Gerrie den Hollander
Gerrie (Verhey) den Hollander (85) passed away peacefully in Northwood Centre, Halifax on Friday, April 17, 2020.
Born in Schiedam, Holland she was the daughter of the late Gilbert and Gerrie Verhey. She immigrated to Canada through Pier 21 with her parents and siblings after World War II. The family’s move for a better life was inspired by her brother, John Verhey.
In her earlier years she was a seamstress and later provided childcare in her home for a number of children. She had a deep love for children. She spent many Sundays at Hillside Wesleyan Church caring for the infants and toddlers in the nursery. This gave the children a familiar face, which was so important to her.
She was predeceased by the love of her life, Reverend John den Hollander, Sr. She was a dedicated spouse and together they shared in raising their children, woodworking, gardening and pastoral ministry.
Gerrie and John lived in Halifax/Dartmouth raising their 4 children. After their children had grown, she and John entered into pastoral ministry. They packed up and moved to pastor in Lower Brighton, NB and then later on to Digby, NS. When the grandchildren visited and attended church with them, you could be sure she would reach deep into her purse and pull out mint after mint for the duration of the service. After church, her dining table was usually full with family or friends where she served a delicious meal and made sure everyone had a full belly. We cannot forget the sweets and tea or coffee that would follow! Gerrie had a sweet tooth like no one else! She loved to bake and she loved to have a sweet treat with her tea or coffee. A family favorite is her Dutch Butter Cake and Ollie Bollies. Her sweet tooth lasted into her senior years, and her face lit up when your visit was accompanied by sweets.
Gerrie was always baking a homemade loaf of bread. Bread and homemade strawberry jam was a favorite. When the parents weren’t looking, she would feed the grandkids homemade bread with butter and sugar sprinkled on top. And it was always followed by a small glass of ginger ale.
She would play with each grandchild and great grandchild when they visited. She always had a game for them to play. Some of the favorites were Monopoly, UNO, Sorry and Tiddlywinks. She loved to play, tease and laugh like she was one of the children. These special and memorable times always ended in belly laughs and tears of joy. As the great grandchildren started to come along, she would pull out a basket of toys. A couple toys in particular were known by all of them, Gumby and the handmade monkey.
Gerrie worked alongside John for their first build from the ground up, a home in Digby. She could be found operating the power tools (with great pride), and whatever job needed to be done, she was up to the task. After retirement, they moved to Waterville where they built their second home. In the backyard, she could be found teaching a few of the grandkids how to use stilts!
Gerrie loved to do handiwork. She spent many hours teaching her grandchildren how to sew, crochet, knit and cross stitch. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were deeply loved. She was so proud of each and every one. She enjoyed every visit and prayed for them continually. She would tell them how she prayed for them while she crocheted or knit a special gift for them.
The health and well being of her family were so important to her. She was so happy to have so many beautiful and healthy grandchildren and great grandchildren. She always expressed this.
She was loved very much by her family. She was small in stature but mighty. She had the strongest hug and a huge heart. She had many worries but always took them to God in prayer.
Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble
Gerrie is finally where she wanted to be; with Jesus and John. Well done my good and faithful servant. Here's to reuniting with John, your children gone before you, your siblings and we know there's a wonderful welcome in Heaven.
She was also predeceased by a daughter, Wilma and two sons, Paul and James, all in infancy ; siblings, Gilbert Verhey, William (Bill) van der Horden, Connie van der Horden, and Bastiaan van der Horden.
She is survived by sons Gerald (Nancy), Daniel (Sylvia), Reverend John (Cindy) and daughter Marilyn den Hollander, 10 grandchildren, and 19 great grandchildren.
Gerrie is also survived by the following siblings; Hank van der Horden (Ottawa); Kaatje Materman (Ottawa); John (Donna) Verhey (Ottawa); Albert (Deanna) Verhey (Ottawa); Ralph (Barb) Verhey (Ottawa); and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff of Northwood Centre, Halifax Campus for their loving care, and for the many people who visited, prayed for and supported her.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to White Family Funeral Home, Kentville. A private graveside committal will be held at the Canard Burial Ground, Kings Co.
Memorial donations in memory of Gerrie may be made to:The Gideon’s International in Canada PO Box 3619 Stn Main, Guelph, ON N1H 9Z9
One day as she was singing "I love Him better everyday" she turned and asked "Do you?"