Petronella Anna Kempff
6 February, 1930 – 11 February, 2021
Petronella Anna Kempff nee Roggenkamp born February 6, 1930 passed away peacefully at Canterbury Gardens in Peterborough, Ontario on February 11, 2021 at the age of 91. Beloved wife of the late Dr. Johan (John) (d.2006) and caring mother to her children, the late John Jr. (d. 1990), Alice and her late husband Wayne Newman (d. 2013) of Vancouver and George and his wife Heather (Scott) of Burlington. Beloved Oma to Morgan and Jordan. She was also a loving aunt to many nieces and nephews in the Netherlands and the United States. Anna was born into a loving and warm family in the town of Delfzijl, The Netherlands. Her parents, Cornelius (1888-1980) and Carolina (1894-1985) gave Anna and her sister Cornelia (1924-2014) a carefree and joyous childhood. This was interrupted in 1940 when the Germans occupied the Netherlands and they were forced to leave their home so the army commander could use their house as his own. During the final two weeks of the war in 1945, Anna and her family had to live in their underground shelter while the Canadian Army conducted one of the last major battles of the war to liberate Delfzijl. In the weeks following the end of the war Anna made sure she watched the Canadians conduct their daily parade march while playing “The Maple Leaf Forever”, a song she would love for the rest of her life. While studying Biology at the University of Groningen in 1949 she met the love of her life, Johan. Anna followed Johan to Canada in 1955 and spent her first summer working as a bank teller in Toronto before she went to Hamilton, Ontario where she received a scholarship to pursue a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology at McMaster University. After receiving her Master’s Degree Anna returned to the Netherlands while Johan studied for his Radiology specialty in London, England. Anna and Johan were then married in 1957 in the Netherlands. They returned to Toronto where Johan was a Radiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital and Anna taught at the University of Toronto. In 1963 Anna, Johan and their two children moved to Peterborough, Ontario and had their third child. The years that followed were filled with many family vacations throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, along with summers at the family cottage on Stoney Lake. Anna learned how to water ski in her early 40’s and took-up cross country skiing soon after. Anna was a dedicated enthusiast of the arts visiting museums wherever she traveled and volunteering for many years at the Peterborough Art Gallery. She was also a member of Trinity United Church and a proud member of the Peterborough chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women. After living 52 years in the house that she and Johan built, Anna moved to Canterbury Gardens to spend her final years. Anna lived for her family and gave her children the same carefree joyous childhood she had. She loved Canada, yet never forgot her Dutch roots. The family wishes to express its gratitude and appreciation to all the staff of Canterbury Gardens and Dr. Jeff Neville for taking such good care of Anna. Due to COVID-19 restrictions a private family service will take place. In lieu of flowers, donations to MADD Canada would be greatly appreciated.
- MADD Canada
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Petronella Anna Kempff
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18 February 2021
Dear Alice and George and family,
On behalf of the Niagara Kolonie of Vindicat atque Polit I would like to send our heartfelt condolence on the passing of your mother.
She was a very special woman indeed . Although we met only once a year, in early February, during the annual reunion, usually in Toronto, we picked up where we left a year ago. All of us in the Niagara Kolonie felt strong ties with our Alma Mater, and with each other here in Canada.
All of us had immigrated to Canada, at different times, and welcomed new arrivals from Groningen. I was , with my wife, one of these, in 1975 and your parents made us feel very welcome. So it felt like having family here !
Your mother talked about her ordeal in Delfzijl, at the end of the war, and did extensive research on that. I never knew she had studied biology and later obtained her Master’s Degree in Marine Biology... What an achievement ! At those reunions we talked about so many things, but not about past studies....
We always looked forward to those get-togethers, and she always asked about us, and the others, and she always remembered. It was a close group, and those of us who remain will continue to miss her...
We are thinking of you, wishing you strength, and hope memories of your wonderful parents will bring a smile on your face.
Hans and Lenneke Buré
15 February 2021
Dear Alice, George, Heather, Morgan and Jordan
Your beloved mother, grandmother passed away.
To me “ aunt Annie” was a very hospitable person with many many interests. Very brave too! Leaving her family to emigrate to Canada with Uncle Boet. And after the great loss of John she found the strength to appreciate life again ...
Some good memories visiting Canada : I remember we went water skiing together on Stoney Lake behind a rather slow boat ... and before dinner we had an aperitif on the dock all together overlooking the quiet lake in the evening sun. The photo of aunt Annie was taken by me during a walk to a beaver dam. Beautiful memories .
My condoleances. Ankie Heeres
jerome de Haan
15 February 2021
Dear Alice and George,
Sincere condolences for your loss to you and your family.
My parents often spoke of their 'bijzondere' happy friendship with your parents. And Ann stayed in touch with Dad even after John passed away. I am thankful to your parents for that - John and Ann were very nice people.
(We could never drive by the Little Lake Gallery without Dad mentioning the effort that your mother made for it.)
Jerome de Haan
15 February 2021
I had the pleasure of meeting Anna through my work at Canterbury Gardens. Over the years we enjoyed many good chats and laughs. She will be missed.
14 February 2021
I was saddened to learn of Anna's passing.
I first met Anna in 1958 in Toronto- I shared the common interest in being a Dutch national who had emigrated to Canada in the early 1950's.
Her husband, the late Dr. John Kempff was a Radiologist at St. Michael's Hospital where I was a student Radiographer and we became friends at that time. John, Anna and their family subsequently moved to Peterborough, Ontario- as I later did- and the friendship continued.
Whilst I moved to England in 1966 the friendship was maintained- both by telephone and letter- and we frequently exchanged details of our experiences in Holland in the early 1940's when it was occupied by the Germans! Anna remained a good friend to the end- despite the distance between us.
She will be sadly missed.
Mary Medhurst (nee Pluister)
14 February 2021
To Anna’s family,
Sincere condolences for your loss from her CFUW sisters in the Peterborough Club of the Canadian Federation of University Women. Anna was much loved and respected having been a member for more than 60 years. She was our Art Gallery liaison for many years and a member of the long-standing Investment group and latterly the Lunch Bunch. As a fellow scientist and colleague at the University of Toronto, we shared stories—but also of the Netherlands where I worked at the University of Leiden in the early 1970s. I will remember Anna for her keen wit and humour.
Co-President CFUW Peterborough
13 February 2021
I'm very sorry to hear of your loss Alice and George. I have fond memories of the time when my family lived in Peterborough and our two Dutch families became friends in the late 1960's. Your parents were very welcoming to us, and John Jr. and I became good friends. I remember a time when I was visiting for a sleep-over, and John and I hid a deck of playing cards under the bed covers but somehow you mom knew it! Your father also helped when I broke my leg and I ended up in the hospital. So I'm very sorry to read about your mom's passing, and wish you comfort in knowing my memory of her (and your family) still bring a smile to my face.
12 February 2021
Dear Alice and family,
I am sad to hear Annie passes away. We and I have many good memories of us visiting Peterborough and I am very happy to have the chance to get to know Annie during our holidays.
Regards from The Hague, Holland