On July 13, 2011, God took Hillenius (Len) Ayolt Hettinga home to live with his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Len was born June 2, 1925 to Jochem and Willemien Hettinga and was raised in the Netherlands.
As a young adult, he experienced first-hand the trials of war. After WW II, he studied tropical agriculture in Deventer, where he met his wife, Maria Groenewegen. They were married on Dec. 9, 1949 and immigrated to Canada in 1950.
They started out working in Manitoba, later moved to Saskatchewan, and then returned to Manitoba, where he learned the carpentry trade in Brandon.
In 1964, Len and his family moved to Devlin, Ont. They enjoyed living there for 36 years before moving to Emo, Ont.
Len continued his carpentry career in Rainy River District and had the privilege of working with many wonderful customers, workers, and tradespeople.
Besides work, he enjoyed horseback riding, golfing, sailing, rowing, skiing, and tennis. He shared his interests with his children and many others.
He built the family cabin on Lake Despair and took joy in teaching others how to windsurf. He and his wife felt blessed when their lake home was enjoyed by family and friends.
Len served in various capacities within the Emo Christian Reformed Church. Recently, he enjoyed the men’s breakfasts and Bible studies at the Calvary Baptist Church.
Len used his construction skills for various mission projects, and also supported many outreach and community projects of various mission organizations.
Len will be remembered by his wife as a loving and faithful spouse, by his children as a devoted and supportive father, and by his grandchildren as a source of inspiration.
Len was predeceased by his son, Harold John Hettinga (1958) and his brother, Johannes (1960).
He is survived by his beloved wife, Maria, of 61 years; son, Fred (Janie) and children, Justin (Tammy), Joel (Lana), Mark (Kerstin), and Benjamin (Lorenne); daughter, Wilma (Jack) Esselink and children, Kris (Katy), Joanna, Jacob (fiancé Jenna) and Kerrilyn; daughter, Joanne (Andy) Van Beek and children, Jocelyn (Jeff) Marble, Colin, Reuben (Chantel) and Shawn; son, John (Grace) and children, Daniel (Alyssa), Sarah (Ryan) McInerney, and Rachel; adopted son Stewart; and the family of Alex and Josette Vargas.
He also is survived by 10 great-grandchildren.
A family burial took place prior to the memorial service, which was held on Saturday, July 16, 2011 at 11 a.m. from the Emo Christian Reformed Church, with Pastor Rafik Kamel and Pastor Conrad Dueck officiating.
A luncheon followed.
If friends so desire, in memoriam donations may be made to the Emo Health Centre c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.
Online condolences may be offered at www.northridgefuneralhome.com