Aaltje van Donkersgoed (nee Versteeg) was born on May 30, 1908 on a farm near Voorthuizen, the Netherlands. On April 22, 1932 she married Elbert van Donkersgoed, who had grown up on a farm a few kilometres away. That same year they bought "Groote Bos,� the property next to the farm on which Elbert had grown up. Their marriage of almost 53 years was blessed with 8 children, all born on Groote Bos.
World War II was a very difficult time for the family; Aaltje, with five young daughters, was left alone on the farm for six months while Elbert was held in the notorious concentration camp at Amersfoort. His work for the underground resistance to the German occupiers of Holland had been exposed. Later the farm became a hiding place for downed Allied pilots and local saboteurs. Elbert was awarded the Cross of War for the underground activities.
In 1951, the van Donkersgoed family emigrated to Canada and settled in the Gorrie area. For a brief period, Elbert was a farm worker. By early 1952 they owned a farm on the 10th concession of Howick Township. In 1959 they moved to a farm on the 5th concession of Howick and the Gorrie Line (County Road 28). In 1973, Elbert and Aaltje retired to a small property on the Gorrie Line just south of Gorrie where woodworking and finishing became their hobby. Windmills were their specialty.
When Elbert suddenly passed away in 1985, Aaltje bought a mobile home and installed it on the farm of daughter, Tinie and Bob Versteeg on the Howick-Wallace town line. By 1997 the three bedroom mobile home was too much for Aaltje to look after and she moved to an apartment on John and Betty van Donkersgoed�s farm on the 5th concession of Howick. Here she passed away peacefully after a brief illness.
When great grandchild #102, Jude van Donkersgoed was born on June 13, 2006 and #103, Graham van Donkersgoed was born on June 26, 2006, Aaltje was still able to do what she has done many times over the years�she called all her daughters and sons to share the latest family news. Aaltje�s life was wrapped up in her family and her church community.
In recent weeks, Aaltje yearned to leave this life and be with Jesus. When son-in-law Bob Versteeg passed away on May 29, 2006, she was disappointed that a family member had been called home to our Lord before her. Her quiet faith in Jesus, our Saviour, has been a fortress of strength for our family through the years. Today Aaltje is at home with her Lord.
"I know that my Redeemer lives