“Marietje” Kager passed away last week, leaving us to join her beloved “Puckie.
Formally she was Maria Johanna Bakker, wife of 65 years to Herman Maria Bakker, but to most she was either Mom, Oma, Ria, Rietje or Marietje as her husband Puckie would love to call her.
She left us as she had always wished, peacefully and quickly. Mom suffered a massive stroke in the early morning of September 5th, 2019. She regained only limited consciousness, fading into sleep through late morning and departing in late afternoon.
Her remaining hours saw her surrounded by all of her children, in-laws and some grandkids too. She left immersed in the spirit of their love. She was a week short of her 90th birthday.
Maria Johanna Kager was born to Gertruida Veldman-Kager and Henk Kager on September 12th, 1929 on a small North Holland farm near the rural village of Schoorl, the Netherlands. She was the second of five children, Jack, Maria, Gerard, Hans & Gertruida (Trudi).
The hard and changing times of the depression drove the young family to the City of Amsterdam where they settled and made their home. Her father Henk opened a “Melk” Winkel (Dairy Store) where he and “Guurtje” worked side by side and raised their five children.
They survived the depression and the Second World War. During the latter she would meet her future love “Puckie”, at the tender age of fourteen.
The turmoil and the aftermath of the Second World War interfered with that romance but didn’t frustrate it. Despite it all, love prevailed, and Maria and Herman wed in 1953, emigrating immediately thereafter to Canada where they embarked on their life’s biggest adventure.
Settling on Vancouver Island, they had five children, Henk, Elisabeth, Tom, Marina and Peter.
First starting in the rural community of Westholme, then on to Ladysmith, Port Alberni, and finally settling into Lantzville and Nanaimo. They lived what Mom would describe as a dream life when compared to that which they had known in Holland. They made many lasting friendships.
Marietje was a terrific mom and homemaker. Both her and dad were singularly committed parents, remembered for the warmth of the home they so naturally created.
Mom’s pleasure in life, was her music. Classical music. An appreciation for which she did her best to instill in her children. She enjoyed playing her piano. Playing into her senior years until her eyesight began to fail her.
She lived out her life in the comfort of her home, these last years in the loving care of daughter Elisabeth with the others close at hand.
Maria is survived by her brother Gerard, sister Trudi, children Henk (daughter-in-law Barbra), Elisabeth, Tom (daughter-in-law Jane), Marina, Peter (daughter-in-law Jun) and grandchildren Tyson, Jessie, Leonie, Luschia, Hana, Mika, and grand dog Gina.
Thanking you Mom for all that you gave us and all that you did. It’s been an honour.
To send flowers to Maria's family, please visit our floral section.