Grietje Hansma (nee Barels), a resident of the Hartford Retirement Home in Morrisburg for the past six years, passed away at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Tues., Jan. 8, 2013. She was 96.
She was born in Holland on Feb. 24, 1916 to her parents, Hendrick and Grietje Barels (nee Rebbers).
She completed elementary school and then stayed home to help take care of younger siblings, and work on the family farm. She grew into a young woman that loved the farm, and she loved music and dancing. In her early 20’s, she contracted, and miraculously survived, diphtheria.
On May 1, 1941, she married her former neighbour, Obele Hansma, and together they had five sons: Henry, Roy, and Oebele in Holland, and Garth and Toney in Canada.
Together with Obele and her in-laws, they worked the Hansma farm in Spier for 11 years before deciding to expand their own horizons in Canada. In 1952, Grietje, Obele, and their three sons boarded the S.S. Veendaam with all their belongings, and moved to Prescott. They worked for nearly three years before purchasing Erwin Haggerty’s farm in Toyes Hill, and along with four sons, moved there on the coldest day of 1955. It was here that they became members of the United Church of Canada in Winchester Springs, and remained members for the rest of their lives. They proudly became Canadian citizens in 1959. They remained on the farm until their semi-retirement in 1973. Winchester came to be their new home. Part-time jobs at the United Church, and then at Ault Foods, kept them just busy enough until full-time retirement in 1983. Grietje remained in her home in Winchester until 2006 when she moved to the Hartford Retirement Home.
Grietje was a devoted wife, and a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
She is survived by her children, Henry (Thelma) of Morrisburg, Roy (Sharon) of Winchester, Oebele (Janice) of Morrisburg, and Garth (Ginette) of Toyes Hill. She was the dear sister of Kiny Beekelaar and Ubelina Bies, both of Holland. Grietje will be fondly remembered by grandchildren, Dean (Marilyn), Rick (Sarah), Shelley (Tim), Tracey (Marc), Tania (Terry), Phillip, and Melanie, and great-grandchildren, Chase, Ty, Tyler, Brittany, Tony, Ariabella, Brianna, and Kiahna. She was predeceased by her husband, Obele, her son, Toney, her twin infant sisters, Tjoukina and Hillegina Barels, her sister, Rika Barels, and her brothers, Roelof, Teunis, Wilte, and Arend Barels. She is also survived by nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Williamsburg on Fri., Jan 11 from 6 to 9 pm, and Sat., Jan. 12 from 10 am until the time of the funeral service at 11 am, which was conducted by Rev. Arlyce Schiebout. Interment followed at Maple Ridge Cemetery in Chesterville. The pallbearers were Dean Hansma, Rick Hansma, Tania Tapley, Melanie Hansma, Chase Beaudry, and Ty Beaudry.
Donations to Winchester District Memorial Hospital would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.
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