Jan 21, 1931 – Mar 21, 2018
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Art Van Pelt. It is with joy that we share a bit of Art’s life and the positive impact he had on family, friends and co-workers. We have many happy memories that will sustain us in the years ahead.
Art was born in Naaldwijk, The Netherlands. His childhood was joyful and he was gifted with musical talent that he passed on to his granddaughters. He was also very gifted with his hands – able to master many trades. As a child survivor of the German occupation of The Netherlands during WWII, he also knew tough times. His father was taken away to a work camp which left the family to fend for themselves for most of the war, many times going to bed hungry and some days having to eat tulip bulbs to fill his stomach.
After the war he met his life-long sweetheart, Maria. First as a passing glance on the street, and second with good fortune, at the front door of a friend’s house – he did not know she was his sister. They fell in love and he followed her and her family to Canada, landing in Halifax on July 1st, 1952. When they arrived in Vancouver, Art only had 25 cents in his pocket but he had talent and a strong work ethic. He and Maria immediately moved to the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows area and Art took on many jobs to make ends meet. Through these jobs, he showed that he had a broad set of skills and that he was an excellent all-around handyman.
His greatest joy was his family. Art loved to interact with people and was a great story-teller and jokester, always entertaining his family and friends. He was a wonderful dad for son, Art, and his daughter, Linda, and he took pride in their educational achievements.
Art was also a fantastic Opa for his granddaughters – Michelle, Ginny, Kelsey, Stephanie, and Kailin and his great-grandchildren, Axton and Maxime.
He used his skills as a carpenter to make wonderful gifts for them, such as dressers, desks, and his famous windmill clocks. Always a fun (and cool!) Opa, he loved having his grandchildren and great-grandchildren over for playtime and made sure they got to experience lots of traditional Dutch treats. He especially loved his big, warm hugs from great-granddaughter, Maxime and the secret handshake with great-grandson, Axton.
The family would like to thank Dr. Larry Lim for his constant medical care over the past number of years – his care allowed us to have more time with our Dad and Opa.
Maria is especially grateful for the extra time with her life’s love.
A celebration of Art’s life will be held on Sunday, April 8th at 1:30 pm at the Burnett Fellowship Church – 20639 – 123rd Avenue, Maple Ridge.
Condolences may be sent to www.mapleridgefuneral.ca
Maple Ridge Funeral Home