners, as well as brothers- and sisters-in-law, nephews and nieces in both Canada and the Netherlands. Bill was born in Oudkerk, the Netherlands on Oct. 25, 1933, oldest son of Jakob de Vries and Trijntje Algra. At the age of 18 he emigrated to Montague, PEI with the intention of becoming a farmer. Encouraged by his host family, he attended university, graduating with a degree in mathematics and education from Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB. His first jobs were teaching high school in Digby, and then New Germany, NS. In 1960 Bill accepted a position with the Department of Insurance in Ottawa to work on the new Canada Pension Plan, while simultaneously studying towards a degree in Actuarial Science. After the CPP was implemented in 1965, Bill chose to return to teaching, which he saw as his true calling and which became his lifelong passion. While Bill spent the majority of his career teaching at Algonquin College in Ottawa, teaching also took him and Titia to many parts of the world: three years in Ghana and later a year each in Australia, Malawi and South Korea. Bill had a wide variety of interests. He and Titia lived many years on their hobby farm near Finch, ON with gardens and livestock. His love for music gave him great pleasure and over the years he attended concerts (baroque and bluegrass), sang in various choirs, and made music with friends and family. Bill had a big heart for those less fortunate or who might need his help. He visited acquaintances who might be lonely, tutored anyone requiring help with math, supported a myriad of charities, and was actively involved in the NDP at the grass roots level. Bill enjoyed the fellowship of friends at Williamsburg Christian Reformed Church, which he and Titia attended for many years. His family is very grateful for the kind and considerate care shown to Bill during his brief stay at the Montfort hospital, and also grateful for his life well-lived. A private church service will be held at a later date.
Condolences may be sent to Titia De Vries 18 St. Lawrence Street, P.O. Box 1347, Morrisburg ON K0C 1X0