Woodlawn Funeral Home

2310 Clearbrook Road, Abbotsford, BC


John Mosselman

July 2, 1937May 10, 2020

With heavy hearts we announce that our loving husband, father, and grandfather went to be with his Lord. He will be sorely missed.

John Mosselman, late of Abbotsford, BC passed away on May 10, 2020 at age 82.

John is survived by his wife Magda of 55 years, daughters Elizabeth (Pete), Suzanne (John), Evelyn (Ken), Angela (John), Monica (Myles), 28 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, also a brother and two sisters along with their children in the Netherlands.

John was a farmer and was recently retired.

A Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 11:00 am at Emmanuel Free Reformed Church at 3366 Mt. Lehman Road, Abbotsford.

Burial will be held at Mt. Lehman Cemetery.

Donations may be made in memory of John to Trinitarian Bible Society if desired.

John (Jan) Mosselman, whom his daughters affectionately called “Papa” was born in Andijk, The Netherlands, on July 2, 1937 to is father Siebren and his mother Johanna. His father held a prominent position in the community and also worked for a tulip bulb farmer. Papa had four siblings. One younger sister Tjike, an older brother Ale, as well as an older sister Tina. They all reside in the Netherlands today. At the very young age of 5, he decided he wanted to be a farmer. He loved to help with caring for animals, working in gardens and helping the fishermen at the docks and on the dyke. When he spoke of these jobs, we could tell they were special and important to him. He told us about catching eels for the farmers and helping prepare them for the market. Also, as a young boy he would carry rabbits on his bike to sell them to folks. It was during the second world war that he remembered so many things. He said he could tell his mother was afraid of the Germans and that she had to give them vegetables sometimes. His father had a large vegetable garden of which he shared the produce of with friends and neighbors at that time. As a small boy of 6 years old, he saw American and Canadian soldiers and knew they were there to help them. The day the second world war ended was when our Papa was 7 years old. That day was clear as a bell to him and he spoke of it often. The people lined the streets, and he said those were very, very skinny people, as they watched the Canadian Army march down the streets. He also remembers wondering why it was only the Canadians since he knew the Americans had also helped Holland so much too. After the war his family received a package from United States, from a distant relative there. There was clothing in the package and some other things, he told us. Mostly he remembered that his mother received a blouse and he received a shirt. The shirt had a logo on it and slogan on it that read, “Keep America Strong”. His mother and he were proud of those shirts wore them to a thread! Our dad went to elementary school up to about sixth grade. He told us he was very restless in school and spent a lot of time looking out the windows and wishing he was outside. One of his elementary teachers was a man that seemed to have a heart for his students. This teacher made quite an impression on him. He would bring his birds to school to show the students and he was generous with play time as well. When he had to leave the school, my father said he was very sad. When he stopped going to school he worked on farms, in gardens and helping his mother around the house. When he was 16 his father had some goats that he eventually sold and since my dad loved them so much, he let him keep one of them. My Dad always loved goats. Somewhere in these years our dad went to agricultural school. He said going from 6th grade to this school was hard, but it was interesting, so he tried his best. We are sure at this point he was seriously thinking about becoming a farmer and was making plans to make this happen. Immigrating to America was the direction so many Europeans were going, and after his brother Ale went to Canada, my father followed him a while later, when he was 21 years old. He took a large ship across the sea that sailed for 14 days. He enjoyed the trip immensely as he dreamed of all the plans of his own farm in America. California was his first destination when they harbored in Canada. The trip was an adventure but to no avail. He headed north and found a small house to rent on a farm in Ladner BC. He lived there on his own for a while and always told us about his simple and practical ways. When he bought a newspaper, he would use it as a tablecloth. Each day after he had his warmed up can of soup, he would toss the newspaper sheet out and alas… he had a fresh table cover for the next day! Our Dad went to a Christian Reformed Church in Vancouver where he also belonged to a youth group. We know he did several different activities with the group and that some of the other members became his friends. They had some fun challenges that he shared with us. One of those stand out to us and that was the incident where they challenged each other to pick up as many girls as they could in one evening. My dad said he had 7 girls in his VW Bug! And apparently, he drove over a skunk at that time and some of the girls started throwing up! I’m sure his buddies gave him a hard time about that. My dad met my mom when she was 20, and thought she was really cute, but then realized she was a bit young for him and moved on. They met again a year later, and that year made all the difference because this time he knew she was the one for him and promptly bought a dining set for their house. They were married the same year, that was 1965. They lived in the little rental house in Ladner and had their first two daughters there, Elizabeth and Suzanne. A couple of years later they bought a farm in Mt. Lehman. Three more daughters were born in the old house, Evelyn, Angela and Monica. It had an old house on the property that they lived in until they built their dream home in 1975. They moved in shortly after baby Monica was born. Our Dad had dairy cows, chickens, pigs and several “hobby” animals such as goats, sheep and the occasional rabbit. He delighted in growing beautiful vegetables in his large garden and loved sharing tips about doing so with his daughters. He hired help for the farm and us girls worked for him as well. Mom helped when she could and encouraged us daughters, by working and doing several cleaning jobs on the farm alongside us. It was a struggle sometimes, as he did not have big strong boys to fall back on, but he never complained. It wasn’t until we were much older that we learned how stressful it was for him sometimes. He was always very structured, determined and organized. His mother and the other families visited from Holland quite often. It was always nice to see his family and watch him revert to his mother tongue and enjoy their company. Us girls never met his father, he passed away shortly after my dad arrived in Canada, in 1963. People who know my father almost always say they remember his smile. He smiled a lot. He was always optimistic and always told his girls to look on the bright side and was an incredible example of kindness and patience. We will miss him so much. We treasure the memories and the lessons he taught us by his stellar example. Our hearts hold him dear and he will always be in our hearts as we see resemblances and traits of Papa in our children. This was found in the immigration report: Mosselman, Jan Family Size: 1; Religion: Christian Reformed Origin: Andijk, Noord Holland -- Arrival year: 1959 Sponsor: Mantel W J - Destination: Trans-Canada Highway, Langley, British Columbia


  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, May 20, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, May 20, 2020


John Mosselman

have a memory or condolence to add?

Claude and Ruth Friesen

May 21, 2020

Dear Magda and family. We have many good memories of being your neighbors. We shared a camper with your family. We never camped together but rather took turns using it. John was always helpful and ready to be a friend. His smile will be remembered. Love to each of you girls. Email or call anytime. Love you lots Claude 604 855 2665 Ruth. 778 808 7812

Hettie Heidelberg

May 20, 2020

Dear family Mosselman,
Now your loved one has been taken home to his Heavenly Father,
we will continue to uphold you in our prayers!
My sincere condolences , and may the Lord give you strength
And comfort in the coming weeks ahead.
Love from Hettie Heidelberg


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