Cornelis passed away in the early hours of March 12, 2016, one month shy of his 89th birthday. He is survived and mourned by his wife of 59 years, Laura (Joyce) Beek (nee Lee); daughters Lesley (Winston) Adams of Regina Sk; Lynne (Ernie) Lalonde of West Kelowna, BC and family Kyle Lalonde (Piper) of New Westminster, BC and Danielle Lalonde (Anders) of Melbourne, Australia; and son Kees (Louanne) Beek and family Alex, Noah and Maddie, all of Cranbrook BC.
Dad was predeceased by his parents and his two brothers Frans and Jacobus, both of The Hague, Netherlands.
Kees Sr was born in The Hague, Netherlands, April 16, 1927. The eldest of three boys, he grew up in the family’s flower shop until the onset of WWII. After the war, he emigrated to Canada, arriving at Pier 21 in March, 1952.
He worked as a farm labourer, and then as a porter in the Brandon Mental Health hospital. Dad’s life long love of singing led him to start a choir at the hospital, which was well-received by patients and staff alike.
He then completed training to become a lab and X-ray technician. Dad met and married our mother, Joyce, the youngest daughter of his landlady(Elsie Lee) in Dauphin, Manitoba, Feb 9, 1957. In Dauphin, Dad participated in church choir as well as musical theatre (“Annie Get Your Gun”).
We moved to Yorkton, SK in 1967, where Dad pursued a career hospital administration. In 1971, the family
moved to Regina, where he worked until his retirement. He was very proud of the Diabetic cross-matching protocols he helped to develop. In 1999, Mom and Dad followed their son, Kees, to Cranbrook, BC, where they set down new roots and enjoyed a warmer clime in their retirement years.
The church was always very important in his life, sitting on church councils, participating in bible studies and singing in choirs. During their years in Regina, Dad very much enjoyed singing under the direction of Jack Partridge in the choir at Regina First Presbyterian.
To say that Dad was definite, about almost everything, would be an understatement. He didn’t believe in grey, only black and white. Although he sought out solitude, he was always sociable and charismatic in a crowd.
Everyone always remembered the tall Dutchman, who walked with purpose.
Funeral service will take place Saturday March 19th, 2016,11am at Knox Presbyterian Church, 2100 – 3rd St.
The family would like to thank staff members of the East Kootenay Regional Hospital. In lieu of flowers, donations
may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of