May 11, 1952 - November 20, 2023
In loving memory ~
Our beloved brother, husband, father, and cousin Edward van Dongen passed away from this earth early in the morning of November 20, 2023. He was a person with a strong Catholic faith, and we have no doubt that he is in heaven now. Eddy was born at St Mary's Hospital in New Westminster to Adriana (Prinse) and Quirinus van Dongen on May 11, 1952, about the same time that they started farming in Pitt Meadows. He was always their special child. Eddy will be dearly missed by his wife Judy, children Bernadette (Dennis), Jacinta (Carlitos), Margaret (Steven) and Danny and his grandchildren Rico, Maria, Delilah, a grandchild on the way, Christopher, Gideon, Nikolai, and Alexander. He is lovingly remembered by his siblings John, Casey (Marilyn), Jack (Ellie), Gary (Henny), Jim (Betty) and MaryAnn (Jim). Eddy was predeceased by his parents and his son Robert.
Eddy worked with his father most of his life starting early on the farm in Pitt Meadows with helping to unload clay drain tiles from the truck when he was very young. He progressed to the "home farm" in Delta. In his teen years, Eddy specialized in loading the biggest load of hay bales you could ever get onto a trailer. He was also very creative at getting a tractor "unstuck" when it was mired in a muddy part of the field.
Eddy was a real social butterfly and loved sharing a coffee, grabbing a hamburger, and talking to anyone he met. In his youth, he was a member of the Delta Holstein 4H Club, then as an adult, he participated in the Catholic social clubs, Roncalli and the Dominic. He was a proud family historian and delighted in sharing stories in amazing detail. He also had a reputation as the 'van Dongen public relations spokesman'. He was very proud of his siblings.
Eddy and Judy got married and operated a small dairy farm in Matsqui near the Mission bridge where their five children grew up. Eddy's children have great memories of many camping trips and other family activities in addition to working on the farm.
After his mother died, Eddy moved in with Dad on LeFeuvre Rd. He and Dad became a team of adventurers who, besides keeping a herd of cattle and "a few horses", made trips together to an endless number of auctions in both BC and Washington State. They made a trip to Holland together to visit all the family there and after they shut down the farm they even lived in Alberta for a short time. They spent many years together in the Knights of Columbus and were longtime spectators at the Agassiz speedway.
In the later years, Eddy was Dad's full-time driver and caregiver. He had a more comprehensive memory than Google in giving you directions to someone's farm or house with incredible details including every tree and picket fence that marked a specific location.
We remember our mom always talking about Eddy as an innocent lamb which is truly what he was. He wouldn't hurt a soul. He was a very kind, gentle, friendly, caring, generous and trusting person, always with a smile on his face. He would help anyone and share whatever he had. He made a very large number of friends over the years throughout the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley. He attended many funerals in support of farm families that had lost loved ones.
The family would especially like to thank cousins Robert Prinse and Adriana Zylmans as well as friend Gilles Yvon Gagnon who were especially supportive of Eddy in recent years.
Eddy's Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Ann's Church in Abbotsford at 10 am on Friday, November 24, with a reception to follow.