Klaasje van Geuns

Klaasje van Geuns

Our much-loved mother, aunt, grandmother and ‘kleine Oma’ passed away suddenly on Friday afternoon, October 14, 2016.

She was predeceased by her husband, Hank, in May of 1998, and her sisters, Willy Gaal and Cory Jonker, and is survived by daughters Ineke Hughes and Marion (Greg) Tompkins, granddaughter Kathleen Korek, great-grandson Colby Korek, and many nieces and nephews in Canada and The Netherlands.

Mom was the eldest of three daughters born to Willem and Wilhelmina (née Meyer) Snoeijenbos in Meppel, The Netherlands. In her youth she was an excellent track & field athlete, prepared to represent her country in the Olympics. However, the games were cancelled in 1940 and 1944 due to WWII.

She and Dad married in 1946, and in 1953 the family emigrated to Canada, coming directly to Salmon Arm. Trained as a Bookkeeper, she worked for several years in the office of NOCA Dairies, following a short stint in the cheese-making plant. Over the years she worked in various other business offices in Salmon Arm, eventually retiring from Irly Bird Building Supplies.

A superlative seamstress, Mom designed her own patterns, and sewed most of our clothes when we were in grade school. But her talents didn’t stop there. She was also an extraordinary knitter and crocheter – many Blue Ribbons won at the Fall Fair attest to that. For many years she regularly donated knitted hooded baby jackets to the Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop at Shuswap Lake General Hospital.

She stayed active all her life, playing tennis and golf, water skiing and swimming, and she ice skated well into her 80s! At age 52 she took up downhill skiing, and Dad joined her a year later, when she had proven it wasn’t as dangerous as he first thought! They enjoyed many years on the slopes in southern BC and north western United States, but they had a very special relationship with Silver Star Mountain, even before it was a resort. Along the way, Mom became a member of “The Mountain Mafia”, a group of women who skied regularly on ‘the Star.’ Already an accomplished ball room dancer when she met Dad, she taught him to dance too. They were a joy to watch on the dance floor, or wherever there was music playing.

We will miss her very much.

We would like to acknowledge the special friendship Mom enjoyed with Addie Williams and her daughter, Theresa Rutledge, and their many kindnesses over the years. Thank you also to Karen Bissenden, who visited with Mom every week for the past year. As well, our thanks to Robyn, RN, and the Interior Health Care Aides who provided such good care for Mom.

Words cannot express the debt of gratitude we feel towards Jeremy Menzies and all the staff at the Piccadilly Terrace Retirement Residence for all their kindness and concern for Mom’s well-being during the 12 years, 3½ months she lived at “The Terrace.” Thank you.

At a future date there will be a Tea to honour Mom’s memory. In lieu of flowers and/ or cards, those so inclined may make a donation in Mom’s name to Shuswap Community Foundation’s Community Fund.

Salmon Arm Observer


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