Hendrica Vita "Rita" Juurlink
You can view Rita's Funeral Mass by following this link after 5:30pm Wednesday:
Rita Juurlink, age 96 - Antigonish Manor and formerly of St. Andrews.
It is with great sadness we say goodbye to our loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother who passed away peacefully on December 21, 2020, at St. Martha’s Hospital with family by her side.
Rita was born in the Netherlands on Nov 14, 1924 to Johannes Dekkers and Catharina Bekkers.
As a new bride and mother of a 10-month-old, leaving her entire family behind, she and her husband made the 9-day trip across the ocean. They immigrated to Canada on the Volendam. They arrived at PIER 21 in 1951 with hopes of making their dream of owning their own dairy farm a reality. Not knowing anyone in Canada or the language, she worked alongside her husband, Henry, fulfilling that dream.
She shared her talent as a seamstress and taught sewing for many years through the Antigonish Continuing Education Night classes. She enjoyed sewing and knitting for her family, making many beautiful garments for her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; as well as knitting baby hats and donating them to the local hospital. She enjoyed gardening, biking, swimming, and playing a good game of cribbage with friends. Throughout her life, she displayed a tremendous amount of compassion for disabled children. She overcame her fear of the water and took swimming lessons, which in turn enabled her to work with these kids at the StFX Aquatic Center. She volunteered endless hours in the pool. She also volunteered her time for many years at the Heatherton Activity Center.
She was a woman of strong faith and a devoted catholic and was a member of the St. Andrew’s CWL for 66 years.
Her greatest pleasure in life was having family gatherings. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her so much joy. We’ll remember mama for her love of family, generosity, sharp mind, determination, strength, courage, and her fierce independence.
She is survived by her seven children, Alphonse (Claire), St. Andrew’s; Francis (Betty), Bayfield; Catherine, Ottawa; Gary (Lerma), Vancouver; Mary Ann, Quebec; Dorothy (Paul), Teasdale, St. Andrews; and Albert (Wendy), St. Andrew’s; and daughter-in-law, Linda. She was also loved and will be dearly missed by 22 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.
She was the last surviving member of her immediate family. Besides her parents, she was predeceased in 2011 by her husband of 62 years Henry Albert Juurlink; her son, John Juurlink, St. Andrews; great grandchild, Seth Murphy; her brother, Theo Dekkers; and sisters, Maria Kroon, Martina van Genugten, Petra Vermeltfoort, Doortje Dekkers, and Annie VanExel.
The family would like to thank Rita’s caregivers, Betty MacIsaac and Frances Bowie. They truly were our angels. We also wish to extend a sincere thank you to the staff in PCU and Palliative Care as well as Dr. Murphy, Dr Howard, Dr. Brennan, and all the doctors who provided care to our mom.
A funeral Mass will be held Wednesday at 3:00pm in St. Andrew’s Church, St. Andrews, with Reverend Andrew Gillies presiding. The funeral will be recorded and will be viewable from the funeral home’s website Wednesday evening. Burial in the parish cemetery.
Donations in Rita’s memory may be made to the Victoria Order of Nurses or St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of C.L. Curry Funeral Home, Antigonish. Online condolences: www.clcurry.com