Gerald van Grootheest

Gerald van Grootheest

Tuesday, June 23rd, 1936 - Tuesday, May 26th, 2020
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It is with broken hearts and immense sadness that we announce the passing of Gerald (Gerrit) van Grootheest on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 in his 84th year. Beloved husband of 55 years to Judy (nee Howlett). Loving father to daughters, Angela (Tom), Barbara (Larry) and Heather. Loving brother of Maas, Wouterus, Hendrika, Klaartje, Woutera, Lis and Evertje.

Born on June 23, 1936, in Ede, Netherlands, Gerald emigrated to Canada with his family in July 1949 and farmed in Amaranth Township. He married Judy on August 1, 1964 and worked in construction with John VanDenDam, where he learned many aspects of the business, serving him well throughout his life.

After settling in Laurel, Gerald opened a welding shop, working with the farming community. He was a faithful member of Laurel United Church and was Chairman of the Board of Stewards.

The family moved to Fergus in May 1980 where he established a successful muffler and auto shop, retiring in 2005. As an active member of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Gerald enjoyed singing in the choir, and served as an Elder and on the Board of Managers. Affectionately known as “The Boss”, he was always kind, generous and fair with customers and employees alike. Many have heartfelt stories of how he impacted their lives.

As a husband and father, Gerald always had time for his family, enjoying the outdoors, nature, camping, hiking, canoeing and animals; he loved game nights, mini golf and other family activities. In their motor home, Gerald and Judy enjoyed travelling across Canada and the United States. At home, he was a true handyman and spent many hours renovating the house and followed up with a well-deserved “inspection of his eyelids”.

Gerald was a good listener and a man of few words; he could hardly get a word in edgewise with 4 ladies in the house. With ongoing car problems and life problems, he was the fixer of all things, from broken toys to broken hearts. He always maintained his sense of humour, was quick witted and gave good advice.

Beautiful blue eyes and an eternal smile, Gerald will be greatly missed by many people: his customers, community, family and friends.

Cremation has taken place and there will be a private family interment at Belsyde Cemetery. A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Fergus or charity of your choice.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelations 21:4
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Private Condolence
Bill Clarke and family sent flowers to the family of Gerald van Grootheest.
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Shirley Theriault

Posted at 02:53am
He was a great uncle and a lot of fun when I was a child. I have fond memories of being with him, Aunt Judy, Angela, Barbara & Heather. Angela will remember the cottage.
Shirley 💕💔

Marg Black

Posted at 08:17pm
Judy and family, our sincere condolences. Gerry was the Presbyterian Church Elder for Mom (Isabel Black) when she resided at Wellington Terrace. She very much looked forward to, and enjoyed his visits. Marg and Bert Black

L Hastings

Posted at 11:05am
Sad to hear of Gerry"s passing....when we took our vehicles in for servicing we got to have a visit too, a very kind and caring man. He will be missed, treasure the memories.....John & Linda Hastings

Bill Beattie

Posted at 10:14am
Bill and Karen Beattie
Dear Judy and girls So sad to hear of Gerry's passing.Please accept our deepest condolences. The community lost a great person.
No one will ever know the number of people he helped and expected no thanks. God bless you all

Joan Zettel

Posted at 02:36pm
Judy, Angela, Barbara & Heather, please accept my sincere condolences. What a wonderful kind man he was. I have many fond memories of him through St. Andrews. John always enjoyed their conversations, as I did. Please know you all are in my thoughts & prayers during this difficult time. God bless, Joan Zettel

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