It is with broken hearts that we announce the passing of Judy Ann Ida May Van Hoek (nee Thompson). Daughter of Robert and Eva Thompson of Selby, sister of Ted, Terry (Pat), Jim (Sylvia) and Thressa Hand. Judy was an Aunt to many nieces and nephews too. Judy is predeceased by her parents, her brother Ted, his wife Roxie, her niece Laura, her brother-in-law Grant and her daughter-in-law Allison. What a party she is having right now!
She is survived by her husband of 48 years, Andy Van Hoek, their three children, Dan, Jason and Kelly and her daughter-in-law Lisa and son-in-law Scott (Laidman). Over ten years, 11 grandchildren joined the family. Lukas, Max and Jack by Dan and Lisa, Kayla, Leah, Anna, Aaron and Andrew by Jason and Allison and Talia, Evan and Adrian by Kelly and Scott. There was a grandchild (or two, the twins), born every year from 2005 to 2011, followed by Evan and Adrian in 2013 and 2015.
It is important to note here that my Mom had an uncanny ability to remember everyone’s birthday and birth year. This is an impressive feat when you consider how big the family is and this included many friends and acquaintances outside the family. It was another part of her talent to make everyone in her circle feel special, loved and remembered.
Nothing made my Mom more proud than her grandchildren. Each one was as special as the last and she doted on each one individually. Besides her final chats, her last gift to each of her grandchildren were hand-painted, crafted signs. Each sign spoke to the personality of the grandchild and had a unique message. Throughout her life, my Mom has given generously and thoughtfully. Mom put time and thought into all of her gifts for family and friends. Over the years her artistic nature helped her create many homemade items that can be cherished for years. She made quilts, baby blankets, crib sheets, fleece blankets, duvet covers, custom pillow cases, capes, bibs, sashes and dozens of personalized scrapbooks. The countless weeks, days and hours she spent organizing, cutting and chronicling the photos of our lives into scrapbooks will always be appreciated. In today’s digital era, she made something we can sit down and take the time to flip through and remember. If you have the time and desire, please share your stories and pictures about my Mom, I plan to make her a final scrapbook.
It would be remiss if her amazing cake decorating talents were not mentioned. Every birthday that we can remember, my brothers and I anticipated our delicious and artfully decorated birthday cakes. It is a craft that we (me and my brothers) have yet to perfect, to match her talent. As with any death, there are a few things that left this world with my Mom. No one can beat her apple pie, it was simple, but somehow uniquely hers. I know my Dad will miss these pies. She also made strawberry jam (almost) every year that I can remember. Going berry picking was and is a right of passage in this family. We will continue to find berries to pick, but no one can duplicate her jam.
When she wasn’t mothering (which was almost never), a few things my Mom enjoyed were watching movies and t.v., reading, colouring, having coffee with friends, shopping, going for drives and fishing with my Dad and relaxing at home. It is also important to mention that she was a mother and grandmother to many cats (and two dogs) over the years too. Animals loved her kind spirit and demanded her undivided attention (much like her husband, kids and grandkids).
Many may think that my Mom’s death was sudden and unexpected, this is hard to qualify. It wasn’t that simple. Her sheer will, strength and hope carried her through many complications and hospitalizations. Quite simply, she was not ready to go. Until she was. On Thursday I dyed her hair (she always kept it dyed, some fun colours combinations over the years too), ordered some new clothes online and planned to swim in my new pool this summer. Later that evening she went to the hospital, but true to her nature, demanded to go home after a treatment. She was home by Friday afternoon. I had the chance to have a nice evening and chat with her. I was hopeful, as she always was, that Saturday would dawn with her feeling a bit better. That was not the case, with her head clear and her mind made up, she asked to be taken back to the hospital. By Sunday she was ready to leave the body that refused to bend to her will. She called her friends and relatives and had final visits with each of her children and grandchildren. She was not beaten by her illness and went out on her own terms. Already sleeping and comfortable (free of pain), she left this world after an impromptu dance party with me, Scott (the inside man), ten of her grandchildren and her grand-dog. With Scott holding her hand and listening to the Beatles she took leave of this world only 30 minutes after dancing in the sunshine with her family. Mom loved music and dancing. If you feel the need to honour her memory, turn up your favourite song and invite her to dance with you. Be free, happy and joyous. She will be there with you, always.
My Mom’s death has left a hole in our family that is impossible to fill. She was the hub that connected us all. Her love and selflessness was all encompassing and constant. She was always there, to listen and offer advice or her opinion (whether you liked it or not). More often than not, she was right. My Mom was a quiet but powerful force for good. She touched many lives, even complete strangers were known to get a hug from her when nothing but compassion was needed. My Mom rarely, if ever, felt sorry for herself during her life’s journey. Her mental fortitude made her a safe place for all that needed a haven when the shi* hit the fan (her favourite saying). It was a privilege to know her and learn and grow from her. Her journey was complete and she promised us all she will continue to look after us from heaven. Of this I have no doubt, as she was always a person on whom you could depend.
As per my Mom’s wishes, a small celebration of life will be held at a later date. For those desiring, memorial donations to Lennox and Addington County General Hospital are welcomed by our family. I would like to acknowledge all the staff that supported my Mom during her time at LACGH (past and recent). The whole family appreciates your dedication and compassion during this difficult time for our family. We are forever grateful that my Mom’s dying wishes were granted during these unprecedented times. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
During these strange times, this obituary will have to serve as both a eulogy and ceremony for my Mom. I hope it brings you some peace and healing as you navigate your loss.
Much love and light,
Kelly Van Hoek (daughter)
Arrangements are entrusted to Milestone Cremation Services. 130 Richmond Blvd. Napanee, ON, K7R 3Z7 613-354-0694, www.milestonecremation.ca. Memorial donations, letters, pictures, stories and notes of sympathy can be mailed to Milestone Cremation Services.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Judy Ann Ida May (Thompson) Van Hoek, please visit our floral store.
Lennox & Addington County General Hospital Foundation
8 Richmond Park Drive, Napanee ON K7R 2Z4