Durk Botma

Rhody Family Funeral Home

"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way."

John C. Maxwell

Durk was a natural born leader. It began with his upbringing in the province of Friesland, Netherlands where he was surrounded by many fiercely proud and independent Dutchmen. Once in the military he became a sergeant at a young age. As a young couple, he and Dingena ventured out to call Canada their new home. In life he worked hard and always led by example. When not at home, Durk was leading in the community. He held a variety of positions in local government over the years and was always looking for ways to push himself further. He passed many of these traits onto his children and grandchildren.

Durk Botma was born on August 23, 1925 in Marrum, Netherlands to parents Ruurd and Sadie (Offringa) Botma. He was the fifth oldest of thirteen Botma children. In time, Durk attended public, high school and eventually agricultural college. In June of 1945 Durk was attending choir practice and was introduced to a beautiful young woman by the name of Dingena Lindhout. Although they came from different areas of the country and had different dialects their love for each other was too strong and soon began dating.

Life in the Netherlands was not easy at this time and on at least one occasion Durk and his family had to flee Nazi soldiers. He was soon drafted into the military, it was May of 1946. Durk knew he was going to be deployed, however he felt it was important to show his commitment to Dingena and therefore asked her to marry him on October 1, 1946. He left for Indonesia on October 16. Three long, hard years followed for the young couple as Durk rose the ranks in the military and Dingena prayed at home for his safe return. That return came on October 3, 1949, whereby he started working for his father at their farm supply company. He and Dingena were married on October 26, 1950 in Eindhoven, and quickly decided that they wanted to leave the Netherlands for a better life.

In January of 1951, they gave their names to emigrate to Canada. They were soon sponsored by George and Blanche Sutherland in Chatsworth, Ontario. They left Rotterdam, Netherlands on June 13, 1951 on S.S. Volendam and started their 10-day journey to Halifax. This was one of the last times the couple was separated, as they did everything together, but at this time men and women were required to travel separately so they did not see each other during their ten days at sea. From Halifax they made their way by train to Toronto and then north to Chatsworth. In later years his children questioned Durk "why Chatsworth?" and his quick response, "That is where the train tracks ended."

They soon settled in with the Sutherlands and a short time later moved into a small house on the property. Durk was a farm hand and worked very hard to save money for their own property. The young couple soon welcomed their daughter, Anna Mary, it was January 1952. On May 9, 1953 the couple bought Evergreen Farm in Peabody from Mrs. Kate McGregor. Here Roy (1953) and George (1955) joined their family to make the Botma clan complete. A couple of years later, 1957, Durk and Dingena proudly received their Canadian citizenship.

In addition to milking cows and raising a variety of livestock the Botma's also had a large orchard were there were a variety of fruit trees, including apple, pear, plum, cherry and even a peach tree. Times were difficult in these early years on the farm and Durk was forced to work outside the farm as well. Over the years he helped harvest tobacco in Port Elgin, worked in the lumber yard at the Chesley Factory as well as the Desboro Feed Mill. He also was involved with the United Cooperative of Ontario in Chesley for 15 years.

As you can imagine there was little free time for Durk and Dingena but they always enjoyed their drives to Beaver Valley in the fall to take in the scenery and get apples. The couple also enjoyed square dancing, judging at local fall fairs and socializing with their neighbours. It was in the 70's when Durk took an interest in local politics and ran for Sullivan council. He won of course and this led to a long political career that included time on Chesley Town Council, Reeve of Chesley and finally Bruce County Council.

In 1979, the couple sold the farm and moved to Chesley. It was during this time that Durk enjoyed woodworking, his model train set and of course his flower gardens, particularly his roses. He along with Dingena were members of the Chesley Horticultural Society. The couple also did a lot of singing together over the years. They often sang publicly, as a duet, with hymns being their favourites. Durk enjoyed reading the newspaper, watching sports, particularly soccer and basketball and who could forget his beloved BBC. Coffee (with double cream) and hamburgers were staples in Durk's diet but he also had a soft spot for McDonalds apple pies.

Durk was a strong, honest man, who was also spiritual. He was very faithful and loyal to his beloved wife Dingena. He was a private person but enjoyed socializing and had a great sense of humour.

