Josephine passed away suddenly from a heart attack. She was 82 years young. Josie was born in Utrecht, Holland on March 9, 1940. She was the 7th of 12 children. She marked her 16th birthday on the SS Groote Beer as her family was immigrating to Canada where they settled in Burnaby, BC. Mom caught the eye of a tall handsome man named Joe and took his last name in June of 1959. Mom and their two children followed dad to Tahsis, BC in 1969 where he worked in the sawmill as a skilled Sawyer and mom enjoyed raising the kids. They retired to Courtenay in 1997 to live out the remainder of their lives, enjoying their golden years to the fullest.
Mom lived by the words “take it one day at a time-that’s all we can do”. She didn’t need much in life. She enjoyed the most important things, her family, and friends. She did love her scratch tickets though. For sure she lost more than she won but it was all in fun. She had an amazing memory and was the keeper of her family’s stories and loved to share them with anyone that sat with her and would listen. Mom was quick as a whip with her wit and loved a good laugh and we loved seeing the twinkle in her eyes and the genuine smile on her face. Family was so important to her, and she was so proud of her children and grandchildren. She was a true Dutch woman through and through, from tulips to wooden shoes, from croquettes to sweet treats she remembered from her youth and continued to enjoy to her last days. She never forgot anyone’s birthday or anniversary and you always looked forward to receiving her card or letter filled with quips and non-sensical tidbits of information that she found amusing. They were always so fun to read and for sure get a good chuckle from. She may have been a small woman, but her heart was so big and her compassion for those less fortunate was worn on her sleeve. Whether you called her mom, Oma or Josie, she will be so missed by us all. She was one of a kind.
Predeceased by her husband of 62 years in September 2021. Left to mourn are son Douglas Vandenberg (Linda), and daughter Debbie Willms (Travis), grandchildren Ryan Tinga (Kayla), Mercedes Vandenberg, Briana Vandenberg, family in Holland and BC. No service by request. A private family celebration will take place in the future