Helena "Leny" Arnolda (vanBohemen) Dirven

July 25, 1928February 20, 2021

Helena "Leny" Arnolda Dirven (nee vanBohemen) passed away Saturday, February 20, 2021.

She was born in Veur, Netherlands on July 25, 1928, the 9th of 13 children.

Survived by her brother Kees and sisters Ploon and An; her children Maggi Gromniski (Dave), Bert Dirven (Laurie), Mary Giesler (Dennis) and Mike Dirven (Debbie); many grandchildren and great grandchildren and extended family.

After marriage in 1956 and moving to Canada, they eventually settled on a farm in Rosedale in 1962. This became her lifetime home. She was an active dairy farmer until 1997 and continued to enjoy the rural lifestyle she loved.

Some of Mom's happiest moments were at pancake breakfasts in her kitchen surrounded by her family. Mom's coffee pot was bottomless as was the cookie jar. Whether you were her friend, neighbor, business associate or one of her kids, you knew there was always time for coffee and a visit.

Mom leaves behind a lifetime of friends met through volunteering, social activities, work and her kids. She was so grateful to have you all in her life and thankful for the many blessings yo gave her. She was a good friend to all and "Oma" to many.

Mom thanks all her doctors for the excellent care she received the last years, Dr's Bright, Donnelly, Sreenivasan and Kalikias and Nurses Dean and Kirstin.

Mom would like to be remembered for the "dash" in her life, 1928 - 2021. What matters is how you live and love and how you spend your dash.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to BC Children's Hospital, Canadian Cancer Society or Chilliwack Hospital Foundation.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Helena "Leny" Arnolda (vanBohemen) Dirven

have a memory or condolence to add?

Karen Price

March 1, 2021

Sincere condolences to the family of Helen from the staff, volunteers and friends of the Chilliwack YMCA.

Helen will be remembered for her 'can-do' and 'glass half-full' attitude. She had a smile for all and always found a way of lifting one's spirits.

Knowing how much of her 'dash' Helen spent in her garden, this quote reminded us of her:
"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." - Alfred Austin

RIP Helen - we were privileged to have you part of our YMCA family for so many years.
Karen Price, Carolyn Pinsent and all the Chilliwack YMCA friends

Mary Keane

February 26, 2021

Rest in peace, dear Helen. My heart goes out to family and friends at this sad time. I met Helen at the Y aerobics class, and we often had lunch in Hofstede's. Helen was such a comfort to me when my husband passed. I will always remember her warmth, kindness, and sense of humour. God bless.

Corine C M de Groot-van Haaster

February 26, 2021

Dear Family,

My condolences to all of you. Leny was my “Step” Aunty. I was proud to be related to her. She inspired me and often had some ‘up beat’ advice for me over the years.

She was part of our important celebrations. When my Parents, or Aunts and Uncles Brothers and Sisters were over from Holland to visit us.
We alway got together with Leny and there were lots of memories shared between them all. With humor and laughter, in their rich and strong heritage...

Ton and I bid the Children and Grandchildren, strength in this difficult time!
The memories of the love she had for her Family, her open mind about life, her optimism, will help them at this time!!

Ton and Corine de Groot.🌹

Greet v.d.Star-Disseldorp

February 25, 2021

Dear Family,

Condoleances from my Mother aunt Ploon and the family Disseldorp.Aunt Leny was a very nice woman,we keep the memories to her.
We wish you all strength in the time to come.

Hans van Bohemen

February 24, 2021

Dear family, dear cousins,
our condolences and we wish you all the strength in the time to come. You have had a wonderful and sweet mother and grandmother. Warm memories, thinking back to my visit with my dad Koos, Maria, André and Danielle back in 2003. We had a great time together.

Warmest wishes,

Antoinette van den Berg & Hans van Bohemen

Maria Van Bohemen

February 24, 2021

Aunt Leny was such a great lady and inspiring for us all.
We have been there a few years ago, such a fine place to be.
The coffee and the cookies, early in the morning. And then the family stories.
We will never forget her, it was not difficult to love her.

Adrie van Bohemen

February 24, 2021

Francis and I just really got to know Aunt Leny 15 years agoo. She always was the Canadian Aunt whom we rearly saw in Holland. But she was the favorite sister of my father Jan van Bohemen. We stayed at her place several times in the past years and it was always a stay to remember. She was like a second mother to us then, the cofee and pancakes and BBQ, great. But the talks and sharing memories and family bonding was more then great. We will never forget that time when we stayed at her place when she was well in her 80ths and she went to sleep on the floor on an airmatrass and we got a bedroom. and there was no room for discussion.... a true powergirl, a great settler and a example of a way of living and dealing with issues where we can all learn a lot of.

Marlies McArthur

February 23, 2021

I have many happy memories of visits to Aunt Leny's house. There could be a house full of people or just me, but I was always welcome and enjoyed those visits. No topics were off limits and it was ok to not have the same opinion, which I appreciated. It was great to be able to make a lunch stop with her and Mary at Boston Pizza for a visit when heading home from Vancouver just to catch up. Even though I wasn't the favourite cousin (that belongs to Bernie), she was my favourite aunt and I will miss her.

Leo van Leeuwen

February 23, 2021

Tante Leny; my favourite aunt, I would like some of the spice you added to the dash. Going to miss you.