Ben passed away December 17 at Collingwood General Hospital. He had suffered a stroke and required serious brain surgery which took its toll.
He was born in the family home in Hilversum, Holland, on January 28, 1937. For the last year of World War II he was sent from a starving city to a relative’s farm in Central Holland. Five sisters who still live in Holland.
In 1959, he and many other Dutch youth immigrated to Canada. He enjoyed his journey on the Waterman out of Rotterdam. In Canada he boarded with Gladys Baker, the mother of a Canadian soldier his family had befriended.
He spent a short time in Bracebridge and Orillia before seeking a more lucrative position in Toronto.
While recuperating from a car accident he became interested in computer operations. Following three months’ rehabilitation he began a course in IBM – successfully working in the field for several companies. University of Toronto Library Automation Systems began lay-offs and closed. Ben had already done part-time bus driving so joined WheelTrans.
In 1964 Ben met Pat at Timothy Eaton United Church’s Trident Club. They married in May 1965 – buying a first home, then five years later a ranch style in Mississauga. Their son Keith was born in 1972. They retired in Meaford in 1999.
During their 58 years together Pat and Ben visited Holland, Florida, Cuba, western and eastern Canada, England, and Ireland. Alone he travelled to Los Angeles to tour with sister Riet and her brother-in-law.
Ben loved the out-of-doors and our back country drives. He was a good swimmer. When soccer became popular in North America he and his friend Tony watched TV intently and they developed a close relationship. In the late 1970s Ben founded the Dixie Table Tennis Club. It is still operating.
Ben enjoyed his time with his three grandchildren, Justin and twins Kendra and Corey.
A graveside service is planned for a later date in the spring.
As your expression of sympathy, donations to the Covenant House Toronto, Salvation Army Collingwood, or charity of your choice would be appreciated and may be made through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON, N4L 1B9, to whom arrangements have been entrusted. www.fergusonfuneralhomes.ca