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Jack Van Roessel


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Jack Van Roessel

1926 - 2017

Jacobus Franciscus van Roessel, beloved husband of Connie, passed away peacefully in Bow Island on Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the age of ninety-one.

Relatives and friends were invited to Prayers at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 1113 - 1 Street East, Bow Island on Friday, October 13, 2017 at 7:00 P.M.

The Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 1113 - 1 Street East, Bow Island on Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 11:00 A.M. A private burial service followed at the Bow Island Cemetery.

Besides Connie, his wife of sixty-three years, he is survived by their six children Will (Jean) van Roessel of Bow Island and their family Jessie, Rowan and Naomi; Karen (Walter) Friesen of Bonnyville and their family Tyler (Sharlene) (their children Evan and Owen), Jeff (Tiffany) (their children Ryann, Levi, Devyn and Blake), Jaret (Jodi) (their son J’den) and Natasha (Andrew) Grambo (their children Andi, Eli, Emerson and Cali); John (Susanne) van Roessel of Calgary and their family Logan, Quinn and Spencer; Janet (Rod) Carlyon of Dapp and their family Andria (Derrick Rimmer), Jessica and Briana; Pauline van Roessel of Calgary; Rob (Stephanie Hlady) van Roessel of Bow Island and their family Meredith and Jake. Jack is also survived by a sister Corrie Brenner of Lethbridge; brothers Frans (Riet) van Roessel and Jan (Annie) van Roessel, sisters An (Jan) Verhoeven, Tiny Simons and Trees (Piet) Simons all of the Netherlands and by numerous nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents, brothers Kees and Toon and sister Riet.

Jack was born to Wilhelmus and Adriana van Roessel-van Dongen on July 16, 1926 in Helvoirt, the Netherlands. He was raised on a farm in Helvoirt. After the war, he continued his education at an agricultural college. Jack met Alegonda “Connie” Vissers, and they married in 1954 and immigrated to Canada that same year, settling in Lethbridge. After working as a farmhand on three farms in Southern Alberta, they managed to buy the current farm north of Bow Island in 1960. The first years of farming were made more difficult with several severe hailstorms. To minimize costs, Jack persevered by building the family home, the outbuildings, corrals and fixing up his own machinery. The success in farming would not have been possible without the ongoing support of the community and local businesses who extended credit and goodwill.

Jack worked hard on the farm instilling a strong work ethic in all of his children. He eventually learned to slow down a bit with Will and Rob returning home from university with degrees in agriculture. Finding extra spare time, Jack and Connie were able to enjoy numerous farm tours and trips overseas. He started with his metalworking hobby in the early 1970s. This progressed to oil painting, stained glass, willow weaving and finally, various forms of woodworking.

Those who knew Jack would agree he loved storytelling as well as a good debate. He challenged people to think with a critical mind and most of all, enjoyed sharing a good laugh with everyone. Despite his declining health over the years, Jack lived life to the fullest without complaint right to the very end.

If friends so desire, memorial tributes in Jack’s name may be made directly to the Bow Island & District Health Foundation, c/o Bag 3990, Bow Island, Alberta T0K 0G0 or to the Canadian Cancer Society, 200, 325 Manning Road NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 2P5 www.cancer.ca or to the Alzheimer’s Society, 40, 1202 - 2 Avenue South, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 0E3 www.alzheimer.ca.