Henrica passed away peacefully on December 12 at her Thorndale home in her 95th year. Predeceased by her husband William Bontje (1999). Hours before her passing, Riek met her newest great- granddaughter.
Loving mother of John (Susan), Gord (Kathy) both of Red Deer, Mike (Connie) of Thorndale, Marylou of Thorndale, Rose of Stratford, and Angela of Toronto. She will be missed by her loving grandchildren Erica (Denis), Micaela (Kent), Katelyn (Scott), Leah (Tim), Lauren, Chris (Kim), Joe (Rachel), Jon, Steven, Emily (Ross), and Adam. Riek was the proud great-grandmother of Audrey, Casey, Summer, Hailey, Brianna, Braeden, Alyssa, Maizie, Charlotte Lou, Harper, Violet, Theo, and Oliver, with 1 more to come.
Riek was born the 8th of 15 children in Liedschendam, Holland. She is survived by two brothers: Leo (Siny) in Holland, and Aad in Australia and sister-in-law Riet Weerdenburg of London.
She left a war-torn country in 1953 to seek a new life in Canada where she met and married William in London in 1954. In 1959, with 3 young sons in tow, they realized their dream of owning a farm in Thorndale. They were proud of the life they could give their family there.
For 20 years Riek and William shared their family with many foster children – for whom Riek would often be a fierce advocate.
In later years Riek worked at Fanshawe Pioneer Village as a costumed interpreter. Riek and William travelled the world, embraced the game of Bridge, and volunteered with the St Vincent de Paul society.
On her own, Riek continued to travel, play bridge, attend aqua-fit classes, knit amazing sweaters and socks, play games on her iPad, and enjoy the antics of young visiting grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The family is grateful for the services of the kind caregivers who supported us for the last months.
Visitors will be received in the O'Neil Funeral Home, 350 William Street, London on Sunday, December 16, 2018 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Andrew the Apostle Church, 1 Fallons Lane at Huron on Monday, December 17, 2018 at 10:00 a.m., followed by interment in St. Peter's Cemetery,London. Memorial donation may be made to Families For Children and A Better World abw.canada.ca.