On January 19th, 2015 Arendina L’Hirondelle’s 90-year journey ended peacefully in Sidney, BC surrounded by the love of her nearby daughters and son-in-law.
Born in the Netherlands in 1924, Dini survived wartime as a young adult, training as a French teacher and midwife. At the war’s end she met her future husband, Raymond, who was in the Canadian army. In 1949 Dini immigrated to remote northern Alberta for marriage and adventure. She became a hardworking, homesteading, cow-milking, goat-chasing, chicken-plucking, garden-growing, jam-preserving, bread-baking, sheet-ironing, sweater-knitting, cloth-diaper-changing, wringer-washer-wrangling, natural child-birthing mother of four baby-boomers, plus foster mother to nieces and nephews. She studied bookkeeping and helped manage the family businesses.
In the 1980s after children were grown and husband retired, they traded frozen winters and mosquito-swarmed summers for the west coast near Sidney. Dini imparted a love of reading, learning and history to her children as well as a flair for crafts, a green thumb and good nutrition. One of her life-long joys was swimming, which she took up again in her 70s, making many new friends at the Panorama. Trilingual, Dini continued reading, speaking and doing crossword puzzles in Dutch to the end of her life.
Pre-deceased by Raymond in 2009, and her sister Mina in 2014, Dini is greatly missed by her family, who will continue to appreciate her sacrifices and gifts. Dini leaves behind four daughters, their partners, ten grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, many relatives and friends in Canada, the US, and the Netherlands.
For their very compassionate care, we thank Sidney All Care staff, Dr. Bosenberg, and Dr. Del Bel. No service by request; donations can be made to WoodwynnFarms.org or the Heart & Stroke Foundation.