Cornelis "Neil" Heesterman

June 14, 1929November 20, 2019
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Cornelius or as we knew him Neil, was a proud and caring man. He lived in many places as his life moved him around the world. Born in Holland and lived in many countries including Dutch and British Guyana, Quebec, and finally Vancouver. He received his engineering degree in Holland and then had to write exams to qualify to work in Canada. He came with his wife, Wilhelmina (Willy), to work for Alcan Aluminum in Arvida, Quebec. This is where the family began; 4 children, Jacqui, Brian, Tony and Robert all about 1 year apart.

Alcan needed engineers in Guyana and asked the family to move there. With past history and knowledge of the country both Willy and Neil where ready to go and start a new page in their life. We lived in Guyana for about 7 years with many happy memories. In 1968, there were some political changes in Guyana so Neil and Willy felt it was time to move again. On Neil’s holiday break, we came to Canada and went on a cross country camping trip. Neil submitted applications for work as we traveled. He got many offers but chose Vancouver as a place to settle. They purchased a house in North Vancouver where they lived there for his last 51 Years.

Neil enjoyed his hobby of making pottery. He started this in his early years and kept at it throughout his life. Much of his works were sold at craft fairs and from his home studio. I like to think his pottery will live forever. He also had pottery classes at home and also taught pottery at the North Vancouver senior’s centre.

After retiring Neil became an advocate for saving the planet. He wrote his blog about carbon reduction and many letters to government trying to convince then that something needed to be done.

He leaves behind his wife of sixty-three years, Willy, children Jacqui (Dan), Bryan (Gail), Tony (Melinda) and Rob (Aleta); grandchildren – Chris(Beth), Matt(Kelly), Megan (Jamie), Devon and Wyatt; great-grandchildren Coen and Talia.


  • Memorial Service Sunday, December 8, 2019

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