A Life of Love
On June 10th, 2023, Henrica Johanna van Dyk “Riek”, passed away at home on the farm in West Caledonia, surrounded by the love of her large family. We are so grateful to have had her quiet strength, unending patience, diplomacy, and unwavering love into her 92nd year. Happy to be in the back ground, she was indeed the foundation of our family and the family business. A true matriarch, and her presence will be greatly missed.
Born in Werkhoven, the Netherlands to Antonios & Johanna Spithoven on September 20, 1931. Riek grew up in wartime Europe with 2 sisters and 5 brothers. After her wedding to her lifetime partner of 63 years, Case, they immigrated to Canada landing at Pier 21 and starting a new life in West Caledonia. Working side by side, they purchased their own farm in 1957, which they transformed into a thriving farm and successful business. Although rarely in the forefront, Riek played a significant role in the family business all while excelling at her other fulltime job as mother to 9 children. She raised a family that laughed and worked hard together, and she was particularly proud of the NS Institute of Agrologists Farm Family of the Year award recognizing this.
Riek’s passions were firmly rooted in family, farming, and community. She had been very active in the St. Jerome’s Catholic Women’s league, a long time 4-H leader and willing volunteer. But for her, Family trumped all. She had a clear vision for parenting and needed to say very little to get her sometimes unruly 9 kids back on track. Strick, when necessary, but quick to a smile and famous for her dry sense of humour, she was our rock. Nothing gave her more joy than to closely follow the achievements of her 9 children, 21 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.
Riek is survived by children Gerry (Beverley), Anne Selig (Glen), Jeannie (John McLellan), Anthony, Bernadette McIntosh (Mike), Peter (Kim), Leo, Charles (Tammy Ingram), Grandchildren Mya, Adrien, Kim, Amanda, Luke, Connie, Casey, Kristen, Jessica, Rachael, Shawn, Owen, Nicholas, Nichole, Jacob, Delayne, Jaggar, Holland, Chandler and Daniel.
She is survived by 2 sisters and 1 brother in the Netherlands. She was predeceased by her parents, Antonios and Johanna Spithoven, husband Case and sons John, Paul (in infancy), great grandson Josiah (in infancy) and 4 brothers in the Netherlands.
Visitation will be 7 – 9 pm on Wednesday, June 14, 2023, at Chandlers Funeral Home in Liverpool. Funeral service will be on Thursday, June 15th, 2023, at 2pm at North Queens Firehall, with Father Keith Billard, and Father Jack Farrell officiating. Reception to follow the service.
Private family committal at St. Jerome’s.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Caledonia Food Resource Network. To share memories or condolences, please visit www.chandlersfuneral.com