July 14, 1929 – June 17, 2020
In the early morning of June 17, Beatrice (Pieterje) Bikker, née Bajema, joined her husband and son—both Andy—peacefully in heaven at the age of 90.
Bea was born in Skraard, Friesland in the Netherlands on July 14, 1929. The youngest of five kids, she enjoyed her upbringing on the family farm raising Holstein cows. She met her husband, Andries, in Breda and the two became years-long pen pals while Andries toured Eastern and Southeast Asia with the merchant marines. But when opportunity called her name in the early 1950s, Bea’s last letter said it all: she was headed west and this was goodbye. Upon reading the last sentence, Andy quit the merchant marines and flew straight back to Holland to find Bea. Engaged, the two met in Newmarket, Ont. and were married in 1955. Moving to Toronto, Bea got a job as a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital and learned English from the resident nuns. Aurora, Ont. became their permanent home in the early 1960s, where they raised their family of five kids, Irene (Neil McNeill), Marianne (Matthew Lawton), Renée, Andrew (Dorothy), and Yvonne (Jon).
Bea instilled in us a great appreciation for the freedoms and opportunities we enjoy as Canadians. She taught us to work hard, use every opportunity we had to better ourselves, to honour our own history and traditions, but most of all, to give back to the community. Stacked with talent, the decorated bowler and card shark worked hard as a seamstress, whipped up too many hand-sewed quilts to count, and knit at mach-5 speed. (We estimate she made enough doekies to last us two lifetimes each.) She was known for her infamous “Dutch Pea Soup” on the menu at Martha’s Table luncheon at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, where she was an active member and long-time volunteer. The friendships she found there brought immense meaning to her life and built the foundation of her Canadian community. For this, we thank the church members for their love and support throughout the years.
We’d like to take this opportunity to iterate our mountains of gratitude for the selfless, compassionate healthcare staff that helped Bea travel home with dignity. To the Southlake discharge planner, our LHIN reps, and especially to the care staff at The Elden in Bradford: you made Bea’s life easy and bright—right up until her last breath. Your beautiful spirits are boundless, and we are forever thankful that each of you were alongside us while we navigated this journey together.
In closing, Bea, our Beppe—reigning champion of the sjoelbak table—will be missed by her devoted grandchildren, Brian, Michael (Emily) and Heather Lawton; Erin (Luke) and Amy McNeill; and our dearest Ryan Bikker. Beppe made our lives richer with her unmatched sense of humour: the wit that levelled us, her coy smile, and that classic side-eye. She was cracking jokes right until the end. For us, that’s our biggest lesson. To keep it light in the face of pain and hardship is the Bikker way.
So with that, Bea’s made it home safely to her beloved parents, her sister, her brothers and many friends. We are especially at peace knowing that both of our Andys were there to greet her. We cherish our memories of her and of them, and we know that we will all be together again someday.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far, and Grace will lead us home.
Rest well, Beppe. Go Jays Go!
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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June 22, 2020
Our sincere sympathy to the family of Béa Bikker. Memories of quilting with her and enjoying her company and expertise will always be with us. Happy times as we quilted together and solved any problem big or small was followed with a smile and a hug. She was always willing to help us become better quilters and people. She gave of herself and cooked many a turkey for delicious turkey pot pies. We will share a private moment this Monday and say a special prayer for her at our quilting get together. There will surely be a place waiting for her with those that have passed before her.
Courage and memories to the family. Maureen Seller, Dora Weatherill, Judi Kidd and Melba Davie
June 21, 2020
To all my beloved familymembers in Canada, sending you my condolences and wished I could be near to you.
Corona keeps me in Holland.
I will remember Your Mum Bea as a dear sister-in-law and I will miss her.
Thinking with love to you all. Your Tante Janny
June 17, 2020
I was honored to know Beatrice. We shared many a giggle on our walks. She was a very special lady and was blessed with amazing children. Heaven gained a angel. My condolences to her family.