Dick was born at home in Averees, Holland, but shortly thereafter the family moved to Westzaan. There he lost the use of one eye and lived through the war years on a small farm. Two years after the war ended, at age 14, he quit school to labor in the potato fields. At age 16 he apprenticed as a bricklayer. In many places such as the Zaanse Schans, there are still roads he laid.
Dick married Marianne in 1955 and they lived in Zaandam where Mark was born. Four years later they moved back to Westzaan and lived near farmland where Jody and Richard were born. Soon after the Dutch authorities condemned their house and forced them to move to town. Dick hated the new place and decided to move his family to Canada. He loved the open spaces, forests and freedom of this country.
After short stays in Merritt, Savona and Avola, the Dekkers settled in Quesnel. Derk happily worked as a plannerman and foreman for the next 24 years. His kids grew up and married, all stayed in Quesnel.
Health problems forced his retirement in 1992 so Dick and Marianne moved onto Doug and Jody’s property on Sales Road. There they were able to help out and he could enjoy his grand kids, the animals, plowing snow and living on acreage.
In 2003 they bought the little house where Dick died as he was born, in bed at home.
Memories of Dick will be shared by many but especially his immediate family. They will miss his sense of humor, generosity, love of children and especially love for family.
Many thanks to the paramedics and RCMP who attended Dick at home and the staff and owners, Richard and Leonard, at Clayton’s who helped make his last journey easier on us.
We would also like to thank the Dekker family in Holland for helping send Anita to our aid and all the people who sent flowers and cards.