Feb. 23, 1929 – Nov. 10, 2013
Nel Don (nee Bakker) entered into peace during the afternoon of Sun., Nov. 10, 2013, at home with her family around her. Her battle with cancer finally over, she is at last with her Heavenly Father as she often prayed to throughout the past months.
Nel was born in Naaldwijk, Holland, second of six children born to Ari and Truis Bakker.
At the age of 25, Nel met Dick Don, and they married and immigrated to Canada in 1954. After some initial challenging times, they became established enough to sponsor other Dutch immigrants and ease their entry into their new country through the Christian Reformed Church of Ottawa West, where many of their friends remain.
Nel was a loving mother to six children and their spouses: Bill (Clare), Trudy, Joan, Eric (Marni), Derrick (Emily), and David (Anna) who, along with their children and grandchildren, will miss her deeply for she was the heart of us all.
In her youth, Nel was responsible for caring for her younger siblings, as well as helping at the family fish store, making deliveries by bicycle, or assisting customers. Even then, she nurtured relationships with friends, family and neighbours, and loved “gezelligheid.” She, along with so many others at that time, endured the hardships of a country occupied by the Nazis, and never forgot to appreciate every “small thing” that freedom afforded in the ensuing years.
Nel and Dick moved to Winchester in 1972, and became members of the Williamsburg Christian Reformed Church and remained so for the past 41 years. She was active in many ways in the church community and treasured her relationships within it. She actively participated in church bazaars, and from this grew a love for garage sales, and her skills in negotiating grew through the years. She was a clever manager of money and time, and somehow made it look like she had plenty of both to spare. She loved to open her home and her heart to everyone who came into her life and her ability to effortlessly whip up many of her Dutch specialty treats was renowned. She would listen, not judge, or complain, she would feed and nurture family and friends, physically, spiritually, and emotionally every day of her life.
In the 1990’s, Nel and Dick became snowbirds and began wintering in Florida. There, they became an active part of a community in Winter Haven, where many of her friends, both Canadian and American, remain.
She was predeceased by her brothers, Jan and At and, more recently, her younger sister, Truis. Her twin sisters, Co and Cok, still reside in Holland with their families.
Not goodbye, but, rather, until we meet again. We love you.
A funeral service was held on Thurs., Nov. 14 at Williamsburg Christian Reformed Church where, together, her family and many friends said their goodbyes and celebrated her life of love and sharing.
The arrangements were entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Chapels Inc. in Winchester.