Anna Haaksma

Anna Haaksma

Jan 14th 1943 — Jan 19th 2023 (80 years)

Biography

With great sadness we’ve said our last good-bye, given our last hug and kiss to Mom, Nana, sister Anna Haaksma. Days after celebrating her 80th birthday Anna went to her Heavenly home where there are no more burdens and she is complete once again. Anna was predeceased by her parents Klaas and Tina Pool, brothers Minne, Bill, Wietse, Hijlke and Jack; sisters-in-law Jean, Alice and Nellie; brother-in-law Jim Kanary; survived by her sister Rita Pool, and sister-in-law Willy Pool. The struggles of the last years, especially the last months, are now past. To the end her smile made everything worthwhile. Anna was diagnosed as having primary progressive aphasia in 2017 and in the months following her diagnosis she could speak less and less. This very cruel disease left Anna unable to speak for the past 3 years. But…Anna was so much more than this disease. First and foremost Anna was a loving, always supportive mother and her children will testify to this, Tina & John, Alan, Michael & Hayley and Rita & Marcel. Each of her grandchildren brought special joy to her, Alex, Tianna & Christian; Ella, Benjamin & Scarlet; Hanna, Georgia & Hudson; Madison, Anneke & Sebastian. Anna left the family farm to become a nurse. During her training she was recognized and given the Excellence in Surgical Nursing award. Her nursing career included time at the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital in the ER, Princess Margaret Hospital where she learned that no-one should ever be left in pain and for the most part, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. Anna was the most caring nurse and would comfort and soothe anyone. Her last nursing job was with the elderly; Anna excelled at it and loved her people. Her biggest pet peeve…bed sores! Her admonition: I better never ever have one. Anna was central to the lives and growing up of her children, spending time in cold rinks watching figure skating and playing hockey. (She could get a little feisty if she thought the refs weren’t doing their job.) She was a momma bear, fierce in defending each of her children against any slight or fighting for anything that they wanted. There was no one more important than her children. With that ferocity she loved her grandchildren also, none of them will ever forget their Nana! Anna was a natural (it seems) hostess! She loved being in her own home entertaining family and friends. Her excellent dinners, with the table over-laden; a baker of great skill (no one made carrot cake as good with double the icing, loved her Apple Dapple Cake, and lets not forget her date squares); always willing to share a drink and some goodies with anyone who would drop by. Her baking success was to double anything sweet that was called for in the recipe! Another great trait of Anna’s is that she could hunt out any bargain and loved shopping at thrift and second hand stores. Her china cup & saucer collection is wonderfully extensive but for herself it was always a mug of coffee. A Tim’s large was good, when she wanted to watch her weight she changed from cream to milk (as if she ever had to worry). Meeting up with friends at Tim’s was one of her joys in later years, spending lots of time nursing that coffee. But…then she found out that she also liked McDonald’s coffee and it was cheaper there for seniors! A cousin from Holland, younger by only a week, reconnected with Anna 30+ years after the family had immigrated to Canada and what a special joy that was for Anna. A 70th birthday celebration with Henny and the other Hennie was so special to her. All the evenings, whether here in Canada or in Holland, playing games and having a drink or two were wonderful times that Anna remembered with great fondness. All of her cousins, close to her in age, were greatly loved by her. Friends were so important and she was completely loyal to each and every one. Her bosom buddies included childhood, nursing school, fellow nurses and former neighbours that she had known for years. The mother of one of her daughter’s friends became a loved companion and when she moved away, there was a big, empty spot. Travels with G were special treats. Anna was her sister’s biggest champion but always Anna was the big sister, “just take my advice”. Rita was Anna’s biggest cheerleader but could only offer opinions, no advice! Regardless, there was no one that could ever come between them. This has to finish…she’d be so annoyed that it is this long and so ?laudatory?, but that was our Anna…someone to celebrate; this woman who loved unconditionally and always found something good to say about anyone. Love was what she always wanted to share. Just as Anna wanted, she lived with her daughter Rita, Marcel and kids in her last years where she was spoiled, lovingly cared for, and guess what…no bed sores!!! The last year also included Lily, a wonderful caregiver and one who cared for and was so special with Anna. As Anna wished, cremation has taken place and there will be no funeral service. To help researchers, including her wonderful neurologist, to find out more about her disease Anna’s brain has been donated for study. To remember Anna…love everyone, be kind to each other and always put your family first. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to support a couple of programs that helped Anna and that she enjoyed being involved with in the years before covid-19: Acclaim Health - Burlington - Adult Day Program or Victorian Order of Nurses - Hamilton, Respite Care for Seniors Program. Anna also participated in and was supported by the Halton Aphasia Support Group. Forever in our hearts, memories will keep us chuckling and Anna will never be forgotten! But Anna would say: Don’t remember me with sadness, Don’t remember me with tears, Remember all the laughter We’ve shared throughout the years. Now I am contented That my life it was worthwhile, Knowing that I passed along the way I made somebody smile. When you are walking down the street And you’ve got me on your mind, I’m walking in your footsteps Only half a step behind. So please don’t be unhappy Just because I’m out of sight, Remember I am with you Each morning, noon and night. Anna Johanna Haaksma née Pool January 14, 1943 to January 19, 2023 Born Drachtstercompagnie Friesland Netherlands Passed Burlington Ontario Canada Lived nearly all of her adult life in Oakville Ontario Canada

