(Sept. 4, 1929-Dec.19, 2018) – It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of the vibrant, funny man that was our Father and Opa. On Dec.19 he passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by his loving family. He is predeceased by his cherished wife of 53 years, Catharina (Appels) Van Aaken (2010). He had a wonderful sense of adventure and decided to emigrate from the Netherlands in 1955. After working hard for two years he returned to marry Catharina in 1957. Together they sailed on the Maasdam and settled in Sudbury.  After several years of hard work in the nickel mines and on various farms, Gerry and Catherine had enough savings to purchase their first farm in St. Augustine, Ontario in 1963. Together they raised 6 children.  In 1972 they moved from St. Augustine to a larger farm near Bayfield.  On this farm Gerry’s dreams came to fruition as he worked alongside his sons and grandsons until the age of 85. Gerry was loved by many and in turn he loved life.  Babies, children, his family, his friends, animals and nature – all were part of him, but what made him even more special was his sense of wonder. The mischievous boy who loved to laugh and marvel at all things was still there in the 89 year old man.

“ ‘t Leven duurt maar even, de liefde blijft altijd”

Life is but a moment, love lasts forever’ – Gerrit Van Aaken

Gerry was the cherished father of Wilma and Carl Farnsworth, Frank and Judy Van Aaken, Harold and Marni Van Aaken, Brian and Shelley Van Aaken, Rob and Leigh Anne Van Aaken, Mary Ellen and Brian Coombs. Beloved Opa to sixteen grandchildren and 1 great grandchild, Laura, Bryan, Sarah (Tom), Matthew, Michael (Sarah), Stephen, Amanda (Taylor), Jessica (Steve), Adrienne, Taylor, Jocelyn, Aaron, Isaac, Nigel, Keenan, Marlese and Wyatt. Gerry is survived by 4 siblings, Cor, Trees, Leo and Toos and predeceased by 9 siblings as well as his parents Elizabeth and Sjef Van Aaken, and sadly missed by the extended Van Aaken and Appels families.

Visitation will be held at Haskett Funeral Home, 49 Goshen Street, North, ZURICH on Friday, December 21, 2018 from 2-4 and 7-9 PM. The Funeral Mass will be held at St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, 73334 Bluewater Highway, Zurich (St. Joseph) on Saturday, December 22nd at 11 AM with Fr. Matthew George, presiding. Interment St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, St. Joseph.  Parish prayers will take place in the funeral home on Friday afternoon at 4 PM. If desired, donations to Children’s Health Foundation, London would be appreciated by the family. Condolences may be forwarded through www.haskettfh.com

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Filed Under: London, Ontario, Sudbury

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