May 19,1926 – Oct. 7, 2020
It is with great sadness that the family of Rika deWinter announces her passing at the Rocky Mountain House Health Centre on Oct. 7, 2020, at the age of 94.
Rika was born in the Netherlands in 1926 the ninth child of Cornelia and Jacob Verrijp. She was followed by three more siblings. Their home was filled with family until the war broke out in 1940 and the house they lived in was burnt down in the very early days of the conflict. Rika and her siblings were dispersed to live with various family members and friends for the duration of the Second World War.
Following the war, she was again able to live with her parents and some of the younger siblings.
In 1951 she married Jan deWinter and together they set sail for Canada in search of new opportunities. They settled in Kelowna, B.C., where Jan worked in the orchards and Rika picked up housekeeping and seamstress jobs. By 1953 she was a much sought-after seamstress, particularly for making wedding dresses.
Their daughter Corry was born in 1954 followed by a son John in 1958. In the 1960s Rika worked as a jail matron looking after female prisoners in the Kelowna jail, which at the time was in the basement of the RCMP station. Many of these girls kept in touch with Rika for several years after their stay in the Kelowna cells.
Following the death of her husband Jan, she decided to move to Rocky Mountain House to be closer to family. Here she became an important part of her grandchildren’s lives, attending school functions, band concerts, boy scout dinners and girl guide award ceremonies. The kids loved to go to Oma’s house for sleepovers.
For many years she volunteered in the community at both Westview Lodge and in the Hospital gift shop.
She loved to grow and nurture any kind of plant and was happiest being outside either in her own yard, the grounds at the lodge or having a picnic in the mountains.
In 2018, at the age of 92 she moved into Westview Lodge and it became home for the past two years.
Rika is survived by her daughter Corry Woods, son John deWinter and grandson Lyle Woods, all of Rocky Mountain House, as well as her granddaughter Sheri Woods and great-grandson Conner Woods of Saskatoon.
Rika was predeceased by her husband Jan in 1981, daughter-in-law Debbie in 2012, her parents and all but two of her 11 siblings.
Mom truly was beautiful inside and out and will be deeply missed.
As per her wishes and in this time of COVID there will be no public service.
Those wishing to remember her are asked to make a donation in her memory to the Rocky Mountain House Health Center Auxiliary.
Condolences may be sent to: www.rockyfuneralhome.ca.
Rocky Funeral and Sylvan Lake Homes and Crematorium, your Golden Rule Funeral Homes, entrusted with the arrangements. 403-845-2626.