Jan Jonker

Jan passed away at Mountain Lake seniors’ residence at the age of 84 years. Jan was born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and grew up in the town of Meppel until he joined the Dutch Navy Air Force in his late teens. During his time in the military, Jan was an airplane mechanic and saw much of the world sailing on the HNLMS Karel Doorman aircraft carrier. He was stationed in Biak, New Guinea (Indonesia) between 1951 and 1953, and that tropical country called his heart for the rest of his life. He felt a strong connection to the people and his memories in Indonesia, and traveled there several times between 1991 and 2007. After leaving the military, Jan chose to find a new life in Canada, and emigrated from Holland in 1957. He landed in Halifax, and took the train to the West Coast to search for work. He was en route to Calgary when he ended up working for a Dutch family in Salmon Arm, and not too long after heard there was work in Nelson, and moved there in 1960. During his first years in Nelson Jan did a variety of jobs, including working for Burns Building Supply, and Safeway, and having his own businesses. Jan married Alie Jansen in the Netherlands in 1971, and they started their family in Nelson not long after she immigrated to Canada. Dirk was born in 1972, and Berdine in 1975. Jan and Alie purchased and operated the Duhamel Store and Motel at Six Mile in 1975, and operated it until 1989. After selling the store and moving closer to town Jan was a semi-retired jack-of-all trades, and was always busy doing projects and odd jobs for friends and acquaintances. He also worked as the custodian for Nelson United Church for several years. Jan was a hard-working man who was always willing to lend a hand to help when work needed to be done, even during his first years as a resident at Mountain Lake. He will be missed by his children, and his granddaughter Maya, and his many friends and family in Nelson, the Netherlands, and Indonesia. Jan’s family thanks the staff of Mountain Lake for their dedicated care and service to him during the five years that he lived there. Online condolences may be expressed at www.thompsonfs.ca. Megan Johnson of Thompson Funeral Service has been entrusted with the cremation arrangements.


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