In 2000, Durk and Dingena moved to The Village in Hanover. Here, they continued to enjoy life surrounded by family and friends. Sadly, Dingena passed away in 2016 and Durk lost his soulmate. Life became very different for him in his final couple years and although he loved his family dearly, Dingena's absence was ever present.

Durk Botma of Hanover, formerly of Chesley, passed away at Hanover & District Hospital on Monday, August 6, 2018 in his 93rd year.

Loving father of Anna Mary (Ross) Weber of Port Rowan, Roy (Debbie) of East Linton and George (Elizabeth) of Bognor. Durk will live on in the hearts and minds of his eight grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and his siblings Ruurd and Anneke in the Netherlands. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Dingena and ten siblings.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Monday, August 13, 2018 from 12 noon until the celebration of Durk’s life beginning at 2 p.m. Interment in Chesley Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Durk’s family would like to extend a special thanks to Barb and Shelley, who helped care for Dad. He loved and respected them dearly. Thank you!

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Graham & Jane Lawrenson
August 15, 2018
May pleasant memories be treasured.A wonderful story of your parents life.
Brenda Nicholson
August 14, 2018
Anna Mary, Roy, George and families, you have so many wonderful memories. May they help you through this difficult time.
Shirley Moraal
August 13, 2018
Hi cousins!

I used to love visiting your family farm in Peabody as a child. For me, it was magical: your mom was such a great cook, (her cakes were the best!) and your dad, to me, was a gentle giant. I'll never forget the visit at your place when he said Ginger, that pony you had all outgrown, would become mine. I said, "do you promise?" He laughed so hard...then solemnly shook my hand and said the handshake was good as a contract. I never forgot that, still hear him saying it today. He became then and still remains now one of my favourite people.
Kathy Evans
August 13, 2018
Heartfelt Condolences for your loss, thinking of you.
David Rose
August 11, 2018
Roy, Debbie, and all your family,
Please accept our sincere sympathies for your loss. I have many fond memories of talking with Durk over these last 43 years.
He was a man of great strength; emotionally and physically.
He will be missed by all of us.
Dave and Joyce Rose
Carol , Brigitt , Baileigh
August 10, 2018
Roy , Debbie and families, our deepest sympathies , thinking of you in this difficult time
Carol and Jack Patterson
August 10, 2018
Liz and George, we are so sorry for your loss, Thinking about your family. I am sure you will cherish all your memories. Carol and Jack Patterson
Len & Dianne Zevenbergen
August 9, 2018
Our sincere sympathy to the family of Durk Botma.
Carole Krueger Woods
August 9, 2018
The entire Botma family are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Durk was an amazing man. He always had a kind word and a smile. May you take comfort knowing Mom and Dad are together again.
Carole Krueger Woods
August 9, 2018
The entire Botma family are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Durk was an amazing man. He always had a kind word and a smile. May you take comfort knowing Mom and Dad are together again.
Allan and Barb Lipskie
August 9, 2018
Our deepest sympathy. Cherish the memories.
Bevon and Barb Raycraft
August 8, 2018
Roy Debbie and family
You and your family have our sympathy during the loss. I’m sure that there are many memories that will be cherished
Elaine Maluske
August 8, 2018
My deepest sympathy to the family. May fond memories keep him close.
Desboro Agricultural Society
August 8, 2018
With our deepest sympathy on your loss of Dad and Grandpa. Dirk and Dingena were involved with our fair for many years and we got to see Dirk a bit more with his job at Desboro Feed Mill. You will have wonderful memories to cherish.
Lil and Pat
August 8, 2018
So sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers during this time.
Sending big hugs to you too!
Norma Botma
August 8, 2018
My deepest sympathy to all of you.
Carol Golem
August 7, 2018
Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of Durk! Allen spoke often about when they worked at the Feed Mill in Desboro.
We still have the wooden shoes Durk’s Mom
sent from Holland!
Mike and Jeannie Woof
August 7, 2018
Our heartfelt condolences to the Botma family.
Dave and Mary Edmonstone
August 7, 2018
Roy, Debbie and Family,
So sorry for your loss, cherish your memories. Thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.
The Village
August 7, 2018
The residents and staff at The Village would like to send our deepest condolences to family and friends of Durk Botma.

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Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

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