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Johannes van Tunen

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Johannes (John) van Tunen

October 6, 1928 - August 7, 2023


John was born October 6, 1928 in Heemskerk, Holland the fifth of 16 children born to Henk van Tunen and Bridget Dekker. He is survived by his partner Josephine Malinsky of 39 years and her children Myron (Chrissy) and Myles (Debbie). He was also Grandpa John to grandchildren Nicole, Liane, Brent, Mikael, Nikki, Jesse, Alan and Brea; great grandchildrenTom and Dane   He met Josephine in 1984 and together they kept their Maple Ridge home, acreage and gardens in pristine condition. Always giving away the fruits of their labour to many friends and family. He was predeceased by his sisters, Katrina, Catherina Maria, Ria, Em, and his brothers Dirk, Henk, Bill, Piet, Jerry, Shen and Gus.  He is survived by his sisters Ina, Margaret and Nancy.   He also leaves behind more than 90 nieces and nephews and more than 200 grand nieces and nephews as well as numerous great-grand nieces and nephews.

He grew up in the small town of Heemskerk, about 30 kilometers from Amsterdam.  He led a tumultuous life.  He was a child during the great depression.  He was eleven years old when Holland was invaded by Germany.   German soldiers came to Heemskerk and took over his school for soldier’s barracks.   He was 16 years old lived through the Dutch Famine called the “Hunger Winter”.

After the war, when he was 20 years old, he immigrated to Canada.  He came by boat to Halifax and across Canada by train arriving in Vancouver on July 1st (Dominion Day) in 1949.  He was sponsored by a farmer in Steveston where he worked for a year.  He worked as a groundskeeper at mansion on Marine Drive in Vancouver before taking a job with the City of Vancouver waterworks.  It was there that he got his first car, a brand new Ford Prefect.

He left Vancouver to work at Kitimat.  He went there with a few of his friends, fellow immigrants from Holland.  When they made enough money, they took a train to Quebec and from there took a boat to Holland.  He travelled to Germany and got a job there, staying for a few months.  He returned to Canada and started a fresh produce store in Port Coquitlam, called Twin Cedars Market.  He and his sister Nancy ran it.  When Nancy left to get married in 1969, he quit the business.  He went back to working in Water Services this time for the Municipality of Pitt Meadows.  He worked there for 25 years until his retirement.

He loved dogs and birds and animals.  He loved gardening and growing things. he used to keep his acres of lawn and garden in pristine condition.

It was his sense of daring and adventure and his financial success that inspired the mass immigration of the humongous van Tunen family to this beautiful land of Canada.



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From: Bakerview Community Crematorium & Celebration Centre

Bakerview Community Crematorium & Celebration Centre Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

Service Schedule


Date & Time:
August 18, 2023

Gardens of Gethsemani Cemetery
15684 - 32 Avenue
Surrey, BC Canada

15684 - 32 Avenue
Surrey, BC Canada

  Mass of Christian Burial

Date & Time:
August 18, 2023
Beginning at 11:00am

Gardens of Gethsemani Cemetery Chapel
15684- 32 Avenue
Surrey, BC Canada

Burial at 12:00 pm

Reception of follow at the cemetery

15684- 32 Avenue
Surrey, BC Canada

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

Thank You Notice

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