It is with heavy hearts that the family of Cornelis (Casey) de Boer announce his passing after a brief hospitalization at Groves Memorial in Fergus. Casey was born December 23, 1930 in Nieuwe Neidorp, Holland, to parents Meinuwtje and Willem de Boer. He was the 2nd oldest of 5 children; sister Nellie McHardy (Irvin, both deceased), Peter de Boer (Catherine, deceased), Bill de Boer (deceased) (Betty), and John de Boer (Kay).
Casey married the love of his life, Gre (Greta) Leeuwrik on May 8, 1954, giving them almost 66 years together. He was a devoted father to 3 children: Neil de Boer (Elizabeth), Linda Massel (Bart) and Sharon McNeilly (Chris). Loving grandpa to Emily, Sarah, Valerie, Todd, Jessica and Samantha. Opa to Evelyn and Violet.
As a young teenager during the war years, he went to school to become a baker. However he wasn’t able to finish his apprenticeship because in August of 1949, at the age of 18, his family made the decision to emigrate to Canada. They settled in Fergus where he held several different jobs including a farmhand, a labourer for Ontario Hydro, a forklift operator at Beatty Brothers, a clerk at Ronald Billiards and a lathe operator for Fergus Veneer.
In 1955 Casey was hired as foreman at a tree nursery in Belwood working for the Grand River Conservation Authority. He would spend his career with the GRCA. In 1966 he became the first superintendent of the newly created Laurel Creek Conservation Area in Waterloo where he moved his family and they remained for the next 20 years. His career went full circle as he returned to Belwood in 1986 as the park superintendent and Shand Dam operator. He retired in 1993 after 38 years of service.
Casey was generous with his time, volunteering on several boards of directors. He was the charter president of the Fergus Jaycees in the early 60’s. He also sat as the president of the Ontario Conservation Authorities Superintendents workshops. Casey was an avid member of the Fergus Elora Rotary Club, becoming president in 2003-2004. Rotary International recognized his contributions with the presentation of the Paul Harris Fellow Award in 2004. He also enjoyed attending Probus club meetings and events. He was a member of the Melville United Church where he was chair of the Board, as well as a trustee.
Casey enjoyed sports, whether participating or watching. He was involved in lacrosse in Fergus during the 60’s both as a team trainer and as a referee. But curling was his real love, playing the game for over 50 years. He was president of the Fergus Curling Club in 1966 and then went on to join the Glenbriar Curling Club when the family moved to Waterloo and then on to be a part of the Elmira Curling Club. When he wasn’t playing the game, he was watching it on TV or going on club trips with Greta to Briers and even a World Championships in Scotland. After he retired, summers were spent at the Elora Rocks Lawn Bowling Club, where he also spent some time as Board President.
Casey loved family time with many camping trips and extended family summer reunions over the years. Games were also a favourite pastime with rounds of cribbage, Uno, 99 and Chase the Ace! As a couple in retirement, Casey and Greta enjoyed trips and cruises to Europe, the Caribbean and Eastern Canada. One of his favourite places was Aruba.
The family would like to thank Dr. Doug Roach, the nurses and caregivers at Groves Memorial Hospital. Casey will be greatly missed by all but especially by his wife, children, grandchildren and great children. A private family service will be conducted with Interment at Belsyde Cemetery in Fergus, Ontario. Memorial donations can be directed to the Groves Memorial Hospital Foundation or KidsAbility (www.kidsability.ca).
Hurry, hard Casey and get that eight ender!