Andries was born in The Hague, Holland, and died in Calgary on November 25, 2003. His father died shortly after the war, and in 1952 Andries and his mother, Paula, immigrated to Ottawa. Neither knew much English; Paula found a job as a housekeeper and Andries went right to work as a live-in farm labourer. He never returned to school. He found his vocation as an artist after a year of cutting cabbages at two dollars a day, and moved into Ottawa, where he was mentored by several established local artists. He worked at many design-related jobs – among them stained-glass restorer, set painter for the NFB, and maker of dioramas for the then Royal Victoria Museum. In the late 1960s, he won a Canada Council Arts Grant and became an artist full-time. His work was exhibited in galleries in Ottawa and Montreal in the early years, and after that was sold privately. Andries followed his partner Leslie Miller to Calgary in the mid 1980s, where he continued to draw and paint. He was diagnosed with cancer in 1992,
1999 and 2001. He sailed through several surgeries and chemotherapies, and we began to think he might be immortal. Just in case he wasn’t, he and Leslie decided to waste no time and stepped up the pace of their travels. High points were driving trips around Sicily, Turkey and Croatia, where Andries got to see the artistic marvels he had read about as a child. He began to tire last summer, though his friend Otto commented that he seemed pretty normal – that is, “short of breath and swearing.” He was sick only at the very last and spent the afternoon before he died joking with his sons and old friend Norm. He died at seven the next morning, with his soul mate, Leslie, hanging on to him tightly. We knew this was coming, but we are heartbroken now that he’s gone. Andries is survived by his ninety-four-year-old mother, Paula (“The Great One”); his sons, Peter and Wil; his grandson Marc; his former wife Karen; and Leslie, his partner of more than thirty great years. We thank Nurses June and Bonnie May, Drs. Charles Yam, Gary Gelfand, Alfred Wong, and especially Dr. Robert Lui, the surgeon who sliced and diced him over a decade, and became a friend as well as our trusted medical advisor. Andries had no funeral, which was what he wanted. May his friends lift a Dutch beer in his memory
To forward condolences go to www.mcinnisandholloway.com.
In living memory of Andries Hamann, a tree will be planted at Nose Creek Valley by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W., CALGARY, TELEPHONE: (403) 243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences