Lippe Catharinus de Haan II, born October 8, 1933, died peacefully at his home on May 6, 2014, at the age of 80 after a resolute, grace-filled battle against cancer. A longtime resident of Exeter, Ont., he enjoyed life fully, but knew too that death would not have the final word, thanks to the promises of Easter and Ascension Day.
Known to many in Exeter as Al, he immigrated to Canada with his family when he was 18 years old, having lived through World War II, the occupation of the Netherlands and its liberation. He worked for eight years as a machinist in Owen Sound to earn enough money for college. He also spent an extended stay in the Freeport Sanitorium in Kitchener for tuberculosis, a regimen that included dozens of pills a day, something he recalled during his cancer treatment when the pills also were numerous. It was in “the San” that he learned to love cribbage, a game he continued to play with his kids and grandkids even up until his final weeks.
Lippe graduated from Calvin College, in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1964 with a bachelor’s degree in English and worked as a teacher thereafter, including a quarter of a century at South Huron District High School. He loved words and music (he was a church organist and church choir director for many years), loved to learn and was an inveterate crossword puzzler. His favorite hobby was racing homing pigeons, and for four decades his birds faithfully returned to his backyard coop after training runs and the races of the Lucan Racing Pigeon Club.
Lippe is survived by his wife Catharina and by his children: Phil and Sue de Haan of Grand Rapids, Joanne and Mark Abolt of Grand Rapids, Derek and Lorissa de Haan of London and Tess de Haan and Bryan McDonald of London. Also by nine grandchildren, brothers Harold (Betty) and Bob (Trudy) de Haan, sisters Stien (d. Hans) Nusselder and Rolina (Henk) Hultink, and brothers-in-law George (d. Trynie) Mackowski, John (Susan) Derijk and Dick (Faye) DeRyk ? as well as many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive visitors on Monday, May 12 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Exeter United Church, 42 James Street, with a service and light lunch to follow. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider donations to either Habitat for Humanity Huron County (Lippe was a longtime volunteer at Habitat’s ReStore in Exeter) or the newly established L.C. de Haan Scholarship Fund in the English department at Calvin College.
Haskett Funeral Home, Exeter entrusted with arrangements. For more information, please see www.haskettfh.com.