It pleased the Lord to take home John Van Dam, dearly beloved husband of his loving wife of 50 years, Olga Van Dam (Veenstra). Besides his wife he is survived by his children, James Van Dam of Revelstoke, BC, Wynne (Terry) Purdham, Joanna (Terry) Fisher, Robert (Tracey) Van Dam, Ralph (Mandy) Van Dam all of Redcliff; twelve grandchildren he loved and enjoyed, Jason Van Dam; Megan and Kelsy Purdham; Bradley and Michelle Fisher; Jonathan, Tyler and Katelyn Van Dam; Nicholas, Brittany, Shelby and Joelle Van Dam. John is also survived by his brothers and sisters, Johannes of Medicine Hat, James (Helen) of Medicine Hat, William (Winnie) of New Market, ON, Alfred (Norma) of Medicine Hat, Art of Medicine Hat, Joanne (Ralph) Schweitzer of Maple Ridge, B.C., one sister-in-law, Kathleen Van Dam of Chilliwack, B.C;. Olga's brothers and sisters, Yvonne (Bob) Dykstra of Burdett, Ted (Margo) Veenstra of Victoria, B.C., Anna Oegema of Edmonton, Lloyd (Lorna) Veenstra of Medicine Hat, Jim (Carolyn) Veenstra of Burdett and Wendy (Ron) Blankespoor of Grand Rapids, Mich. as well as many nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by his brother Adrian and brother-in-law Fred Oegema. John was born in Monster, Zuid Holland, The Netherlands, the oldest of eight children born to Jacobus and Johanna Van Dam. In 1951, at the age of 18, he immigrated with his family to southern Alberta. Shortly after he met Olga Veenstra in Redcliff and they were married on July 6, 1956. After working at the glass factory and brick plants, he, in partnership with his brother Johannes, started a greenhouse business in Redcliff. In 1969, mom and dad operated the family business, Westland Greenhouse Ltd. until 1989. Dad was a founding and lifetime member of the Red Hat Co-Op. John also spent 13 years serving as a councilor and six years as the Mayor of Redcliff. Dad was proud to retire at the age of 55 with Olga in Medicine Hat on the river. He was a great photographer as evident in the many 'great shots' we have. Woodworking projects of all kinds are finished in our homes. Dad always had time to take many vacations with his family and friends to new places. Church was an important part of John's life. He was the handyman everyone could count on to complete the project as portrayed in the stained glass windows to woodworking in his church...he was always helping everyone and found time for all! Most importantly, Grandpa had a soft spot for each of his grandchildren and we will remember him as a strong, practical, resourceful man who's hardworking hands showed his love for us all. John was a loving caring husband to Olga and they celebrated 50 years of marriage. The Lord blessed our marriage and family richly while serving Him. Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at Cook Southland Funeral Chapel, 901 - 13th Street S.W., on Friday, December 1, 2006 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The interment service will take place at the Redcliff Cemetery on Saturday, December 2, 2006 at 1:00 p.m. John's life will be celebrated at the Christian Reformed Church, 300 Primrose Drive S.E. Medicine Hat on Saturday, December 2, 2006 at 2:30 P.M. with Pastor George Koopmans officiating. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Medicine Hat Christian School Society, 68 Rice Drive S.E., Medicine Hat, Alberta T1B 3X2.
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