Rieka Bertens

Obituary of Rieka Bertens

Surrounded by the love of her family, Petronella Hendrika (nee de Kort) Bertens passed away on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018, at Parkwood Hospital at the age of 88.  Predeceased by her beloved husband of almost 60 years, Frank Bertens (2013).  Cherished mother of Mary (Greg McNeil), Judy Ann (Jeff Sadler), Linda (Steve Delany), Pauline (Joseph VanDerVelden), Richard (Carolynn Johnston), Robert (Melanie Antal), and Irene (Paul Johnson).  Devoted mother-in-law of Harriet and Bill Potters.  Predeceased by sons Andrew (1954) and Edward (1983).  Dear Oma to Lindsay (Chris Tansey), Michael (Ada Maciejewski), Mark (Jessica Wilson), Meghan, Carly (Klaus Werner), Denby (Heather Schmidt), Emily, Trent (Blair Kelly), Amber, Cole, Grace, Claire, Courtney (Mike O’Rourke), William (Kayla Jefferson), Matthew (Jenna Claessens), Amanda (Dave Raaff), Sara (Greg Player) and Marie.  Great Oma of Hailey, Hannah, Leo, Ryker, Nash, and Astrid.  Loved sister and sister-in-law of Annie and Gerry Bertens, Anne de Kort, Lucy and John Van Haaren in Canada and Annie de Kort, Tiny Bertens, Zus and Leo Van Kasteren, Piet de Kort and Rien and Ria de Kort in the Netherlands.  Predeceased by siblings and in-laws Jo and Piet Bertens, Adrian de Kort, Jan de Kort, Louis and Mary de Kort, Nel de Kort, Lies and Willem Van Laak, Miet and Janus Van Esch, Wim Bertens, Jan Bertens and Jos Bertens. Rieka also leaves behind many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and close friends. 

Rieka was born on September 3, 1930 in Heukelom, The Netherlands, the seventh of eleven children.  Frank and Rieka immigrated to Canada in 1954 after the much celebrated wedding of six couples.  They successfully raised a large family on a busy farm south of London, the one with the beautiful lawn and gardens.  More than anything, Rieka was an amazing mother to her children, grandchildren, and pretty much everyone she knew.  She was a no-nonsense, just do it, energizer bunny but hospitality and generosity came first.  She was a committed volunteer for the Canadian Diabetes Association for 25 years and the Catholic Women’s League for 60 years.  Rieka enjoyed gardening, playing cards, crocheting, knitting, and baking.  Many friends and family members were delighted to receive her gifts of bread, cookies and crocheted kitchen towels.  Despite great sorrow in her life and a difficult battle with cancer, Rieka relied on her faith and her love of God to get her through.  She also never forgot how to have fun. She had a wonderful sense of humour and a joyful, infectious laugh. 

Our family wishes to express sincere thanks to the staff of Inspirit Residences and the nurses at Parkwood Hospital Complex Care Unit for their excellent care.  Also special thanks to Dr. Chai Phua and the nursing staff at the London Regional Cancer Program. 

The family will receive relatives and friends at the John T. Donohue Funeral Home, 362 Waterloo Street, London, on Sunday November 25th from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, November 26th at 11 a.m. at St. Justin’s Parish, 855 Jalna Blvd., London.  Following the mass, a reception will be held at St. Justin’s Parish Hall, then Interment at St. Peter’s Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association or the Ed Bertens Memorial Award by mailing your donation to c/o Lorena Foster, Student Awards Program, Universtiy of Guelph Ridgetown Campus, Ridgetown, ON, N0P 2C0.