On Sunday May 2, 2021 Arend (Art) Vandergaag was called home by his Lord and Saviour after completing his earthly race at the full age of 92. He was the sixth child of nine born to Gerrit & Carolina Vandergaag in Delft, The Netherlands. He wasn’t afraid of adventure and was the first in his family to immigrate to Canada at age 19, followed by two brothers and two sisters. He started out in Chatham, Ontario, there he met and married the beautiful, industrious and witty, Minke Zylstra and they were blessed with their first child, Gerald. In the Fall of 1955, along with two other families, (Hamelinks and Penningas) they loaded their meager belongings, plus a station wagon, on to a train headed for Smithers, BC. They settled in this beautiful town and three more sons were born to them: Aubrey, Peter and William.
Art lost his father to pneumonia at age 7 and therefore started working in the family potato business at 13. He had a variety of employment and skills: trucker, excavator operator, construction worker, chicken farmer, businessman, entrepreneur, mail and donut deliverer…. After his retirement Art & Minke spent many winters in Florida and enjoyed the sunshine and fellowship with other believers. In 2016, after 63 years of marriage, Minke passed away. Those last years were not easy as Minke suffered from dementia. Art was a patient, kind and generous man, he was always ready to give an encouraging word. He loved the Lord and was steadfast in his faith. He considered his children and their families a true blessing and always showed interest in their lives.
Art was medevacked to Kamloops Hospital due to blood clots and after undergoing a couple of surgeries, he died of a heart attack. He spent two weeks in this hospital and as we were praying that he would be able to return home, the Lord answered our prayer and took him to his eternal Home. We grieve his loss but celebrate the long-life God gave to him.
He is survived by Gerry (Hettie), Aubrey (Jane), Pete (Tina) and Willy (Greta), 24 grandchildren and 58 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Ans (Jan) and a sister-in-law, Nel.
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