May 29, 1936 – January 26, 2013
John (Jannes) Veenstra was born May 29, 1936 to Griet (Tel) and Stoffer Veenstra in Zevenhuizen, Gronigen, the Netherlands. He was the second of eight children. On April 13, 1951, the Veenstra family left their life as they knew it, sailing to Canada on the S.S. Volendam. The family lived in Telkwa for a number of years before moving to Smithers. John spent many years horse logging and working a portable sawmill. He eventually set up Veenstra Sawmills in a permanent location on the D. Groot Logging site.
In 1964, John married Sara VanderKooij. In the years that followed, John and Sara had six children. In 1986, the family moved to what is still the family home in Evelyn, just west of Smithers. John always felt that he lived in a piece of paradise and, though he loved his travels, the best part for him was returning to the beauty and peace of home. One of John’s favourite pastimes was gardening. He loved growing food for his family and anyone in need. He also loved growing flowers, his trademark gardens always an exuberant display of colour.
John passed away at home on January 26, 2013 at the age of 76. His was a full life, a life that touched many others. Prepared to move on and meet his Creator, he has been freed from the limitations endured during his last months here on earth. John is survived by his wife of 48 years, Sara; his daughters Jeannette (John), Marguerite (Dave), Henrietta (Patrick), Valerie and Esther; and his grandchildren Travis, Amy, Kari, Jenna, Sara, Michael, Arianna, and Adamina. He is also survived by his siblings Fettje (Andy), Henny (Dick), Ted (Joanne), Linda (Ev), Willie (Ted), Jenny (Sid) and George (Tina). John was predeceased by his son Peter in March of 2012.
John was laid to rest in the Smithers cemetery on January 30, 2013, followed by a memorial service at the Smithers Christian Reformed Church.
I trust in Your unfailing love
My heart rejoices in Your salvation
I will sing to the Lord
For He has been good to me.
Psalm 13: 5-6