Christel passed away peacefully on Friday the 19th of July, 2021 at The Heights at Mt View in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She was born on October 21, 1929 in Heer, Limburg, Netherlands. At the age of 16 she met her lifelong friend, love, and husband-to-be through their mutual passion for music, he on clarinet and she on piano. In 1955 they wed, came to Canada and began their life together. Christel and her husband and family lived in Ontario, New Brunswick, British Columbia and also spent three years in Germany. They travelled extensively, seeing many parts of the world during their 66 years of marriage.
Christel is survived by her husband John Pasmans; her daughter Karina (Ken), and two sons James (Sheryl) and Paul (Jayne); eight grandchildren Matthew (Alanna), Chelsea (Stuart), Amy (Drew), Daniel, Stephanie, Niko, Ross and Katie; plus, eight great-grandchildren Ethan, Owen, Rupert, Maebel, Liam, Evie, August and Stevie.
Christel was always Oma to her family and friends. When presented to someone new, she would quickly correct any formal salutation to “I’m just Oma” and immediately launch into a litany of questions aimed at discovering just who you were, what were your loves and where were you headed in life. If she knew you and hadn’t seen you in some time you could expect to be lovingly interrogated until she was satisfied that she had gotten ’caught up’ with your life. It was this truly genuine interest and welcoming warmth that immediately endeared her to everyone who knew her.
Oma was incredibly well read and could discuss nearly any topic at long length with great insight. Her interest in learning something new was seemingly insatiable. Oma’s musical knowledge and talents were second to none. At Christmas time, we were all required to sing a song or two before we could lay claim to a delicious treat she had lovingly hung in the tree. No matter our skill level, our efforts were always met with true joy and enthusiasm from Oma. Her children and grandchildren all recall her happiest moments were around the piano or taking in a family talent show of which there were many over the years. Often these performances were in her honour. On more than one occasion Oma would be seen sitting on her own with a smile on her face and when approached she would say how unbelievable it was that we were all there because of her, and how proud she was of the family that she has. She had such love for everyone and made sure everyone knew how important they were to her.
It was always family that she focused on throughout her life. She often spoke lovingly and emotionally of her time in Heer, always eager to share her childhood stories, and songs that we now sing to our children’s children. For those of us who had the privilege of visiting with her in Heer, we witnessed first hand how proud she was of her hometown. Even when we visited there without her, we would find ourselves singing songs we barely understood and ‘schunklen’ to the music in the pub that in earlier times was her family’s bakery and her childhood home. We felt welcome in the space and would proudly announce whilst pointing to a family photo on the pub wall, “That’s my Oma!”
Oma was a very happy soul. Her love of life and exuberance was infectious. She was always ready for a chat, a piece of chocolate or a plate of fries. She introduced us to mocha cakes, rice pies and hagelslag sandwiches; taught us the art of fresh ground drip coffee and that everything tasted better with a dollop of whipped cream on top. She loved anything with a ‘good beat’, and the color magenta. She never ever turned down an adventure, eagerly participating in whatever we put in front of her from horseback riding to boogie boarding to trail riding ‘op de fiets’.
And, most special of all on those nights with her grandchildren, they vividly recall waiting, after being tucked in, to hear her whisper those words. A gentle touch to the forehead, the chest and each shoulder, ending with a kiss on the head. She never missed a night. Now, it is our turn to say to her,
“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Oma schläft in Gottes Namen”.
As per Christel’s wishes, a public mass will be held at Holy Cross Catholic Church at 9am on Sunday, September 12th, 2021. Later in the day, her family will gather to celebrate her love of life.
Condolences may be offered to the family below.
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Christel Pasmans October 21 1929 July 19 2021..
Décès pour la Ville: Victoria, Province: Colombie britanique