Notes of Condolences about Anna

Rita Pool

2 months ago

Christmas 2023

Our first Christmas without...it's very different. I miss you so much. Love you so much!

John Home

a year ago

It has been few months since Anna has passed. My sincere apologies for my late submission. My mind and heart were not in a good place to this justice.

Anna,Nana Haaksma. Kind , loving generous. There are a thousand adjectives to describe this lady. I have had the sincere privilege of knowing her and have been married to her oldest daughter for over 30 years. I actually met Anna by crashing my shopping cart into her at Costco. Tina had not told her folks about me yet. Her reaction was quite startling. She was very polite, yet at the same time gave me the evil eye as to say- what the heck are you doing buying groceries with my daughter? A little explanation had to be made and quick.

Anna excepted me, as with all her kids mates. Always loving and caring., rarely a bad word spoken. Her love for people was not just limited to her own family. She and Tina were both there for my father when he was very ill and at our home. She spent many days and nights with my good friend Hopes mother Helga in her dying days. I will never forget and be forever grateful.

Her nursing skills aside, we were very fortunate to have Nana to help with all of our kids. She made countless dinners for us all when we were spent as parents. My kids love for ice cream and baked goods will always be traced back to her.

I lost my mother at a very young age. I could not have been more blessed to have a lady such as Anna fill that void. I have laughed, cried and drank a lot of wine with her, solving world problems along the way. Not only was she a great Mom but also a great friend. It has been an honour and privilege to have known and loved her. Till we meet again. I hope you find my mom and have a glass waiting. We still have a lot to discuss! Peace

Rennie Boersma

a year ago

Anna and I were also elementary school classmates. We were also neighbours and almost always walked to school together along with our siblings and other neighbour kids along the way. We were the big kids in the little school Annie, Anna, Lila, June and I; and later the small sprouts in the big school ( High School). After school most of us kept in touch somewhat, but not as much as I would have liked, with each of us going in different directions. Through the elementary years we had lots of fun, fights, and laughs. May you rest in peace. Rennie

Anne Veenkamp

a year ago

Anna and I had a very special bond during our grade school and high school years. We took turns having lunch at each other's homes in between church services. During the summer holidays we would vacation over at each other's homes. The visits were always filled with laughter and good food and a few pranks in between. Anna was always competitive in the area of sports putting all her energy into it. We often got into mischief at catechism classes and young peoples and tried the patience of our school teachers by being giggly teenagers. In the later years when Anna moved away we connected by phone . She was always so thankful for her good health and never took it for granted. I will always cherish those conversations even though towards the end it became so difficult for Anna to put her thoughts into words. She was a friend with great strength and courage always seeing the good in others. She will forever be cherished for her kind heart and willingness to help others. Rest in peace dear friend.

