It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of our father, Antoon Houben, on August 10, 2012.
Tony was born on March 26, 1928, in Heerlen, Limburg, the Netherlands. He was the second youngest of 12 children.
He is predeceased by his wife Ruth; both his parents; his brothers Jan, Scra, Sjef, Piet, Harry, and Leo; and sisters Mia and Dienje.
He is survived by his sisters Lieske, Nelly and Jo; his sons, Antoon, Wim and Robert (Loretta); and his daughters Merina Matthew (Fred), Sylvia Boyd (Gary), and Margaret Houben. He is also survived by his six grandchildren, Leah May Lynn (Kevin), Tammy Lynn Leavitt (Ethan), Donna Lee Pidgeon (Daniel), Jared Monds (Laura), Matthew John Robert Houben, and Ruth Elizabeth Akefa Azu (Sam); as well as nine great grand children.
Tony grew up in Heerlen, Limburg, the Netherlands where he worked at the family bicycle and electric shop. He was an active Scout before, during and after the war, and indeed, was involved in Scouting right up to the end, being an active member of the 28th Baden-Powell Guild in Kamloops. As a Scouter he received several awards, including the medal of merit and the bar to the medal of merit.
He met his wife Ruth, square-dancing at the Hexeberg. They were married on May 17, 1950, and emigrated to Canada in 1952, coming straight over to B.C. where they remained. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2000, with all their children around them. The following year Ruth passed away.
Tony worked as a millwright for many years before he retired, working at a variety of mills, from Alcan in Kitimat, to Fraser Mills in New Westminster.
He was a hard worker, but still found time to do things with his children. He enjoyed going for long drives with all of us packed in the car, and would often find the most unlikely of roads to explore.
He moved to Barriere in 1994 with his wife, Ruth and son, Wim. He loved it here in Barriere and enjoyed the small town life, making many friends.
Tony had a great sense of humour and liked teasing and joking with those he met. Often, when asked how he felt, he would respond “very carefully, I don’t want to get my face slapped”, or if asked how he was doing, he’d reply with a grin: “without”.
He will be greatly missed by all his family.
The service will be on August 25, at St. George’s Catholic Church, 5024 Barriere Town Road, at 11 a.m. It can be seen online by visiting, www.NorthThompsonFuneral.com, and clicking on Antoon Houben’s page.The reception will be shortly after the service, at 1 p.m. at the Barriere Senior’s Centre, 4433 Barriere Town Road.
Those wishing to make a donation are asked to donate to Scouts Canada or any Scout group in their area.
Arrangements entrusted to North Thompson Funeral Services, Box 859, Barriere, BC, V0E 1E0, 250-672-1999. On-line condolences may be sent to the family via www.NorthThompsonFuneral.com