October 15, 1918 – April 24, 2010
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of John Heynen, a much loved and admired husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and a true gentleman who touched the hearts of all who knew him, on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at the age of 91 years.
John or “Opa” as he was affectionately known was born in Wanssum, Limburg, the Netherlands on October 15, 1918 and was the eldest of seven children. Opa married Johanna Janssen on June 4, 1946 in Venray, Limburg, the Netherlands and together they began their life-long journey. In the spring of 1951, with two small boys and another child on the way, they emigrated from the Netherlands to Canada, settling in High River, AB. In 1956, the family, now six children strong, moved to Calgary and in 1957 added a seventh child to complete this family of nine.
Opa worked in the construction industry his entire life, beginning at the age of fifteen; first with his father in the Netherlands and continuing on in Canada until his retirement at age 65 in 1983, an incredible working life of fifty years. He then began a second “sixteen year career” assisting his son John Jr. and his daughter Anne Marie with their recycling business, Trail Bottle Exchange. Opa was truly a people person and he made many new friends and acquaintances within his numerous roles helping out at the bottle depot.
John loved his wife Johanna (Oma); his family; his work and his good friends of which he had many, including his Wednesday morning coffee buddies, Bill and Keith. Opa and Oma’s house was full of love, laughter, toys for the grandchildren, and lots of company. They were married more than sixty-one years until “death do us part” when Opa and all the family lost our beloved Oma in January 2007. Opa was also predeceased by their first born child, Francis in 1947 and youngest son Mark in 1993. Left to remember and celebrate his life are his loving children Frans (Darlene), Ted (Lilian), Anne Marie Kopp (Wayne), John (Judy), Jim (Juliane), daughter-in-law Barbara, Betty Bourque (Roger); as well as nineteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild; two sisters in the Netherlands; a brother in St. Thomas, ON and numerous nieces and nephews on two continents.
A celebration of Opa’s life, eulogy presentation and Prayers will be held on Sunday May 2, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at St Gerard’s Catholic Church (8944 Elbow Drive SW) and a Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, May 3, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. also at St. Gerard’s Church. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the War Amputations of Canada, National Headquarters, 2827 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON K1V 0C4, www.waramps.ca . The family would like to offer a sincere and special thank you to all the staff and residents at McKenzie Towne Retirement Residences for your unwavering support, kindness and warmth towards Opa, particularly after the loss of Oma. Your facility and caring will remain near and dear to our hearts.
In living memory of John Heynen, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek Chapel, 14441 BANNISTER ROAD S.E. Telephone: (403) 256-9575.Print This Obituary & Condolences