Alan

a year ago

What's my memory? Well, my memory is not that good anymore, which I got that from my mom. We were lucky, my mom's memory was either going or she had selective memory, to have put up with a naughty bunch of children like us Tina, Michael, Rita and me growing up. Bennington Gate has never been the same or will be the same since we left. Mom gave us a beautiful home, filled with fun and laughter, championship gardens and memories that I know we all cherish. Mom left her stamp on Bennington Gate, driving through the garage, sending us to Beaty's Variety with a note to buy her smokes and and her stupid rules around the pool. Mom always said, "no one was allowed in the pool when I am not there". Growing up none us could understood her logical. Our mom could drowned in a bath tub, she could never swim and if she tired to save someone it would be over for both of them.


Our mom always had her struggles with cars, keep in mind though, she got her drivers license by driving up and down the driveway at the family farm. Oakville was the big city for her, on her way to work one day at Haak, there was a detour. Nana was never late for work and didn't show up that morning. At 11AM she finally called from Milton and said she had no idea how she ended up there. One day, Nana ran out of gas and I remember it took a while to find her but we found her, she was heading down the exit ramp on to the QEW in the wrong direction. Another time, Nana's car burnt down in front of the Fire Station. The fireman said, "she drove bye with flames coming out of the hood", so they followed her in the fire truck for three more blocks before she pulled over. Whenever Nana got a new car there would be a few months of unrest. All of us have had to go rescue her when she'd try and get into somebody else's car, thinking it was hers. After a few months she'd figure it out. I know I shouldn't bring this up but Nana also sling-shot Rita out of the Corvette when she was young. We just don't talk about it anymore.


Our mom taught us how to have a good time. Evenings at the A'mega where her favourite. It was like everyone had a free pass to just let loose especially her. I am not sure what it was about Neil Diamond or Nearly Neil but those nights were special, she was fire.


Were are so fortunate to have so many memories but equally important to have had a role model and mother like her. She is one of kind and it's so sad she gone. You only meet someone like her once in a life-time. Tina, Michael, Rita and I have been given there most incredible gift and the incredible honour of calling her our, Mom. Alex, Tianna, Christian, Madison, Anneke, Sebastian, Ella, Ben Scarlet, Hanna, Georgia and Hudson you are just as fortunate, Nana is an Angel, looking over you now.


Durdos Family and Tante Rita, thank you a million times.


Love you all













Hanna, Georgia and Hudson Haaksma

a year ago

She loved us endlessly, thoroughly and tirelessly. She lives on through her grandchildren as her spirit of kindness, love and patience can be seen in each of us. Love you forever Nana!

Michael Haaksma and family

a year ago

I must express my gratitude to my sister Rita, and her family, Marcel, Madison, Anneke and Sebastian, as well as my Tante Rita. It was their sacrifices that allowed all of us to have extended time with my mom.


These extended years provided my kids the opportunity to grow up with their Nanna and acquire irreplaceable physical memories our family will forever cherish.


Admittedly the last few weeks have been difficult. I know my mom is in a better place but my heart doesn’t want to accept reality. Then, I hear my mom say, “it is what it is.” When I reflect on my childhood my mom’s presence was the only consistency. We entered many challenges together, but somehow it all worked. My mom taught me to:


Believe in myself.

My mom taught me mistakes happen, failure happens. Learn from your mistakes, learn from your failures and don’t be afraid to try again.


Have Compassion.

My Mom listened without judgement. She gave without expectation. She helped out because it was the right thing to do. She was honest because there was no other way to be.

“Bed sores” would never exists if she had her way. But she gave up her career as a Head nurse to support her family.


