March 18, 1935 – June 20, 2009
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and modern humanist. His wife and daughter were at his side. Theo was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and emigrated to Vancouver, Canada with his new wife Marjan in 1960. After briefly working in the accounting field with TD Bank and the Vancouver Symphony, Theo then found his calling as a senior secondary educator and taught such subjects as Western Civilization, Law, Economics and the Theory of Knowledge over his 25-year career in Abbotsford, BC. While teaching, he completed B.Ed and M.Ed degrees at UBC and a non-traditional Ph.D. at Pacific Western in L.A. He also coordinated the International Baccalaureate program in the district, worked as a freelance translator and court interpreter, and conducted workshops in critical thinking for teachers. Following their retirement, Theo and Marjan moved to Victoria, BC in 1999. Theo had a life-long commitment to modern Humanism. He was president of the BC Humanist Association from 1996-1999, had served as a member of the Board of Canadian Humanists, and was involved with the Victoria Humanists. Theo coordinated and participated in lecture series about modern Humanism for the Adult Education programs of Douglas College, UBC, SFU and UVic. He wrote reviews and articles for the Humanist Perspectives magazine and was on its editorial committee. He was also a director of the BC Skeptics Society, founding president of the Sidney Probus Club, as well as a 30-year member of the Bertrand Russell Society. Always passionately interested in politics and social issues, many of Theo’s letters to editors appeared in a variety of publications. A book of his letters and articles will be published posthumously. Theo was a voracious reader and life-long learner, with an extensive library of books on politics, morality, philosophy, art, world religions, and many other subjects. He also had a great love of sailing, and a deep passion for classical music, attending countless concerts over his lifetime and enjoying his many classical cds and dvds.
Theo handled his nine-month struggle with cancer with calm and dignity, maintaining his well-known humour and optimism throughout. He will remain forever in the hearts of his wife of almost 50 years, Marjan, his children Paul Gina) Meijer and Yolanda Meijer, grandchildren Miranda, Andrew and Oliver, his brother Rudolf (Wendeline), and be greatly missed by so many. He was a truly special man.
Family and friends are invited to gather for a celebration of Theo’s life on Thursday, July 2, at 2:00 pm at First Memorial Funeral Home at 4725 Falaise Drive, Saanich. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Theo to the Victoria Secular Humanist Assocation (c/o Nancy Swartz, 3935 Caerlion, Victoria, BC V8K 2W4) or a charity of your choice are appreciated. Condolences may be sent to Marjan Meijer at [email protected]