February 18, 1929 – April 14, 2019
It is with immeasurable sadness that we announce that Riet passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family at Yucalta Lodge. Riet is survived by her devoted husband Martin, her four children Catherine (Wayne) Davis, Peter (Cheryl) Broeren, Tess (Patrick) Zumkeller and Michele Broeren, her nine grandchildren, Corey (Chad), Tyson (Meghan), Kelsey (Dave), Skylar, Hayley, Alli, Jessa, Quinn and Cale, her seven great- grandchildren Cassidy, Hunter, Brooke, Peyton, Gage, Parker and Jesse. Also survived by her brothers in The Netherlands, Pierre (Cocky) and Herman (Pauly) van Giels, her brother-in-law Bert Broeren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Riet was born in Bergen op Zoom, the oldest of four children. She went to the University of Amsterdam to study pharmacy.
She met the love of her life, Martin in 1946 during Carnival. Martin immigrated to Canada in January 1951 and Riet followed in November 1952. They were married on November 22, 1952 in Toronto. Riet worked as a lab technician at Toronto Hospital for Sick Children while Martin went to the University of Toronto studying forestry.
They moved to Newfoundland in 1957 where all four of their children were born. In 1969, Martin & Riet packed up their family and drove across Canada, coast to coast and arrived in Campbell River which has been their home ever since.
Riet enjoyed being a homemaker, loved gardening, reading, music, playing the piano, solving crossword puzzles, watching Jeopardy, and excelled at sports which included badminton & tennis. Her homemade bread was second to none. She gave countless hours volunteering her time delivering meals on wheels and was very active in the Catholic Women’s League and her church.
She sang in the church choir, managed the church’s finances and visited parishioners in the hospital. She also was a member of various bridge clubs. She loved attending the special lunches and participating in skits with the various groups she was involved with. She especially enjoyed spending time with her family, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and loved hosting huge family dinners.
She had a full life, enjoying every minute of it. She was a sweet and caring woman who gave so much of herself. She was a devoted wife, an amazing mother and an exceptional Oma. For her tiny body, her heart was huge.
We want to make special mention of the incredible staff at Yucalta Lodge where she spent the last nine years of her life. Even while struggling with Alzheimer’s, she still brought joy to all around her. She will be greatly missed. She has now joined her Mom & Dad, and her sister Mien in heaven. Rest easy, until we meet again.
Please join us on Friday, April 26th at 12 pm for a Catholic Mass at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, 34 South Alder Street, Campbell River. Reception to follow at the Parish Hall. There will also be a Prayer Vigil, Thursday, April 25th at 8 pm Flowers gratefully declined.