Be Authentic

My Mom was a free and authentic spirit. She didn’t stand behind restrictive social walls we all like to build. If she wanted to say or do something she did. Instead of judging people, she thought to understand them.

My Mom taught me to have courage over comfort.


While I cannot measure up to Mom, she is my inspiration to help me become a better man, a better husband, a better father.


Thank you, Mom!


I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to hold my mom’s hand when she passed. It was peaceful, calming, reassuring, just as she wanted it to be.


I will forever miss you, Mom!

Best MOM ever. Love you forever!

Michael and family

Rita Pool

a year ago

To My Sister…

I’m blessed to call you sister,

I also call you friend;

You’ve loved me unconditionally,

And stood through thick and thin.

You’ve shared my joys and sorrows,

My laughter and my tears.

You’ve been my inspiration,

As we grew up through the years.

When we were little children

We laughed and played together;

Then growing up you stood by me,

Through good and stormy weather.

There’s something God has given us,

That’s more than family;

He’s placed a love for you, my Sister,

Deep down in the heart of me.

By Allison Chambers Coxsey


Miss you so much!!! Love you forever!!!

Louise Lise

a year ago

So true….dear Anna will not be forgotten. A very special cousin indeed. She made everyone feel so special…always the big smile and tight hugs.

Rest in peace Anna…good and faithful servant.

Lily

a year ago

Oh, Anna. You were such a big part of my life these past two years. From the first day we met I knew you were special. I got to know you through the many memories your family shared with me. I was so honored to have been able to care for you until the end. I hope my caregiving skills were up to par with your standard of care ;) I heard you were a no-nonsense nurse so I tried my best to care for you the way you had cared so deeply for your patients. Rest well my dear Anna. Until we meet again.

Barb Proudfoot

a year ago

Anna and I started nursing school together at St Thomas Elgin General Hospital Sept 11,1961. That was the beginning of a lifelong friendship! Anna was a farm girl from Wyoming,Ont and I was a city girl from London,Ont. I learned about life on the farm visiting some weekends! We lived in Residence with 10pm curfews. If you weren’t going to make curfew we would put a stick in the back door so we could get back in! That way the House Mother Ruby wouldn’t catch us being late for curfew! Living together with our 42 classmates we had lots of good times and many friendships. Anna was a caring,compassionate nurse with strong convictions who always had a smile!

Our friendship continued as we married and raised our families, getting together when we could. We would always attend our reunions every 5 years. Getting together with our classmates it was non-stop talking!

She was very blessed to have a close caring family allowing her to stay home til the end. I know she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

I will miss you Anna! Your big hugs, your smile, and your wonderful friendship.

Love and big hugs to you Anna!❤️❤️ Barb


RuthBaldwin

a year ago

Anna was one of my head nurses on 3 east at O T M H.

She was a very compassionate nurse ,ready to give her all and always a smile.

That’s how I will remember her ,the smile and twinkle in her eyes.

Off duty we ,the staff had much fun with lunches and Hosp dances.

I will always remember you .

COLIN POOL

a year ago

Here are some of my memories of Tante Anna (my dad's sister). Her door was always open for company. She always cared for you and treated you like you were so special. Our family loved to visit and listen to her laughter and partake in her amazing hospitality. There are two things that I have taken from her life; one is be nice to others, share what you have and give them the best you are, because everyone needs a friend. Two....the pedal on the right is called an accelerator for a reason....use it. The world today certainly needs her love and compassion....lets all do our part!

Jaime Volk

a year ago

So many memories spending time at the house with mike and Rita over the years! Such a strong and kind lady who always made everyone feel like they were a part of the family. Thoughts are with the whole family 💕💕

Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts

a year ago

Anna was a classy and elegant lady. Her calm demeanour always brought a sense of peace when she entered a room. She was soft spoken and always had a smile in her face. The love for her family was evident and she had a way of being in the world that made others feel comfortable. When you live your life fully, as she did, when you are surrounded by those who love you till the end, then you leave this world with the certainty that you did well. She has left us, but her memory, anecdotes, experiences and lessons, will remain forever in the hearts and minds of those she loved the most. Rita, Marcel, Madison, Anneke and Sebastian, you have given Anna the most beautiful gift: your love. In return, she will be watching after all of you.

