Harry Reitsma of Calgary, Alberta, formerly of Vernon, BC and Edmonton, Alberta, passed away peacefully on March 7, 2019 at the age of 91 years. Harry was married for over 64 years to his beloved wife, Thelma. He is survived by his three sons and one daughter, Wayne (Nelly), Darcy (Denise), Debbie (Dave), and Todd (Moira); nine grandchildren, Aleena (Dan), Thomas (Pepie), Justin, Shanda (Darin), Joel (Angela), Dorian, Marc (Karolina), Terrence and Danielle; and five great grandchildren, Avery, Xaidyn, Soryn, Jack and Ottli. Harry was predeceased by his sister Sadie; his brothers-in-law, Peter and Stan; and his grandson, Brent. Harry was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend whose greatest joy was following and being involved in the lives of his children and their families.
Harry was a successful businessman and entrepreneur. He owned and managed two rural hotels, a meat/delicatessen shop, and a car wash following a 23 year career with the RCMP in Northern Ontario and Ottawa. He retired in Edmonton from Security & Intelligence (pre-CSIS), as a Staff Sergeant in 1971. Harry was an avid Blue Jays and hockey fan, and took special interest in politics and current affairs.
Harry was born November 14, 1927 to pioneering parents Tjebbe (Ted) and Ida Reitsma, on their homestead in the Dutch community of Neerlandia, Alberta. He was their 3rd child and only son following the births of his sisters Sadie and Helen. His baby sister Anna completed the family. Harry was an excellent horseman who loved the equine training he completed in 1948 at the RCMP Training Depot in Regina. He married Thelma, a fellow Neerlandian, and the love of his life, in 1954. He wooed the newly graduated nurse into joining him in Timmins, Ontario where their first son Wayne was born, followed by twins, Darcy and Debbie, in Sudbury, and Todd in Ottawa. In 1967 the family moved to Edmonton where Harry retired from the RCMP. In 1986 Harry and Thelma moved to Vernon where they joined longtime friends George and Elsie operating the North Star Car Wash before retiring five years later. The family enjoyed many happy summers and holidays in the Okanagan with Mom & Dad.
Goodbye Dad, rest in peace.
Our heartfelt thanks to the staff and Dr. Wong of Rockyview Hospital, and our sincerest gratitude to Revera staff.
Respecting Dad’s wishes there will not be a service and a private inurnment will take place in the spring.
God saw you getting tired,
And a cure was not to be.
So He put his arms around you and whispered,
“Come to me.”
A golden heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the Best.