Antique Vintage 19

Geesje "Grace" Anna Bouma

July 25, 1929 ~ June 21, 2021 (age 91)

Obituary

Grace passed away peacefully in her sleep at her retirement home in Salmon Arm, British Columbia.  Grace will be forever loved and remembered by her two daughters, Irma (Robert), Joyce (David) and her son Tom (Elaine).  Grace was born in Appingedam, the Netherlands, lost her mother at age 15 and survived a World War 2 famine.  She never failed to remind us of how privileged we were to live in Canada.  She was employed as a long-distance telephone operator and knew three languages.  In 1951 she married her boyfriend Jan Bouma who was from Friesland.  Their dream was to own a dairy farm and because prices in Holland were prohibitive, emigrated to Ladner by ship and then by rail.  Grace saw the whole trip as the start of a life of adventure.  While in Ladner she started on a life of hard work, doing anything she could to help Jan by working where she was able.  Their daughters were born in New Westminster and then they moved to Columbia Gardens when Jan purchased a farm.  Their son Thomas was born in Trail. 

While in Trail the hard life on a dairy farm with three kids continued.  Lacking most of the labour-saving devices that are available today, Grace washed clothes in the milk house and lugged them back to the yard and hung them on a clothesline.  She also canned peaches and pears every summer and made delicious apple pies.  She taught us about the Bible, took us to Sunday school, church and daily vacation bible school. 

But as the farm got more efficient her hard work paid off.  Jan had a huge pool, complete with diving board, put in the back yard in 1978 and the grandkids started calling their place “Little Hawaii”.  This, together with the cruises to Hawaii and the Caribbean meant that she and Jan had a happy retirement.  She loved to travel and after Jan died, she and her daughters flew to Honolulu for an unforgettable holiday.

At the age of 89, Grace moved out of her home of 64 years to live in Salmon Arm near to Joyce and her family.  She spent the rest of her life at an independent living residence there and was loved by the staff and friends.  At first she stated that her new place was full of “old people” but she finally accepted that she would be more comfortable using a walker.   Her main goal was to not inconvenience any of the staff there and she was loved by them all.  Grace was predeceased by her grandchildren, Adrienne Bouma and Christina Lloyd, her great grandchild Ida Walton and her husband Jan.  She leaves to mourn her three children, eight grandchildren and seventeen great grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff of Piccadilly Terrace and her physicians, Laura and Keith Hepburn, for all their kindness to Grace in her final years here in Salmon Arm.

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