HANS CHRISTIAAN VAN DE WERFHORST
1943 – 2023
Announced with profound sorrow, ‘Hans’ died in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, January 20, 2023 at age 79. Cherished son of pre-deceased parents, Jeannette née Hengstman (1999) and Frank van de Werfhorst (1997), caring brother of pre-deceased sister and brother, Fenny Russell (1962) and Gerrit Johan (2001), and surviving siblings, Beerd Frank of Montreal and Margreet Jeannette Christine of Sydney, Australia.
Hans was born November 11, 1943 in Gemeente Hellendoorn, the Netherlands; the family immigrated to Canada July 11, 1951, “...exploring distant horizons and diverse possibilities, facing unforeseen challenges…searching for the self and the promise of tomorrow.”
Hans passed his youth and was educated at Gault Institute, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec. By age 15, he achieved a Queens Scout-Canada award in the Red Room of L’assemblee national du Quebec, and came first running the mile race in 5.01 minutes - Legion’s Chateauguay Regional School Track and Field competition, May 26, 1961.
Employed for four years at Allied Chemicals and Goodyear Tire Corp., there was gradual realization and desire to expand his horizons, leading to attendance at Sir George Williams University (Concordia), Montreal, achieving a Political Science Degree by 1969. A unique highlight of his university experience was summer employment as an archeologist’s assistant, Canada National Historic Commission, at the 1790’s British Military Post's excavations at Coteau-du-Lac, Quebec in 1966, and subsequently, at the historic First Nations Village, the Yuquot Project, Friendly Cove, British Columbia in 1967. In the spring of 1968, two university friends and Hans hiked up the Alaska-Canadian Highway to Whitehorse in search of adventure and summer employment. Upon graduation, Hans relocated immediately to Whitehorse to eventually become Parks Workshop Foreman, Renewable Resources, Government of Yukon.
His major craftsmanship accomplishment included design and construction of two homes, in Riverdale and Whitehorse's outskirts. Hans' hallmark personal traits included loyalty, determination, and attention to detail. With annual visits to his parents residing in Elgin, Quebec and siblings in Montreal, San Francisco and Sydney, he remained enraptured by, “The Spell of the Yukon” until the end of his life.
Final arrangements and a May “celebration of Hans’ life” in Whitehorse is to be coordinated by Heritage North Funeral Home, Ms. Jennifer Groot and at the family’s “Immigrants to Canada,” grave site Mount Royal Cemetery, Outremont (Montreal).
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