Nellie Kerklaan

Obituary of Nellie Kerklaan


March 30, 1917-March 15, 2020


Just shy of her 103rd birthday, Nellie passed away with her family by her side. Loving wife of the late Adrian (1984). Loving Mom to John (Mickey), Albert (Carol), the late Ada (John) Borbath, the late Cathy (the late Garry) Gohmm and Joanne (Orest) Shypowskyj. Cherished Oma to 8 grandchildren and Great Oma to 11 great grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Albert Van der Ende in Holland.


Nellie, Adrian and their 3 oldest children immigrated from Holland to Canada in 1953 looking for a better life. Life in Canada wasn’t quite what Mom expected, 2 more children were born and life was hard. Nelly worked on the Tregunno Farm, Queenston Bakery, Homestead Doughnuts and finally alongside her husband, they together managed an Avondale Store. Nellie loved to travel. She returned to Holland several times, visited numerous other countries in Europe and several different Islands. Nellie was an avid knitter and up to the age of 101 she was donating baby blankets to the St. Catharines General Hospital Auxiliary. Mom, Oma, Great Oma will be deeply missed by her loving family.


The family would like to thank all the staff and nurses at Northland Pointe for their care, compassion and love. In accordance with Nellie’s wishes, cremation has taken place. Visitation and a Funeral Service will be announced in due time on the GEORGE DARTE FUNERAL HOME'S website, (905) 937-4444 Memorial donations may be made to Northland Pointe Auxiliary or the Alzheimer Society




When I looked up the definition of “mother” it said that a mother is a protector, disciplinarian and a friend. A mother is a selfless loving human who must sacrifice many of their wants and needs for the wants and needs of her children. A mother works hard to make sure that her children are equipped with the knowledge, skill and abilities to make it as a competent human being.”

We were so fortunate, that we were blessed with a mother who so perfectly fit this description.

When I think of my mother I think of her as my hero and my friend. As a child I respected her and loved her. In my opinion my mother was the best mother I could have asked for. I always felt safe and loved, she loved unconditionally and she was always supportive. I don’t think I really appreciated how lucky I was until I became a mother myself, and realized what it takes to be a loving supportive mother.

How lucky are we to be able to say that our Mother, your Oma and your great Oma lived to be almost 103 years old, what an achievement, to have lived a very full and active life. Oma was always a positive thinker, she was never mopey and never felt sorry for herself, always focusing on the positive things.

To Mom her family was her biggest achievement, she was very proud of all of us, her 5 kids, her 8 grandchildren and her great grandchildren. Oma’s most prize possession was her family picture that we had done at Oma and Opas 40th wedding anniversary, she told me she looked at it every night before going to sleep and she said it’s important that all of us need to take family pictures.

Oma always loved to travel whether it was to Europe or the islands, she always enjoyed herself. She loved to play cards, and she loved her politics. She never sat idle, she loved to sew, she crocheted some beautiful bed spreads for all of us, did some beautiful works of art in needlepoint. Her favorite passion as she got older was knitting, all of her grandchildren received knitted outfits and her great grandchildren were lucky to receive one of her baby blankets, she knit them with such love.

I think most of us will be forever grateful to Oma for introducing us to croquettes. God we use to share so many laughs when we were making them. Picture Oma, Ada, Cathy, myself and Megan around Ada’s dining room table making the croquettes, we use to harass Oma about quality control as the size of the croquettes she was rolling would vary in size, she would just laugh with us and then start bugging me to make sure she was doing it right, John B and Stephen would be in the garage with the deep fryers wondering what we were laughing about. J

I have to say that for the past 15 months that Oma was alive, I felt truly blessed that Oma was living in Port Colborne, I loved being able to visit her every day she loved her villa and her amazing views of the lake and the ships.

Being with her on her final days was something I am glad I was able to do, to see her slowly slip away was extremely hard but I was honored to be able to hold her hand and try and comfort her as she did so many times for me as a child.

Mom I love you to the moon and back, watch over all of us, keep us safe, and know that you will be forever in our hearts.

Love Joanne

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