The eyes have it! Anny (“Uhnie”), left us on Jan 9 after 96 1/2 years of living life on her terms. Anny left Eindhoven (The Netherlands) in 1955 on one of the early transatlantic flights and landed in Montreal where she boarded a train to Kamloops. Anny’s brother received her and they drove the gravel road to Williams Lake where she began the next chapter of her life in a new land with freedom and opportunity. The contrast of this cattle and lumber town with wooden sidewalks and gravel roads compared to the social and historical developed Eindhoven was never lost on Anny. But it was the hardy and fun-loving people with never a dull moment that made her truly happy. In fact, so happy it was ironic she met and fell in love with Gerrit van Soest. Together they started their own family and had three sons.

Anny loved being from the Cariboo and all it stood for with its vast wilderness and beautiful lakes and mountains. Anny saw a lot of changes in our world since 1925 and along the way she learned to filter out the distractions and focus on common sense. She was never a person to avoid the truth or forget to remind you to manage your personal credibility and she set the example. Foremost, Anny loved her family through thick and thin and was proud of everyone’s accomplishments. She was a sport minded woman and enjoyed cross country skiing, curling, and snowmobiling but it was the sport of golfing where she found her peer group. We miss you mom…rest in peace.

Anny leaves behind her: Children (and Spouses): Henry (Susan), Garry (Christina), Gregory (Heather) Siblings (and Spouses): Franciscus Henricus Antonius (Diedre) van de Gender, Elisabeth (Fritz) Driessen, Henricus Johannes Antonius (Helen) Gender, Arnoldina Henriette Petronella (Wilhelmus Cornelis) de Goeij Parents: Godefridus Johannes van de Gender, Dimphena Helena Maria van de Gender-Louwers Grandparents: Franciscus van de Gender and Maria van de Loo, Hendrik Willem Louwers and Maria Elisabeth van Hout Grandchildren: Michelle van Soest, Michael van Soest, Kaila van Soest, Ryan van Soest, Francesca van Soest, Katrina van Soest, Gerrit van Soest Nieces/Nephews: Dimphena Christina (Gerard) van de Goeij Lentz, Joannus Joseph de Goeij, Mieke Letitia van de Gender, Philip van de Gender, Huub Driessen, Fien Driessen-Boon, Diana Driessen, Marianne Driessen

Preceded in Death by: Gerrit van Soest (husband), Elisabeth Driessen (sister), Henricus Gender (brother), Helen Gender (sister in law), Franciscus van de Gender (brother), Frits Driessen (brother in law), Wilhelmus de Goeij (brother in law), Diedre Watson-van de Gender (sister in law), Philip van de Gender (nephew), Huub Driessen (nephew), Diana Driessen (niece).

A private graveside burial for family and close friends will be held on July 19th, 2022 at Williams Lake Cemetery at 11:00 AM. Anny’s family wishes to thank the nurses and doctors at Williams Lake and Kamloops hospitals for their compassion, understanding, and amazing professionalism in their administration of medical care.

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  1. David Loukras
    Posted June 23, 2022 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I had the pleasure of meeting Ann only a few times but feel like I’ve known her for years from all the stories. She was a woman of conviction – strong and confident. She was a model for the aging staying in her house, her castle, living independently to 96 years old. We can only wish to follow in that path. Even though she is gone, I expect the stories to continue to honour her life for years to come. Cheers Anny!

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