Mr. Johannes Jozef Antonius Besseling

September 13, 1943June 16, 2011

Arrangements under the direction of Vancouver Memorial Services and Crematorium, Vancouver, BC.


Mr. Johannes Jozef Antonius Besseling

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July 17, 2011

Dear Gary,i am one of the sponsored children of the karmokor foundation in sierra leone.I Met with Mr Jan Besseling when he came in Freetown three month ago.He is the nicest person i have ever come across in my entire life and he told me that in life you have to wait for the right time.He is my role model.My Condolence to his entire family.

Nancy Paul

July 15, 2011

Dear Gary, I never had the pleasure of meeting Jan over the years, but I felt that I knew him a little through all our years of flying, and endless hours of conversation. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time.

Bernadine Fox

July 13, 2011

I met Jan Bessling through our mutual work at Gallery Gachet. This world won't be the same without him. He was truly one of the good guys. My deepest sympathies to his partner Gary, his close friends, and his family. Bernadine Fox

Charlie Brooks

July 11, 2011

I have known Jan for over thirty years since he lived and worked in Barbados, and we have remained good friends since then.
I will miss him terribly, but you gary will certainly miss him the most of all....he loved and respected you so much and he told me this on many occasions.
I will always remember the smile and the laughter.....he loved life! very sadly the world needs many more men like him. Cheers my friend...bon voyage!

Luc Verschelden

July 11, 2011

Jan and I worked together in 1977 in Montreal's QE Hilton; then in Vancouver's Hotel Van Hilton. We shared the foundation of the F&B Mgrs of Vancouver Club; and in recent years Jan came to visit us several times in The Gambia, on his way to Sierra Leone. He has always been an inspiration, full of advise and always a support. His sense of humor and his omni-present laughter made of him THE "JAN" we will never forget. Memories of Jan, Ma Bes and Gary will always be there to remind us of the friend he was. Gary, be strong!

Christian Holder

July 10, 2011

I never actually met Jan, but I felt as though I knew him well. I had spoken to him on the phone when I lived in New York, and we had also exchanged several emails.

He was a true friend to my parents, Boscoe and Sheila, whom he met in Port of Spain, Trinidad, where they were living. This was thirty-plus years ago. Over the ensuing years he spent many happy periods of time with my parents in the West Indies. He became a great admirer of my father's paintings (Dad did a wonderful painting of Jan wearing his clogs), and both Jan and Kees own art work by my father. In Barbados Jan initiated an exhibition for him.

After my father died in 2007 Jan volunteered to undertake the time-consuming task of helping to catalogue Dad's paintings. He stayed at that time with my mother in the condo into which she had moved; taking her out to lunch on Mother's Day. She still marvels at his energy, and his insistence on walking wherever he needed to go - no matter how far away.

My mother and I were looking forward to a day when Jan might come to visit us in London, where we now live. He acknowledged my mother's birthday in April of this year by sending a wonderful card. It was when my mother telephoned him to thank him, that he told her of his health situation. In the midst of all his own personal turmoil he had found time to remember my mother's birthday. A typically selfless gesture that she and I both cherish.

We miss him intensely, and can't quite believe how quickly his time on this earth has ended. A great gentleman, and a wonderful friend!

Brad Morris

July 7, 2011

I had the opportunity to work for Jan in the early 90's at BC Place. Jan was a true gentleman and a person I credit with being a mentor in my life. He approached work and life with the same electricity, he could light up any room. Although it has been many years since I have seen Jan, I still feel the sadness with his passing.

Bill Simmons

June 29, 2011

A very special man who touched the lives of everyone he met. You could not help but be inspired by his zest for life. I was Jan's assistant at VTCC in the early 90's. He was a true gentleman who always thought of others. There will never be another Jan.

June 28, 2011

My deepest condolences to you ,Jan left
too soon and gave so much.His kindness and gentleness will be missed .You are in my thoughts at this difficult time.

Marina Roggeveen

June 28, 2011

Dear Gary,
My thoughts are with you and Jan's family at this very sad time!! I worked with Jan at the VTCC back in '87 when we opened the center. I recently reconnected with him in November - when I got to hear all about the amazing work he was doing. His smile and sense of humor will be what I will always remember. He was a gentle soul with a very mischievous twinkle in those beautiful eyes:):)
Marina Roggeveen