SNOEKS, Anna (Annie) Maria (nee Van Lieshout)
Anna (Annie) was born on March 7th, 1924 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She was the second youngest of five children (Harry, John, Toni, Tini). She married her best friend Jacobus on January 30, 1951 and days later set out on her life changing voyage to Canada. With two suitcases and $400, Mom and Dad blazed their new life in Canada. They had four children, Bill (Joanne), Helen (Scott Forrest), John (Gabriella) and Joanne (George Orr). Mom was the last of the siblings and survived the death of Jacobus, her son John and Suzanne, Bill’s first wife. Mom was a proud grandmother to seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren...obviously she had a very successful adventure by coming to Canada!
Mom was a keen card player, and big fan of both the Maple Leafs and Blue Jays. She thought she could outcoach Mike Babcock or John Gibbons and rarely missed a televised game. It was humorous to hear her critique her two favourite teams.
The family would like to thank Marek and Alex, Mom’s primary nurse attendants from St. Elizabeth’s who attended to Mom’s health issues over the last 20 months and particularly since the new year. Their daily visits were very much appreciated and their professionalism was comforting. Linda and Sandy from ParaMed were also terrific with Mom. They too were friendly and professional in attending to Mom’s personal care.
Arrangements are entrusted to the GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL HOME, 585 Carlton St., St. Catharines. Due to Covid-19 restrictions there will not be any visitation. A Memorial service will be held at Star of the Sea Parish, 34 Elgin Street, St. Catharines on Monday, June 15th at 11 a.m. with Covid-19 restrictions in place. In lieu of flowers, donations to Toronto Sick Kids Hospital, Star of the Sea Parish or Covenant House would be appreciated.
Eulogy (By Bill Snoeks)
First of all the Forrest, Orr, Snoeks families would like to thank everyone here for taking time out of your busy lives to help us celebrate the life of Anna (Annie) Snoeks, especially during this Covid 19 pandemic.
Mom, Oma was born on March 7th, 1924 in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She was the 2nd youngest of 5 siblings. She had 3 brothers and an older sister. Most people would say that she had a rather ordinary life. I guess that would depend on what you would define as “ordinary”. She was raised through the Great Depression of the 30’s, lived through occupied Holland during WW2 and got married on January 30, 1951. Most of Holland was bombed out due to the war, and in order to get permission to marry, you were required to prove that you had a place to live. Mom’s older married siblings were already living in her parent’s home and there was no room for another couple. The solution to this dilemma was to emigrate to Canada. So, 4 days after their wedding, Mom and Dad hopped on a boat with 2 suitcases and $400.00 to start their new married adventure in Canada. They didn’t have jobs waiting for them, didn’t speak English and only knew 1 person in Canada..... my dad’s sister (Jackie) who had married a Canadian serviceman after the war. Uncle Denis and the Partridge family quickly welcome them in St. Catharines and quasi adopted them into their family.
Dad found work quickly at GM and Mom stayed home. 9 months later I was born... I like to say that I was manufactured in Holland but produced in Canada. 2 years later Helen came along. .... perfect family.... a boy and a girl.... people said they were lucky. Dad said it was skill and he proved it by having John 2 years later followed by Joanne 2 years after that....2 boys and 2 girls..... Mom said “ that’s enough...you don’t need to prove anything more”.
We were not a rich family, but we always had what we needed. Dad worked hard at GM and did some extra plumbing jobs to make some extra money. Mom was a stay at home mother who was always there for us. 4 kids, new country, new language was enough to keep her busy and us safe. When we were older mom wanted to get a job, and despite our doubts about her being able to get a job, she persisted and got a job at Loblaws where she worked for 18 years in the produce department and as a cashier. She wanted to work so that she could earn some money that would enable her to visit our family in Holland. She made several trips to Holland and always loved to go and was always welcomed with open arms. Her siblings, nieces and nephews always looked forward to her visits. Mom was the last sibling standing.... her loss is deeply felt by us and our Dutch relatives.
Mom loved to play cards.... especially bid euchre and euchre. She played fast and was competitive. Anyone who played euchre with mom would attest to her quick play....except, sometimes when her partner was dealing, would slyly ask “ if I order you up do I have to go alone?”.....always trying to get an edge....some would call it something else.
When dad was alive, mom had no use for watching sports. Dad loved watching the Leafs and the Jays.... mom would say things like “ turn off the tv.... the house could be on fire and you would still sit and watch that stupid game” Dad would say, ya but the Leafs just scored the go ahead goal and there’s just 5 minutes left.....
When dad died, Mom suddenly became huge Leaf and Jay fans. She would watch almost every televised game, knew the players names, was quick to critique their play and swore she could out coach Babcock or Gibbons......
Mom loved her family. She loved her 7 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. It was always family first with mom. She loved family gatherings, especially Christmas, special anniversaries, special birthdays and all family weddings. She never forgot a birthday, and always included a bit of money ,....to buy a lunch or a drink on her. She liked visiting family and enjoyed some time at the cottage....she even got into the boat for a calm ride around the lake last summer.
Yes Annie Snoeks had an ordinary life.....grew up during the depression, survived occupied Holland during WWII, got married and left her family and country behind, learned a new language, buried her husband of 45 years, buried a son and daughter-in-law, learned to love the Leafs and the Jays, raised 4 children, was a 7 time Oma and a 10 time great Oma, out lived all of her siblings, lived into her 97th year of life.....ordinary you say? I say EXTRODINARY!
I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to publicly thank Helen and Scott for providing exceptional love, caring and support for Mom since Dad died, but especially for the last 20 months.....from the time they offered to have mom move into their home. What was thought originally to be an estimated 3 months turned into 20 months. They managed Mom’s health including countless doctors appointments, emergency hospital visits, hospital visits when mom was admitted to hospital, managing various medical supplies and medications, visits from St. Elizabeth’s and ParaMeds, attending to her personal needs and hygiene, food preparation, hydration and oxygen. They did all this without complaint. They sacrificed their privacy, freedom and much of their social opportunities. I am 100% convinced mom would not have lived as well or as long as she did had it not been for the safety, care and love Helen and Scott provided. Mom was amazing but she wasn’t without fault.....stubborn, gruff and sometimes appearing to be ungrateful were some things that made mom, mom too. Thanks Helen and Scott for your caring , sacrifice and love.....you are both better than me.
Thanks to Marek and Alex from St. Elizabeth’s and to Linda and Sandy from ParaMed for the professional, caring and respectful way they cared for mom, especially this last year. They did an amazing job and made mom feel comfortable. These nurses and psw’s are true angels and are cherished.
Finally, I would like to thank Fr. Richard for the comfort and support he provided mom and for guiding us on how we could have today’s celebration of mom’s life during this pandemic. He did everything he could to accommodate our wishes while navigating the mind field that is Covid-19.
Thanks again for your presence today, as well as all your prayers and good wishes for Annie and our family. Unfortunately we are unable to host a reception due to Covid restrictions. The family will proceed to the cemetery for a private interment following this service. Thanks for being here. Keep strong, keep healthy and keep safe.