John H. Hekman

October 25, 1942February 17, 2021

John Hekman passed away peacefully on February 17, 2021 surrounded by his loving family. Devoted husband of 51 years to Betsy, beloved father to John Paul, Mark (Shelley), Rene (Stephanie), David (Sarah) and Anita (Kirk). Adoring Opa to Julia, Brianna, Anna, Lydia, Brooklyn, Josiah, Nathan, Zachary, Eva, Charlotte, Hailey, Benjamin and Riley. John was also a cherished brother and uncle to family in both Canada and The Netherlands.

John had a profound love for God and was not shy to share this love. Near the end of his life, Bible passages about the tree of life in Genesis and then again in Revelation were on his mind. God’s gift of the tree of life was taken for granted and because of this Adam and Eve were told to leave the garden and work the land. In Revelation it talks about the tree of life again being given to the people for healing as they enter God’s House. The beginning and the end. John knew that in the end, he would be given fruit from the tree of life and would spend the rest of his days at peace with God.

John knew how to make everyone laugh, from his corny jokes to reminiscing about days past, he always wore a smile on his face. He would help in any situation and was known for making things work by just putting a little of this and a little of that together and voila, a solution!

John worked many jobs from farming in Holland to landscaping and working for Mack Trucks in Canada. He spent the majority of his career working as a shipper and receiver at KG Packaging and in his later years returned to landscaping.

John had a passion for gardening and flowers as was seen with the beautiful gardens at his home both in Willowdale and Newmarket. His kids also remember going for hikes when they were young and often having to stop at every flower along the trails.

John’s love for his wife, Betsy and the rest of his family was profound. He adored all his children and was very proud of them and felt incredibly blessed by all his 13 grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the staff at Southlake Regional Health Centre for all they did and taking great care of John for the short time he was there.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Lung Health Foundation OR Willowdale Christian School, 60 Hilda Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M2M 1V5 OR Toronto District Christian High School, 377 Woodbridge Avenue, Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 2V7

A Live Stream Funeral Service for John will be held Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 11 a.m. And the livestream burial service will follow at 12 noon.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Hekman family.


  • Funeral Service Live Stream

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021


  • Livestream Burial Service

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021



John H. Hekman

have a memory or condolence to add?

lukas elzing

February 26, 2021

Ik denk dat ik Jan het langst ken , al van een jaar of 12 tot dat hij naar Canada ging , en ook daar na kwam hij nog al eens naar Holland en dan spraken we elkaar meest al wel . Tweekeer mochten we genieten van de gast vrijheid van Jan en Betys en het was daar heel gezellig . De laatste keer dat we elkaar zagen was bij Sjoert toe jullie 50 jaar getrouwd waren . Maar zo gauw kan het ver anderen . Betys we wensen je en de kinderen sterkte en , nog bedankt dat we hier mee konden kijken en luisteren . Bedankt en wie weet tot ziens . We bidden voor jullie allemaal om sterkte . De groeten van Lukas en Miny .

Marlies Beuving

February 24, 2021

In 2017 I had the extraordinary pleasure of visiting ome Jan and tante Betsy in Newmarket. Not only did they open their home to me, but we shared an unforgettable journey.

I got to know ome Jan and tante Betsy very well during our adventures. Ome Jan was a smart, kind and funny man who always saw the good in people. We shared a very special bond and we were like two peas in a pod.

Before I started writing this, I made myself a cup of tea and sat down with the photo album I made from my trip to Canada. Looking at the pictures, I could not help but smile. Sure, there were some beautiful sceneries, but most and my favorite pictures are of ome Jan, tante Betsy and myself: usually with a huge smile on our faces or about to take a bite of food.

The photograph I shared with you, is taken at the Niagara Falls. It was taken in the middle of a lot of laughs. The gardens were in full bloom that day. Ome Jan asked for a handkerchief to save some seeds he harvested from one of the flowers in the garden. I think they were from a big yellow flower.

I hope that, where ever ome Jan is right now, he is surrounded by everything he likes and of course amazing gardens.

My pod is a pea short.

Ome Jan, I love you and I miss you.

Tante Betsy, I love you and I think about you every day.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with all of you,
John-Paul, David and Sarah, Mark and Shelley, René and Stephanie, Kirk and Anita and of course all of your wonderful children.

Marlies & Siemon

Mieke Bosscher

February 23, 2021

I have so many Memories of Oom Jan, too many to choose from but as I reflect on them I am left with a feeling or essence of a Wonderful Man. So full of Love, Kindness, Strength, Determination & Gratitude because he knew everything he did, he did while walking with his Lord. So I will share my favourite. It came on May 01, 2011. The day Sonya & I gathered friends and family to Celebrate my 50th Birthday. Once everyone arrived Sonya and I revealed to everyone that under the pretext of my Birthday, we were also Celebrating that we had quietly got married on my 50th Birthday a few days before and this was actually a Wedding Celebration. There was much Joy that day but none was more Overjoyed than Oom Jan. His radiant face and happiness just spilled out over and over and over throughout the entire day. He made our Wedding Special!! He made us feel Special and Loved!! He was my Best Gift that day!! Thank You Oom Jan, I will cherish that memory and feeling forever. Although you are greatly missed, knowing you rest in the arms of your Loving God gives me Joy!! You have earned it Dear Heart xoxo, Mieke Bosscher & Sonya Straatsma

BettyAnne and Peter Piet

February 22, 2021

Betsy and all the Hekman family. Peter and I send our deepest condolences. Peter has many great memories of the two families from years gone past. John will always be in our memories and our heart. He was a great man. Biggest hugs to go out to all of you.

Willy Martens

February 22, 2021

So sorry to hear of John’s passing ,you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May God comfort you through this difficult time!

Bill Hughes

February 21, 2021

Dear Betsy and family,

Debbie and I were very sorry to hear of John's passing and we offer you our condolences. We hope that the Lord will comfort all of you in this time of mourning and that you will find comfort in knowing that this separation from him is only temporary.

Bill and Debbie Hughes

Joanne &Marty Faber

February 21, 2021

Dear Betsy and family,
Our family has been so blessed by knowing John for 50+ years, he is a part of all our camping and other wonderful memories,his constant smile and laugh, his” I had to laugh” stories. This will be but a few of the things we will miss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. May you feel the Lord’s arms of peace and strength hold you up. Hugs and love, Joanne(“jope”) & Marty

Nancy Fernhout

February 21, 2021

My deepest condolences on the loss of your husband, father and grandfather. Holding you in prayer.

Nancy Fernhout xo

Gerard Duiker

February 19, 2021

We wish to extend our condolences to Betsy and the whole family with the passing of John. We remember John always being full of life. We remember him always willing to help others when they needed it. It’s hard when someone we love dearly is gone but we know he is now with the Lord and we can be comforted in that knowledge. We will check regularly for an online memorial service in this website. Give our love to the whole family.
Gerard and WilmaJoy.