We Remember

HEEMSKERK, Hendrica Ernestina Maria (“Rita”)

July 30, 1924 — January 11, 2019

Hendrica passed away on January 11th, 2019. She was born on July 30th, 1924 to Anna Maria and Cornelis Vollebregt in Zoetermeer, Netherlands. She was fourth oldest in a family of eight children. Hendrica is predeceased by first husband Nick (January 1984), second husband Leo (June 2015), son Freddy (July 1970) and daughter, Margaret (July 2017).  She is survived by her loving children, Ann-Marie (Dan) Reimer, Joe (Liz), Cecilia (Rob) Vaile, Tom and son-in-law Gene Beaudoin; cherished grandchildren, Allison (Adam) Haigler,  Jayden (Carisa) Beaudoin, Tanis (Jesse) Patenaude, Corina (Shane) Boes, Jarrod (Chelsey) Reimer, Andrea (Justin) VanIterson, Curtis Heemskerk, Dylan (Cassandra) Heemskerk, Brett (Kate) Vaile, Jaryn Vaile and Kirstie (Adam) Williams; great-grandchildren Annalie and Cedar Haigler, Lennon and Ivy Boes with baby due July 2019, Baby Reimer due June 2019, Nicholas, Thomas and Johnny VanIterson, Olivia and Elaina Heemskerk and Eila Williams; sister Annie Van Wieringen; several brothers and sisters-in-law; and several nieces and nephews from Holland, New Zealand and throughout Canada.

Hendrica is predeceased by her brothers and sister.

Rita and Nick immigrated from Holland in 1953 and made their first home on the former ACT Ranch in the Ellison district of Kelowna. They eventually moved back to Ellison in 1961 where they resided on a dairy farm on Bulman Road until 2000.  Nick passed away in 1984, and in 1986, Rita married Nick’s brother, Leo. Rita was a meticulous and gifted seamstress, cook extraordinaire, fabulous baker and warm hostess who also loved to knit and crochet. Most importantly, she was a wonderful mother, Oma and Great Oma. Family meant everything to her. Throughout her years she was actively involved in the CWL, catering, leading singing at Church and St Vincent de Paul and as well knitting hundreds of blankets and vests for orphanages overseas.  Rita and Leo resided at the Village at Mill Creek, and after Leo’s death Mom moved to Cottonwoods and then Glenmore Lodge. Her last 6 weeks were spent in Abbotsford at Menno Home near family. The Heemskerk family wishes to thank all these care facilities for their compassionate care given over the years.

A life well lived and loved – and she loved well.

A Funeral Service will be held on February 2, 2019 at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Rd, Kelowna at 1:00 pm. Viewing will take place prior to service, beginning at 12 noon.

Donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, www.cancer.ca, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation, www.heartandstroke.ca in Rita’s memory.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”




Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm

Springfield Funeral Home

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Donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation Link: www.cancer.ca, www.heartandstroke.ca


Service Information

Service Details

The service for HEEMSKERK, Hendrica Ernestina Maria (“Rita”) is scheduled for Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Springfield Funeral Home

2020 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC

Phone: 250-860-7077

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Funeral Pointers:



  • Anny van Wieringen-Vollebregt says:

    Gecondoleer met het overlijden van Rika, jullie (groot)moeder en mijn oudste zus. In gedachten ben ik bij jullie. Ik denk veel terug aan vroeger: de boerderij aan de Zegwaartseweg, haar vertrek naar Canada, en de gastvrijheid toen wij bij haar logeerden.

  • Phil & Sharon Scott says:

    Our heartfelt condolences to all the friends & family of Mrs. Heemskerk. We have many fond memories of a very kind and gracious lady. I also remember some very good baked goods coming from the Heemskerk kitchen.!! Phil

  • Debbie Rieger says:

    Growing up , and my family visiting yours, I have such fond memories of your beautiful mom. She was so kind and gracious, and always had her baking out for us. I am sending you love , and in this time of grieving, please know that your mom was a beautiful woman, inside and out. Rest well now Rita, say hi to my mom🙏🙏🙏

  • Lynn de Jongh (nee Vanderveldt) says:

    Rest in peace, dear Tante Riek. This is how I remember this lovely lady back in the 1950’s when my parents emigrated from Holland to Kelowna and became good friends with the Heemskerks. Although we may have lost touch, it’s the memories that prevail, and those I hold dear. My thoughts and prayers are with all the family with the loss of this beautiful soul.

  • Debi / Brian Milloy says:

    To The families, so sorry for your loss. Beautiful memories of Rita , lovely women and very caring with a beautiful smile all the time we might . RIP

  • Pamela Craig Anderson says:

    One of the fondest memories I have of Mrs. Heemskerk is her homemade ice cream. As a child, Pete would bring us to the farm and we would sit in the kitchen with a bowl of her homemade ice cream. It was AMAZING!! Much love to you all. XO

  • Corine de Groot says:

    Lieve Famlie, Dear Family…
    My sincere condolences for your loss🌹and hope you find comfort in the love and wisdom she spread around to all…
    we have wonderful memories of Aunty Rika! She lives forth in those…❤️
    Corine and Ton

  • Linda Ehlert says:

    So very sorry for your loss… Hugs and condolences.

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