With deep sadness, we announce the passing of our dear wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Nellie Oosterman-Huttinga (nee Pols), after a brief illness, surrounded by her children and her devoted husband, Nick, on Thurs., Feb. 24, 2011 in her 92nd year. The room was filled with love when she went away from us.
Nellie was born on Oct. 26, 1919 in Maassluis, Holland. She is survived by her loving husband, Nick Huttinga, and her children Corrie (Jack van Beilen) of Morrisburg, Arie Oosterman (Sandra) of Chesterville, Willie Harper of Morrisburg, Jake Oosterman of Finch, Sharlene (Jim Fawcett) of Hallville, Jo-Ann Oosterman of Ottawa, and also her step-son Rob Huttinga of Brentwood Bay, B.C. Nellie was predeceased by her first husband, Herman Jacob Oosterman, her son, Davy, her son-in-law, Hugh Price, her parents, four brothers and two sisters in the Netherlands. Nellie will be missed by 14 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, many friends, and her extended family at Woodland Villa.
Aside from regular classes, Nellie went to trade school to learn how to sew, knit, and crochet. As a young, woman she would travel with her sewing machine to her customers in Maassluis and the surrounding villages. She was also a soloist in her church choir, and a gifted orator of memorized text. Nellie’s father was a deep-sea diver who travelled the world. One of his many jobs was to recover the bodies from sunken ships during the Second World War. Her mother was a very busy woman, raising seven children, often alone for long stretches because her husband would be called away.
She married Herman Jacob Oosterman on June 4, 1942, during the Second World War. They had two children during the war and one two years after the war ended. In 1948, the young family travelled by ship to Halifax’s famous Pier 21 and immigrated to Canada. They first lived in Nobleford, Alta. where Herman learned English from his fellow sugar beet harvesters, and Nellie learned her English from the Sears catalogue, also called the “Prairie Bible.” Because of her interest in clothing and sewing, Nellie would read the descriptions beside the clothing to learn her English. After the birth of their fourth child, the family moved to Newington in 1952, to begin a life of dairy farming. Here, Nellie and Herman had their last three children.
This somewhat larger family moved to their new farm in Chesterville in 1962. Nellie had a very busy life taking care of seven children, a huge vegetable garden, and of course, sewing for everyone. The family had a limited budget, but Nellie’s children were always well clothed because of her gifted skills as a seamstress. She could simply look at an item of clothing and recreate it, she could repair anything that needed a patch, and she could make beautiful and warm winter coats out of a second hand wool blanket.
After farming for many years, they retired and travelled to Florida each winter to avoid the cold months. They were “snowbirds” for 10 years before her youngest son, Davy died tragically in 1989, at the age of 29, and her husband, Herman passed away in 1991.
After moving to Morrisburg, she met and married Nick Huttinga, (also a snowbird) and they became a loving couple who were almost in-seperable. They continued their yearly treks to Florida for 15 years until Nellie began to struggle with her short-term memory. In 2007, Nellie and Nick moved into the Woodland Villa Retirement Home in Long Sault. Though her memory continued to decline, she remained a vibrant, affectionate woman much loved by her husband Nick, her family and the staff at the Home.
A quiet funeral service took place at the Williamsburg Christian Reformed Church on Mon., Feb. 28 at 11 am, lead by Pastor John Noordhof.
As a family, we would like to express our heartfelt thanks to the caring and compassionate staff of the Woodland Villa. We also wish to express our appreciation for all the visits, cards, and emails expressing condolences. And a further thank you to all those who generously donated to the Woodland Villa Retirement Home on Nellie’s behalf.