Karel Van Bourgondien

11 entries
  • "Joke & family. You were like a second family to me when I..."
    - Sheila Edgington (Morriss)
  • "A caring, gentle man in a caring , gentle family.Our..."
    - Katie Bob and Lia Salmond
  • "No bond is as great as that between a parent and child. My..."
    - Donna Demers
  • "My Cousin Karel was a great man and he sure will be missed..."
  • "Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Rest in..."
    - Roy Smit
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VAN BOURGONDIEN, Karel August 27th, 1922 November 17th, 2010 It is with sadness that we announce the sudden death of our father, Karel van Bourgondien. He was truly a great man in our eyes. He was born in Hillegom, Holland in 1922 and shared his early boyhood with his younger brother, Kees. Tragically their father died when Karel was 6 years old, but after a while his mother remarried and the new family unit quickly expanded to a total of 6 boys. He spent the early war years in Holland and had many adventures during the occupation. At the age of 19, he left for Indonesia where he met his first love, Lia Smit. They stayed in Indonesia until 1956 when they immigrated to Canada with their 3 young children and pregnant with their fourth child, Alice. Karel was a proud new Canadian and was very happy with his choice of Victoria, as his new home for his family. Sadly his beloved wife Lia passed away in 1963 and he took on a new role as single parent of four children. He was very fortunate that he got a second chance at happiness when in 1965 he met and then married Ellenor Hanley. The entire Hanley family embraced Karel and his children. He became a very important part of the Hanley family. In their retirement years, Ellenor and Karel both became involved in the forming the Ho Mission to sponsor Vietnamese refugees from Thailand and Malaysia. Ho Mission continues to this day under the guidance and direction of his dear friend, Father Peter Ho. They both earned the respect and love that was given to them by the Vietnamese community of Victoria. Karel traveled twice to Vietnam after Ellenor's death in 1995, to help build a school and nursing station in Fr. Peter Ho's home village. He leaves behind his only remaining brother Anthony Maas (Irene) in Michigan, his four children William (Mauria), Joke (Tom), Philips (Jennifer), Alice, 8 grand children, and 6 great-grand children. He also leaves behind his Dutch relatives especially his sister-in-law Aadje Smit, here in Victoria and in Hillegom; Ria Maas, Ria Smit and Carla Maas with their families. In addition, Karel also has many loving nieces, nephews, brother and sister-in-laws with his Hanley family connections. He will be missed and forever remembered by all who knew and loved him. Our extra special THANKS to all of the tremendous staff and volunteers at the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion who provided such great care for Karel. A special Thank You to Karl and Joel, Home Health Care Workers for Beacon Home Care Services, for their kindness in helping us with Karel's care while he was still at home. A Funeral Mass to celebrate his life will be held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 2060 Haultain Street, Victoria, B.C. on Monday, November 22, at 12:10 p.m, a reception will be held at the church. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Ho Missions c/o 4611 Vantreight Drive, Victoria, B.C. V8N 3W8. 610437
Published in The Times Colonist from Nov. 19 to Nov. 20, 2010