August 17, 1925 – January 9, 2021
On Saturday, January 9th, Lijntje Roelfsema (nee Lems), passed away peacefully in her sleep at the Weyburn Special Care Home at the age of 95 years.
Lijntje, lovingly known as Mum, or Oma, by family, was predeceased by her husband, Harm Roelfsema, parents, Cornelis and Neeltje Lems, brothers, Freek and Wim Lems, and sister Lenie Oosthoek.
Lijntje will be forever remembered by her son, Edward (Diane) Roelfsema & family, Maralee Roelfsema (Justin Lodoen) and Lucas Roelfsema (Amanda Gartner); son, Ron (Gayleen) Roelfsema & family, Kyle (Stephanie) Roelfsema and their children, Parker and Riley, Jordi Roelfsema (Ryan Rota), Callie Roelfsema (Jordan Shannon) & family, Brooks, Koen and Kamryn and Mitchell Roelfsema; son, Brent Roelfsema; daughter, Jocelyn Vera (Mike Stobbs) & family Stephanie Nelson and children, Lily, DJ & Jameson, Caitlyn Nelson and Jolie Nelson; son, Walter, Roelfsema; son, Steve (Lorelei) Roelfsema & family, Megan Roelfsema and Quinton Roelfsema; sisters, Adriana van Splunter-Lems, Corrie Hoveling-Lems and brother, Jan Lems.
Lijntje was born on August 17th, 1925 in Rotterdam, Holland. She was the third of seven children. When WWII broke out, Lijntje was only 14. She lived through many harrowing experiences during the war, including being shot at by an English fighter plane, who mistakenly assumed her, and her sister, were German patrol. After such experiences, Lijntje, along with many of her siblings, were sent to the country where their parents felt they would be safer. Lijntje stayed for many years during the war in Drenthe. Although food was scarce for all of Holland, and Lijntje and her family suffered along with many, the family was resourceful in providing for themselves. Cornelis, Lijntje’s father, was able to provide rations of flour for baking, as he worked in a flour factory during the war. Lijntje’s mother, Neeltje, collected coal along the railroad tracks along with her children, to burn for heat in their home.
Prior to the war, Lijntje went the household and industry school and worked at a grocery store. Afterwards, she regularly worked as a maid. During this time, Lijntje met Harm Roelfsema through mutual friends. Generally, a game was played between the boys and the girls in the streets of Rotterdam prior to courtship. This included “chasing the girls and catching them” but Harm never said what happened after the girls were caught, they simply “let them go” and the chase would begin again. During the war, Harm and Lijntje did not communicate much, as Harm was taken by the Germans to a Berlin work camp and Lijntje was again in Drenthe.
After the war, Lijntje and Harm ran into each other on the tram in Rotterdam. They began a courtship, often double dating with friends. They would attend events such as movies, with Harm picking up Lijntje on his motorcycle, which Lijntje’s father, Cornelis, did not approve of his daughter riding on a motorcycle with a young daredevil. In 1951, Lijntje was engaged to Harm, but with work and housing limited in Holland, they decided to start their life in a new country less impacted by the war. As a result, they set sail for New Zealand, with many other young couples. Here, Lijntje worked at the Whakatane Hospital, as well as for the Armstrong family, who took her in when she arrived in New Zealand. Harm and Lijntje had a long engagement in New Zealand, writing letters to one another as they worked and saved money. On September 26th, 1953 they were finally married. Their first three children were born shortly after, including Ed, Ron, and Brent. In 1959, as the New Zealand economy started to suffer, Lijntje and Harm decided to make the long journey to Canada via ship. They settled first in Saskatoon, where Lijntje’s sister Lenie and her husband Herman lived. They would subsequently move many times after initially settling in Saskatoon, but it was here, their fourth child, Vera, was born. After Saskatoon, Harm and Lijntje travelled first to Estevan, where their last two children, Wally and Steve, were born, before moving up north to Manning, Alberta for a short stint, and then back to Estevan. From Estevan, they moved to Moose Jaw, then to Weyburn, before finally settling in McTaggart in 1973, after Lijntje found her large family a home in the old schoolhouse. Lijntje and Harm lived in Mctaggart until 2011, in a new house they built in the eighties.
