Liliane Betsy Verbeek
14 April, 1930 – 13 October, 2020
Liliane passed away peacefully at home, on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, after a hard-fought battle against cancer. Predeceased by her beloved husband, Theo, she leaves a huge void in the lives of her children, Hilde and her husband Gary, Jan and his wife Christine, and Karl; her grandchildren, Erika and her husband Damian, Natasha and her husband John, Michael, Brooke and her partner Brandon, Luke and Mark; and her great-grand-children, James and Lily, whom she had the immense pleasure of holding in her arms before she passed away.
Liliane was an extraordinary woman, whose life spanned 9 decades and 3 continents. She was born in Belgium in 1930, lived through the war, studied pharmacy, married, emigrated to Africa with her geologist husband in 1955, and then finally settled with him and their 3 children in Canada in 1968. She went back to school at age 40 to obtain her credentials to practice pharmacy in Canada, and started working at Oriole Pharmacy in North York, ultimately becoming its owner until she retired in 2001. She then spent the next two decades of her life volunteering at North York General Hospital and St. Bonaventure Church, where she was a regular at Sunday mass.
Liliane faced her cancer diagnosis with the same strength and practical attitude that she had shown her entire life. She stressed that she had had a long and fulfilling life, that she had accomplished a lot, and that she had no regrets. We are very grateful to all those who cared for her in the last months of her life: the staff at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook, her palliative care doctor who came to the home, her nurse who visited her daily at the end, the many personal support workers who cared for her with compassion, and her son Karl, who made it possible for her to stay and die at home. Liliane’s life exemplified service to others: her husband, her children and their families, her many relatives in Belgium, her friends and neighbours, her customers at the pharmacy, and “her” patients during her volunteering years. She will be profoundly missed by all those who knew her and loved her. We could not have asked for a better mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister-in-law, aunt, great-aunt, cousin, neighbour and friend.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private family-only service will be held at St. Bonaventure Church on Monday, October 19.
For those who wish to do so, a donation in Liliane’s memory to the North York General Hospital Volunteer Services, a cause very dear to her heart, would be greatly appreciated. .
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Liliane Betsy Verbeek
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October 27, 2020
I'm one of the only grandchildren on the far Belgian side of the Vandersloten family, who has been fortunate enough to meet 'Tante Liliane' overseas. On the two occasions we stayed at her welcoming home in Toronto (I think I was 12 and 18), I remember myself looking up fondly to this funny tiny lady who clearly had a strong character. She struck me as a very down-to-earth, independent woman for her generation and at the same time she was also very kind. I loved her immediately. I was very sorry to hear that she passed away, realizing that she would never meet my strong girls, Mona and Romy. I'm sure they would have loved her just the same.
You'll be forever in our hearts, Tante Liliane.
Our sincere condolences to our beloved family in Canada.
October 22, 2020
I am one of the Belgian family members and from my childhood on Liliane has always been to me the first person to visit when I and my family travelled to Canada. She was our light tower. With affection I thought of her as one of my many mothers throughout the world ;-)
She was very welcoming and warmhearted. We appreciated very much her simple but clear straightforwardness. She always has been kind, gentle and took well care of us. It felt hard to leave her every time we returned to Belgium. To me personnaly she was also one of the last valuable connection - that is "authentic information source with anecdotes" - with my parents' generation. Because of covid-19 we were unfortunately not able anymore to pay her a visit in April. That was hard. I feared then we could not see her alive anymore and say properly farewell. My family and I, we dearly miss you Liliane . We send all our love and thoughts of suppport to her family in this difficult and painful time. Bless you all and take care. Karel & Rita
October 19, 2020
So sorry to hear of Lilianes passing. She was a remarkable woman. It was a real pleasure to have known her. Our family sends our deepest condolences to all of the Verbeek family.
October 18, 2020
So sorry to hear of Liliane's passing. We served on the NYGH Volunteer Board together, for many years. We discovered we had something in common...relatives in Belgium. My husband was born in Belgium...his mother a war bride to a Canadian officer....so we often shared our stories of our trips to Belgium. Liliane always came back from there with a wee gift for me...a belgian lace handkerchief. I know she will be missed. She was a special person who gave of herself for the betterment of others.
October 17, 2020
To all of Liliane's family,
The families Kefer and Opdebeeck offer our deepest condolences on the passing of a remarkable and caring woman.
Yves, Susan and Anne
October 17, 2020
When I joined the Volunteer membership at North York General Hospital, Liliane was one of the first volunteers I had the pleasure of meeting. She trained me in my duties to visit patients and I was fully ready for this weekly task under her guidance. When I joined a committee with Liliane under her guidance and leadership as Committee Chair , we were always guided through our work and started the meetings with treats on the table. I will always treasure memories with Liliane at NYGH.
October 16, 2020
To All of Liliane's Family,
Liliane was always generous with her time to connect with and help others. She will be missed by all that had the good fortune to know her. May you find comfort in your memories of her in healthier times.
Sincerely, Diane & Tom Jones
October 15, 2020
Dear Karl, Hilde, Jan and your families,
My heart deeply aches for you all...
Liliane was the epitome of kindness and generosity. Her thoughtfulness knew no bounds. She was truly an exemplary compassionate soul who lived her life as a Proverbs 31 woman.
I continue to thank God for the gift of Liliane and how she touched countless lives - especially mine.
R.I.P. my dear and treasured friend – until we meet again...