George (Sjoerd) Koopmans
George Koopmans was born on December 3, 1929 in Jutrijp/Hommerts, Friesland, the Netherlands to Tjitte and Pietje Koopmans.
At the age of 19, George, together with several siblings and their mother, immigrated to the Vancouver area of British Columbia. Their father had died in 1947. In the summer of 1952 he moved to the Bulkey Valley which he loved and called home for the rest of his life. On November 26 of that year he married Ann Jaarsma, the love of his life. Together they raised a family of seven children and subsequently enjoyed their 24 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
George loved people and through his various work positions and community involvements he was touched by and touched the lives of many. As a teacher at the Bulkley Valley Christian School (1965-1982), education co-ordinator for the Wet’ suwet’ en people of Moricetown (1983-1989) and administrator for the Village of Telkwa (1990-1993) he delighted in his relationships with students and co-workers and the many friendships that formed along the way. He was especially proud of his role in the improvements made to the village of Telkwa by the installation of the sewer system and the railroad footbridge. From 1981-1990 George served on the Telkwa village council including two years as deputy mayor (1986-88) and two as mayor (1988-90)
Following his retirement George devoted more time to his involvement with his church, his commitment to the Christian Heritage Party and to his hobbies of gardening, beekeeping, reading and writing and playing Scrabble. He spent many days helping with the construction of the new building of the Faith Reformed Church in Telkwa. He did a lot of research on the history of Dutch immigration to the Bulkley Valley and contributed a number of articles to various papers on that topic.
The Lord took George to his heavenly home on Sunday, May 29 after a brief illness.
George loved his family. His beloved Ann died in December, 2015 only days after their 63rd wedding anniversary. He is survived by his children: Ted (Joanne), Rick (Julia), Hilda, Ken (Linda), Dave (Linda), Paul (Michelle), Patti (Steve), 24 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. He is survived by his sisters: Afke, Agnes and Jenny and brothers: John, Lambert, Al and Ike, as well as by numerous in-laws on both sides of the family.
Our father was a gentle, patient, good-humoured man, although with strongly held convictions, and it was a blessing and privilege to have been part of his life.
As a family we are very grateful for the compassionate care provided to Dad by Dr. Scholtz and the nurses at the Bulkley Valley Hospital and on home visits. We also want to express our sincere thanks to Dad’s church family at Faith Reformed Church as well as the many others for all of their expressions of love and support.
Faith in God and Jesus Christ gave meaning, purpose and joy to George’s life. He loved to study God’s Word and left this verse as an encouragement for us: “Do not grieve for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
A Memorial Service was held on Friday, June 3rd in the Faith Reformed Church. Condolences may be offered at www.raschraderfuneralhome.com.