They lived in a condo in Weyburn prior to Harm’s passing, with Lijntje living out the rest of her quiet years at the Weyburn Special Care Home.
Lijntje was a quiet, but strong woman. She always put everyone else’s needs before hers and ran a tight ship with her quiet and calm persona, including keeping all of the kids in line. She was strong in her faith and Christian beliefs and tried to instil these beliefs in both her children and grandchildren. Lijntje could often be found reading her bible in the little downtime she had in her life. Lijntje was generous and helpful to those less fortunate and always made everyone’s day with her cheerful smile and gentle laugh. Even in the nursing home, Lijntje remained graceful and kind to everyone who came to meet her, even when her memory started to leave, and family and friends became unrecognizable. She still greeted everyone with a big smile and a warm grasp of the hands. Lijntje always enjoyed visits from her family the most and instilled strong values, work ethic, and generosity in all of her children. She carried on traditions with her family even as she aged, including making ollie bollen and Christmas wreath for her family every year. These traditions have been carried on by a number of the siblings and the daughters-in-law as well. Lijntje was a strong and resilient woman shaped by the experiences of her generation and she carried these lessons with her throughout her whole life. Lijntje will always be remembered by her generous, humble, and caring nature. Her kind laugh will never be forgotten and neither will the warm hugs and kisses she bestowed upon all of those she loved. The world lost a beautiful soul, but heaven gained an angel. Lijntje is now at peace and her family will take comfort in knowing she will be with her best friend and one true love, Harm, in heaven.
A Private Family Graveside Gathering will be held on Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Green Acres Memorial Gardens, Weyburn, Saskatchewan with John Smith Officiating.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions, we all must abide by the province of Saskatchewan’s guidelines on public gathering by limiting the number of people attending the service to 30 people.
Please consider attending the livestream service by going to Fletcher Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services Facebook page 5 minutes prior to the start of the service.
Donations in memory of Lijntje may be made to the Church of Christ at 1115 1st Avenue NE, Weyburn, Saskatchewan, S4H 0N2.
Private Family Graveside Gathering
Thursday, January 14, 2021
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
January 16, 2021
I wish everyone in the Roelfsema family our deepest sympathies and condolences. Lijn was always a very welcoming, warm person and always very nice to me and everyone. She will always be missed and never forgotten. She was a wonderful person.
From cousin Rita and family, and the rest of the Oosthoek family
January 15, 2021
Deepest condolences from The Oosthoeks
January 13, 2021
I loved sitting beside your mom when our church group would go sing at the home. She would sing along, especially on the chorus. And then when the song was done, she’d have a little chuckle as if to say, “I knew that one!”
With deep sympathy,
Scott and Michelle Wade
January 12, 2021
We were sad to hear of Lijntje's passing. She was a very sweet, kind, woman with a beautiful family. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. We will miss her. May God bless each of you as you remember her.
Scott and Michelle Wade
John & Janet Reiner
January 12, 2021
We remember your mother when she worked in the Pet Store. She always had a friendly loving nature. Our recent memories of her were at the Weyburn Special Care Home Christmas dinners where we would help serve. Her demeanor was still the same - a heartfelt greeting from a warm and caring soul. I know your family will miss her greatly. Please accept our heartfelt sympathy.
John & Janet Reiner
January 12, 2021
My sympathies to Linnie's family. I worked at the Special Care Home for a short time, Linnie was the sweetest and kindest lady I had the pleasure to assist in her care she will be missed at the care home she always had a beautiful smile on her face
January 11, 2021
Deepest condolences to all of the family. Prayers to you all. ♥️