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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Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

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

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

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Rebecca Becker

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Bernice Frook

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Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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