Nikki Ide

a year ago

Anna, you are a spirit beyond your stature, larger than life, and always an inspiration for your integrity, strength, compassion and love. You were always guiding all the children that surrounded you with your quiet and loving nature and values. It is no surprise we all flocked to your home; friends and family, near and far and forever. I feel so blessed and thankful to have had you in my life, as an influential adult and elder in my life, for so long, and my children's lives too. Thank you for all the gifts you have shared with your family and community - I will remember you with love when I see your gifts live on in Rita, her family and children and all of us who were fortunate enough to have known you. Just as you were an angel on earth, you will now be an angel in Heaven...until we meet again...xoxo

Rita and Marcel Durdos

a year ago

Thank you mom for all you have given me and our children. I am so proud to be your daughter and will cherish our memories forever. Your continued love and support for me and everyone around you are true gifts in my life. Your love, integrity, compassion, empathy and our friendship will never be forgotten. You have inspired me to be the best person I can be each and everyday. There are no limits and always reach for the stars. I love you mom and I will miss you everyday. I know you are now at peace with your Saviour Jesus. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Angeles

a year ago

I had the honour to see our families come together following Rita and Marcel love for each other.

We shared many moments talking about the amazing family they have built and commenting how lucky we were

for having such incredible opportunities to see the their children grow up.

Madison,Anneke and Sebastian were your joy ,each and everyday. You selected your family to spend the last stage of your journey and they embraced you with tender care and dedication.

You were loved till the last breath ,and now you rest in peace.I know you will watching for all those you love from heaven

My friend , so feel light and keep guiding us and lighting our path.

You will forever in my heart and prayers .

Madison Durdos

a year ago

I am very proud to be a granddaughter of Anna. She was an amazing person to be around and I am so grateful to have been so close to her. She spent the past 4 and a half years living with my family and I. She always made me laugh, and she never failed to put a smile on my face. She was one of my biggest supporters, and she always believed in me. She would take me to some soccer games and was always there to cheer me on. One of my favourite memories is her taking me to Baskin robbins to get ice cream. She always had coupons for it, and the ice cream was always amazing. She is an amazing human being, and I am so proud to say that I am now following in her footsteps. I am in my second year at Univerity in the Nursing program. I know she is and will always be proud of me. I love you so much Nana, and you are now at peace and you will always be in my heart forever.

Till we meet again xoxo

Anneke Durdos

a year ago

I am so honoured and proud to be a granddaughter of Anna. During the past four and a half years, she lived with my family and I. Her presence was great to have around. Her smile was always contagious, and she never failed to make you laugh. As a child, she called me her feather. On some occasions, she would take me to and from school. My siblings and I would spend some nights at her house, where she would take us to Harvey's for dinner and later to the lake for a walk. In her old house, she would host family dinners where she served homemade lasagna and salad to everyone, but the kids would eat mac and cheese with chicken nuggets. As far as carrot cake goes, I will always remember hers as the best I have ever tasted. In spite of the fact that she wasn't able to do much physically when she moved in with my family, she was still an amazing person to be around. Any room she entered would be brightened by her presence. Having her as a Nana is something I will always remember, and I am happy that she was mine. You will never be forgotten by me, I love you so much.


Comments Awaiting Approval:

Approved Comments:

Rita Pool

John Home

Rennie Boersma

Anne Veenkamp

Alan

Hanna, Georgia and Hudson Haaksma

Michael Haaksma and family

Rita Pool

Louise Lise

Lily

Barb Proudfoot

RuthBaldwin

COLIN POOL

Jaime Volk

Mercedes Rowinsky-Geurts

Nikki Ide

Rita and Marcel Durdos

Angeles

Madison Durdos

Anneke Durdos

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