OBITUARY

Simon De Jong

Born April 9, 1942

.de Jong, Simon Leendert - age 69, left his body peacefully on Thursday August 18, in Vancouver, after a yearlong battle with leukemia. Born April 9, 1942, in Surabaya, Indonesia, Simon lived his first 3-½ years under Japanese occupation in a concentration camp with his mother and brother Hielke. Liberated in September 1945 by the Gurkhas of Nepal, the de Jong family immigrated to Regina in 1951. Educated in Regina, Simon completed an Honour’s B.A. in social sciences at University of Regina where, as president of the student body, he advocated for its independence. Simon distinguished himself as a public speaker winning the provincial Bryant Oratory public speaking contest in high school, and engaging in politics becoming president of the CCF youth. As a member of the artistic community, his paintings have been represented in public and private collections in North America and Europe. In the fall of 1969, Simon moved with Wanda Mang to Vancouver where their twin sons, Justin and Micah, were born. He was co-director of Cool-Aid, providing warm food, clothing, housing and a medical clinic for the many young people who had migrated to West Coast. Simon returned to Regina at the end of 1974, working as a civil servant and later opening Gretta’s Restaurant. In a surprising 1979 upset he was elected the New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for Regina East, a seat he held through five elections until retirement in 1997. During his 18 years in Parliament he held many portfolios, often revealing himself to be ahead of the times. The first MP to mention the greenhouse gas effect in the House of Commons, he advocated for a carbon tax. He also exposed the spraying of Agent Orange by the US Military in New Brunswick and the falsification of tests that supported the licensing of many herbicides and pesticides. Having come of age in the 60’s, Simon had strong roots in the peace movement, and introduced a private member’s bill calling for the establishment of a Peace Tax. When John Lennon was assassinated, he was quick to introduce a motion in Parliament expressing condolences to Yoko Ono. Upon retirement, Simon moved to California, later living between Regina, Brazil and the West Coast, continuing his lifetime search for spiritual truth to his last breath. He is survived by his sons Justin and Micah Mang and their mother Wanda, brother Casper (Allyson), sister Helena, sister-in-law June, nieces, nephews, cousins, partner Cheryl Anderson and family, by his large extended family including the Blewetts and Chouinards and his extensive circle of friends. He is predeceased by his father Simon, mother Dirkje, brother Hielke and sister Greta. There will be two Celebrations of Simon's life. The first will be on the terrace at Brock House, Monday, September 12th at 6:00pm, 3875 Point Grey Road, Vancouver, BC. The second Celebration of Life will be on Saturday, September 24th at 10:30am at Regina Senior Citizens Centre, 2134 Winnipeg Street, Regina, SK. Simon’s ashes are to be interred at a later date. Arrangements by Victory Funeral Centre, Surrey, BC.

Services

  • Celebration of Life Monday, September 12, 2011
  • Celebration of Life Saturday, September 24, 2011
REMEMBERING

Simon De Jong

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Jim Slade

September 17, 2011

"If you're goin' to kick yourself, wear slippers..." Thus was Simon's suggestion at a trying time of my youth, around 1974 when I met him with my dad, an educator-film-arts-alternatives supporter when Simon I believe was involved with Cool Aid, among other projects. Only a few words during a brief encounter, yet their impress has remained with me since. Thank you Simon.

Andrew Johncey

September 17, 2011

I was very fortunate to have met Simon at a family day at Christmas of 2008. He was friendly and very welcoming of me marrying his niece Elicia a few days later. Before leaving he and the family wanted to show me a west coast feast. What a feast! I wish I had more time to get to know him. I am amazed at what he has accomplished, I am filled with gratitude for his influence with my family.

The Waltons

September 13, 2011

We remember very well the de Jong family who had a cottage at Lumsden Beach shortly after they arrived in Regina.

There we saw a 10 or 11 year old Simon delivering rousing political speeches while dealing with a lively group of young hecklers. We were the first to witness the honing of his orating skills!

Our family sends our heartfelt sympathy to the extended de Jong family for their loss.

The Waltons

Rose Blanche Oliveira

September 13, 2011

I am happy to had a chance to know you,to be closed and loved you.
all my kind fine thoughts for you and your family and friends.Your last foto is like our fonne call conversation Smilling BUDA and across to with a new conscience,in there your suite voice,You are unforgettable.Simon you isn´t die,just leaved first.
My gratitude,GOD BLESS YOU and US

Francesca Binda

September 12, 2011

Simon taught me that politics can, and should, be a noble contest of ideas with respect and compassion for all involved. He lived his beliefs, even if and when they were not popular, always staying true to himself. With very fond memories. May his next journey be all he hoped for.

Marie-Lynn Hammond

September 11, 2011

Deep condolences to Simon's friends and family. The world has lost a very fine human being, but his spirit will surely live on. I will especially remember his warm smile...

Evan Lloyd

September 11, 2011

Hearing the terrible news of Simon's death was one of those moments that richochets memory through so many different places. I had the privilege to know Simon in several of his many incarnations - at the USSR, his early political work in Regina, his loft at the Northern Crown, later in Vancouver, back to Saskatchewan and his first improbable and successful campaign, and then again in Ottawa, together again. What's remarkable is, that throughout each stage Simon never lost any sense of what he was seeking and fighting for.
The world needs more Simons.

Adrian Morrison

September 10, 2011

Dear Micah and Justin,

We shared many years together and some great memories. Your father was a kind and loving person with numerous talents. He will be missed. He did his best to try and change this world for the better. Marlene sends her love.

Love Adrian

Jim Harding

September 10, 2011

I have "a book" inside me about Simon and the rest of the DeJong clan, from when they came to Regina, when I was in elementary school. Simon and I were friends through an early CCF youth club in Regina, at Central High School, Regina College, on the West Coast in the late 60's, when he was MP for Regina Victoria where we lived, and after; right up to the end. I already deeply miss our "regular" conversations, which seemed to happen when Simon was entering yet another track in his life. Like a younger brother, a gentle comrade without arms; another free spirit; and much more. My deepest love for the family and friends. Jim Harding, Fort San, SK

Dwight Carroll

September 10, 2011

Wow! the last time I saw Simon was as student at U of R(USSR). Simon always raised a level of awareness for us all, whether it was at the great sausage factory as head of the student union or as a MP in Ottawa. I also remember his early political champaigns and how hard everyone worked including his family to get him elected. We have to be thankful for him as change would never happen perhaps too slow for him but at least change did happen. Rest in peace Simon.