Antje “Anna” DeJong
Antje “Anna” DeJong, a resident of the Woodland Villa Nursing Home in Long Sault for the past six months, passed away on Fri., Sept. 26, 2008. She was 92.
She was born in Friesland, the Netherlands on Nov. 9, 1915, the youngest of nine children born to her parents Jan Jongsma and Jacobje Baron. Her father was a farmhand and her mother cared for the children. They lived humbly but had the basic necessities of life. Their food supply was taken from a large garden tended by her mother.
She married Roelof DeJong in May of 1940 when the Second World War was underway and the German invasion of the Netherlands had begun. These were very difficult times for all and life was humble. Roelof transformed a rundown houseboat with holes in the floor into a comfortable home. He built a barn and farmed in the marshes with two cows, a few chickens, and rabbits.
During the war years there were many people in need and Roelof and Anna responded by caring for a young four year old nephew Piebe whose mother had died. Roelof and Anna’s home was a haven to many during the war years.
In May of 1948 they immmigrated to Canada, travelling across the Atlantic on an old war ship, and they landed in Quebec City. They lived in the Cornwall area farming on shares and then moved to a farm in Aultsville in 1951. The years in Aultsville were very difficult. They had come to Canada with only a few personal possessions and a small amount of money, and the farm was in very poor condition, but through hard work and determination they transformed it into a home. In March of 1957 they were forced to move by the St. Lawrence Seaway construction, this time to a farm west of Williamsburg.
In 1949 they were blessed with the birth of their first baby, Japke. They were overjoyed to have a child as they had been childless for nine years. Two years later Anne, was born. and two years later Bill. They were good parents, teaching their children love and respect, and that their purpose on earth was to love and serve God and therefore serve each other in love.
Anna’s was a life of service to her husband and family. It was not easy as she was very busy on the farm. Often, in her younger years, she had to fill in when Roelof was at a church meeting, a TCS meeting, or working in the fields. She was patient, and provided stability in a warm, loving environment. She was frugal, and was ahead of her time when it came to the “three Rs”. She was a determined lady but she was easy going and could laugh at herself. She loved listening to and singing old familiar hymns. She was a good cook and her Sunday soup; borekool, stampot, pareltjebrie, and homemade yogurt were favourites. She also made great cream of wheat, and a delicious dandelion salad. There were always treats for the grandchildren – chocolates, speculaas, and cooke among other sweets.
In short, she lived a life of service to others. She loved God and did her best to do His will. She knew she wasn’t perfect but strived to do right.
She is survived by her children Japke (Ralph) Tibben of RR2 Brinston, Anne (Dean) Keyes of RR1 South Mountain, and Bill (Tina) DeJong of RR3 Williamsburg, her grandchildren Andy (Judy), Michael (Stephanie),and Mark (Amy) Tibben; Kurtis, Ryan (Krystal), and Kristen Keyes, Jodi (Bob) Fetterly; and Billy (Katie) DeJong, and great-grandchildrenKassondra, Austin, Megan, Owen, Hudson, Daran, Samuel, and Kennedi. She was predeceased by her husband, her sisters Akke Paulesma, Dieuwke Bouma, Aaltje (Douwe) Sibma, Weitske DeJong, and brothers Wiebe, Johannes, Weitze, and Gerben Jongsma. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Friends called at the Marsden and McLaughlin Funeral Home in Williamsburg on Tues., Sept. 30 and at Williamsburg Christian Reformed Church on Wed., Oct. 1 from 10 am until the time of the funeral service at which was officiated by Rev. John Noordhof. Interment followed at New Union Cemetery in Williamsburg. The honourary pallbearers were Piebe DeJong, Bill DeJong, and Dick Verbaan. The pallbearers were grandsons Andy Tibben, Michael Tibben, Mark Tibben, Kurtis Keyes, Ryan Keyes, and Billy DeJong.
Donations to Timothy Christian School would be appreciated by the family.