With great sadness the family of Tony Van Doleweerd announce his sudden passing. Born in Schijndel, the Netherlands in the midst of the turmoil and uncertainty that was 1943 in Europe, he at the age of 12, with his family, immigrated to Canada. After their Atlantic crossing they took the train to Manitoba. When the opportunity arose, they soon moved the family to Whitby, Ontario. In Whitby, at an early age, he began a short career at General Motors. When the opportunity arose in the early 1970s, he took a risk to become a professional firefighter with the Whitby Fire Department. This became a pivotal choice in his life, as he had recently married (April 18, 1964), and together with his wife, Bev, was set to begin a family. He was a firefighter in the town of Whitby for more than thirty years becoming Whitby Fire Chief for his final 9 years. In Whitby, besides his role as a firefighter, he was father to two children, Dean and Denise. Together, he and Bev, made a very full life for themselves and remained active in town life until his retirement in 2001. Following Denise and her husband, Dave, he and Bev moved to Port Hope in 2002. There, they remained active volunteers in the town and filled their life with family, friends, and travel.
Tony loved his home. He and Bev filled their yard with summer colour, and he worked with constant care in his gardens and yard. His home was also centered around friends and family. He and Bev made sure that their door was always open and a chair always ready at the table for someone to arrive. Tony also loved to travel. He loved the adventure of seeing everything. Together he and Bev travelled across the US and Canada, seeing sites big and small. Their travels took them back to the Netherlands, and he made a memorable trip with Denise to Italy. Just this past winter he and Bev spent February in Portugal. His great wonder at places and people remained vibrant in how much he raved about that trip in the days since their return.
What Tony loved the most was family. While he loved his work, sports, and community, it was always family that filled his heart and mind. What he did best was be a husband, father, brother, and opa. The arrival of grandchildren blossomed a love that was natural and often hilarious. Heather, Matthew, Ariel, and Atticus could do no wrong and despite his constant efforts to spoil them in every possible way. It was his super-power – he could be all of these things in ways you hoped you could emulate. He was positive about everything, and he ensured everyone around him tried to be as well. He taught us great lessons on how to live well. We were all lucky to have him for all of the time we did.
To celebrate the many memories of a life well-lived, Bev and family invite you to their home on 71 Princess St. in Port Hope on Sunday, June 18 from 1-4. Please stop by for a casual and informal visit and share a memory as part of your Father's Day plans.