Wilhelmus J. "Willie" Westenenk
1928 - 2024
Wilhelmus J. "Willie" Westenenk
Visitation Information
May 6, 2024
Visitation Time
2-4pm and 7-9pm
Visitation Location
C.L. Curry Funeral Home, 135 College Street, Antigonish, NS
Service Information
Service Date
Tuesday May 7, 2024
Service Time
Service Location
St. Ninian Cathedral, Antigonish
Burial Information
Burial Date
May 7, 2024
Burial Location
St. Ninian's Columbarium
Requested Charity
Antigonish Food Bank
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Willie Westenenk, age 95, of Antigonish, NS, passed peacefully on April 28, 2024.

Do you think of Willie when you see spring tulips blooming, a perfectly manicured summer lawn, colourful fall leaves, or a happy winter snowblower? Those were some of Willie’s greatest pleasures in his long and happy life. And what a life!

Born in Raalte, Holland, Willie was the youngest child of Gerardus and Willemina (Reimert) Westenenk. He served the Dutch Army in peacekeeping after WW2, stationed in Indonesia and New Guinea with the Princess Irene Brigade. This was a memorable time for Willie, giving him a broader view of the world.

When Willie’s time in the army ended, he was offered a job as gardener and groundskeeper at St. F. X University, in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, close to where his brother John and Wilhelmina had already settled. With this, he immigrated to Canada and joined his brother’s family in Lower South River. In 1959, he married Lillian MacLeod, who then worked in the kitchen at Mount St. Bernard.

Willie enjoyed a 40 year career at St.FX., and the variety of beautiful shade trees enjoyed at the campus today is, in no small part, due to Willie’s efforts.

Upon retiring, Willie spent his leisure time walking for pleasure and helping others. He could fix anything, and for a time, he was the go-to man on Church Street Extension because ‘Where there was a Willie, there was a way.’ He was an active and valued member of St. Ninian’s Cathedral. Whether serving his church, selling tickets for his favourite organizations, planting flowers, or growing vegetables for the food bank, he did it all with a smile because he knew it made a difference for the people in his world.

His smile, at times mischievous, was always ready as he walked his favourite routes to check in with his favourite people in and around town, especially the Main Street trio: 5-$1, MacKinnons and Myers Tea Room. He cherished the many special friendships that he tended in the same way he would tend any garden ... his or yours.

Willie (with an ‘ie’) was much loved by his large family, his neighbours and many, many friends around the world. We were his wallpaper; our faces spanning his walls, cupboards, and doors. No one called him dad, but Willie treasured his many nieces and nephews as if they were his own children, keeping in close touch with them. Known to Lillian’s family as uncle Willie, and as oom Wim to Westenenks, he was always a big part of our lives. Our one-of-a-kind uncle will be greatly missed. We like to think that Willie is now with his parents, his siblings, his wife and other family members and dear friends who have gone before him.

The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. McKenna, the Victorian Order of Nurses, Dr. Rice and her team, and the palliative care nursing staff at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital, who defined nursing with their tender loving care of our dear uncle.

Special thanks, also, to his friends at the Antigonish Manor.

Visitation on Monday, May 6th from 2-4pm and 7-9pm at C.L. Curry Funeral Home, 135 College Street, Antigonish. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Ninian Cathedral, Antigonish on Tuesday, May 7th at 11:00am with Reverened Danny MacLennan presiding. Interment will be in St. Ninian’s Columbarium.

Family flowers only please. Donations may be made to the Antigonish Food Bank in memory of Willie.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of C.L. Curry Funeral Home, Antigonish.

Online condolences: www.clcurry.com


"Old gardeners never die, they just weeeeed away!"

Wilhelmus J. "Willie" Westenenk