Sadly, we lost someone special last night.
Some of you called him Herman, while others called him Opa, Om, uncle, Herm, Puck, Chief and even the Hermanator.
Some of us were lucky enough to call him dad and husband.
Whatever the case, we all loved him and we’ll all miss him.
He was quite a guy.
Always the optimist.
Keen to participate, at whatever was up;
Ready to step up for whatever was needed.
And… he loved, unconditionally, all of us.
And for this he will be most remembered.
Herman was born July 5th 1926 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He was the third child of Elisabeth Van Rijn and Henk Bakker’s five children: Henk, Jan, Herman, Truus and Nico.
He was a child raised in the hardship of the Great Depression; he lived through the devastation of the Second World War; and, he endured four years of very difficult military service in the jungles of Indonesia.
He was a survivor with a strong will to live.
Herman emigrated to Canada in 1953 with his new bride, María “Rietje Kager”, where they settled on Vancouver Island and raised five children: Henk, Elisabeth, Tom, Marina and Peter.
Herman said many times, his greatest achievements and joys were found in raising his family with Maria.
Herman thrived as an immigrant. He was made for it. It was one big adventure as far as he was concerned. He worked in the bush, on the log booms, in the mill. He drove logging trucks, gravel trucks, and bakery delivery trucks. The latter being a part of one of the fondest times in his life.
No job was beneath him. It was all opportunity as far as he was concerned. And he was grateful for it.
Herman spent the bulk of his working career in the business of life insurance and real estate. First working with Metropolitan Life Insurance and later switching to real estate with Nanaimo Realty where he made many lasting friendships.
Herman knew how to work hard.
But he new how to play hard too.
He took up skiing in his early 40s so he could ski with his kids.
He was an avid sailor. Keen to go fast, he was an early entrant into the world of catamarans and one of the first “Hobie Cat” owners in western Canada.
Herman retired into what he would sometimes self describe as the life of gentleman farmer. Whether it was “mucking about” with his tractor on his son Pete’s hobby farm, or cutting wood with his dog in the bush at home, he reveled in it. He loved the simple pleasures.
Herman had his wish, living out his final years at home with wife Maria. This provided with gentle care by eldest daughter Elisabeth and the rest of his children close by.
Herman is survived by his wife Maria; older brother Jan; children Henk (daughter-in-law Barbra) Elisabeth, Tom (daughter-in-law Jane) , Marina and Peter (daughter-in-law Jun) ; grand children Tyson, Jessie, Leonie, Luschia, Hana and Mika; and his grand dog “Gina”.
Thanking you Herman, for all that you’ve been, given and done.
It’s been a privilege.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Herman BAKKER July 5 1926 December 18 2018 (age 92)..