William VENEMA

William VENEMA

William (Bill) Venema, 76, of Abbotsford, BC, passed away peacefully to be with the Lord on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital after lengthy health complications and a recent cancer diagnosis. Bill was born in the town of Haren, Netherlands, on October 27, 1938. He lived his childhood years in Holland before immigrating with his family to Canada in 1952. Bill completed his high school education in Richmond, BC and continued on to Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he received a teaching degree. After college, Bill taught at various Christian elementary schools before transitioning into jobs as a probation officer, and later, a family justice counsellor. In all his work, Bill had a real heart for children and families. Bill was married to Anne Scharft on August 2, 1963. They were happily married for over 51 years, together raising three children and enjoying time with their 12 grandchildren. The saddest moment in Bill’s life came when his daughter Sherry passed away at the age of 30, from melanoma that had spread to her brain. He spent many hours helping care for her, and later her children, after she passed away. Bills passions in life were his family, his friends, and sports. His relationship with his children and grandchildren was always a priority. He loved to go on family holidays and camping trips, and also loved to visit his son and his family in Japan. Friends were also important to Bill and he always made time for them. Another interest of Bill’s was sports. He was a gifted soccer player, and played or watched soccer all of his life. He has passed that love on to his children and grandchildren as well. Bill will be missed by his wife Anne and his sons John (Sandra) Venema and their children Tara, Rebecca, Zachary, Caleb and Evan; James (Ayako) Venema and their children Kento, Anika, and Erina; his son-in-law Jeff (Amber) Oevering and their children Chantelle, Tyler, Amanda, and Rob; as well as his siblings Herman, Henry, and Ann and their spouses and children. Bill was predeceased by his daughter Sherry. A memorial celebration of life service was held on Tuesday, June 9 at 1 pm at New Life Church, with Pastor Nathan Elgersma officiating.


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