Peter van Kessel

Peter van Kessel, a resident of Chesterville for the past 60 years, passed away at Winchester District Memorial Hospital on Sat., Dec. 24, 2016, following a brief illness. He was 77.
Peter was born in Venhorst, the Netherlands. His parents, Martin and Petronella van Kessel and their nine children immigrated to Canada in 1952, and settled in Chesterville in 1956.
On April 24, 1965, Peter married Pauline Desormeaux from Finch, and together they took over the family farm, and were blessed with three wonderful children: Peter Jr., Michael, and Lise.  Unfortunately, in 1972, disaster struck, and a fire destroyed the barn and all animals. Following the fire, Peter became a quality house builder, developing the land he owned along South Street and Streeterpete, in addition to building three six-unit brick apartment buildings. He had a dream of building a retirement home in Chesterville, which would be achieved with his partners in 2006, what is now The Garden Villa, is one of the finest senior residences in the area.
He was always ready to help out in the community. In the 1970s, as a member of the fair board, he was one of the first to help in any way possible. Peter served on Chesterville council before amalgamation, and was a member of the Chesterville Rotary Club where he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award which is one of the most prestigious awards given out by Rotary. On a number of occasions he was called upon to build wheelchair ramps for needy individuals, and he supplied all the tools and his know-how to get the job done.
He loved hockey, and he coached many minor hockey teams in Chesterville along with coaching baseball. In his later years, he loved watching his grandchildren and never missed a game no matter where they played.
He and Pauline were heavily involved in what is known as the green gang, which consisted of hanging flower baskets and beautifying the village. He built all of the flower boxes. He was also famous for selling tickets for many worthy causes including local minor hockey, and the annual Dutch heritage dance. For the Rotary Club, he sold half of the allotted duck race tickets every year.
Peter is survived by his wife, Pauline; his children, Peter Jr. (Joanne), Mike (Julie Sullivan), and Lise Buma (Simon), all of Chesterville; his siblings, Grace Centen of Morrisburg, Toni Byvelds (John) of Williamsburg, Bert (Theresa) of Chesterville, Anton of Ottawa, Pieta Prokott of Minnesota, and Corrie McRae of Chesterville. He was predeceased by his sister, Anna Jacobs, and his brother, Martin. He will be fondly remembered by grandchildren, Bryden, Emma, Laura, Dakota, Aly, Jack, John Gordon, Alice, and Peter, Brandon, Shawn and Jason. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Chesterville on Tues., Dec. 27 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Mary of the Presentation Roman Catholic Church in Chesterville on Wed., Dec. 28 at 11 am with Father Donnelly officiating. Cremation followed. The pallbearers were grandchildren Bryden, Emma, Laura, Dakota, Aly, Jack, John Gordon, and Alice. Interment of cremated remains will be at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Chesterville.
Donations to the Chesterville Rotary Club or Winchester District Memorial Hospital would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.
Online condolences may be made at www.marsdenmclaughlin.com