Born in Gendt, Holland, Sept. 13, 1925
Passed away in Smithers, B.C., Oct. 12, 2012
John was born and raised in Gendt, Holland. He was the oldest of eight children. John apprenticed as a carpenter with his Dad’s firm at the age of 14, and continued on with his education in Nymegen. John served in the Dutch army from 1947 to 1948 where he was stationed in the Dutch East Indies.
John met the love of his life Agnes in 1950 in his home town while Agnes was visiting family there. After three years of courtship Agnes and her family immigrated to Canada and it was not long afterwards that John followed in June of 1954.
John and Agnes married on July 21, 1954 in Smithers, B.C. and moved into a small cabin on King Street.
John became a partner with his father-in-law Anton Konst and his brother-in-law Francis Stam and formed Kodest Contracting. For 30 years they were general building contractors in the Bulkley Valley. They were the principal builders of St. Joseph’s School and Church. John built the pews.
During these years John and Agnes raised a family of four lovely sisters, Laura, Thelma, Mary and Gina. They dedicated countless hours to the Smithers Figure Skating Club where the girls were members. In 1964, John became one of the founding members of the Smithers Lions Club and since then for 48 years he has given endless hours of his time and talent back to the community.
In the early ‘80s John went on his own. He opened a sharpening and lock-smithing business, DERKSEN’S LOCKSMITHING AND SHARPENING (up until two weeks ago he still received phone calls for skate sharpening… He Was Good).
John sold his business in early 2012 due to health reasons. He will be missed by many for his helpful, practical and humble ways.
John is survived by his loving wife Agnes, foster child Laura and grandchildren. (Predeceased by foster children Thelma, Mary and Gina). He is also survived by two brothers; Willy and Theo, and three sisters; Marie, Thea, Nelly and their families. (Predeceased by brother Herman and sister Riek).
In Memory of John Derksen, donations can be made to St. Joseph’s School or Parish, P.O. Box 454, Smithers, B.C., V0J 2N0 .
Let there be no Weeping
I hope there’ll be no sadness,
When I am called away
Across the mighty chasm,
Where we all must go someday.
I’ve had a bit of living,
This life of joy and pain,
I’m ready any time to go
And meet my God again.
Our lives are ruled by destiny,
To match His mighty plan,
And if we live to please Him,
We have done the best we can.
The end of life should not be sad,
We need not fear at all
The prospect of eternity,
To meet our Master’s call
“God’s gift to us girls was you.”
~ Laura Derksen (Father’s Day 2002)