Henry Westendorp

Henry Westendorp

Friday, January 1st, 1943 - Sunday, March 15th, 2020
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HENRY JULIUS WESTENDORP, a resident of Harriston, Ontario, and more recently of Caressant Care, Arthur, passed away on March 15, 2020. He was 77 years old.

Henry was predeceased in 2017 by his beloved wife Willa Westendorp (nee DeJong). He was the cherished father of Julius and Colleen Westendorp of Wingham, Elden and Julie Westendorp of Drayton, Jared and Kate Westendorp of Clinton Township, Michigan, and Ezra and Robbie Westendorp of Harriston. He was the dear grandfather of Josephine, Nathan, Carly & Eric, Shaelyn, Justine, Hannah, Evan, Rachel, Emma, Benton and Hayden.

Henry will be fondly remembered by his sister-in-law Lynne Westendorp, and also by Willa’s siblings: Tena Geerts, Jacob and Hazel DeJong, Helen and John Cappon, Wynne Vandezande, Tom and Sally Posthumus, Betty and Peter Mostert, Mary and Sy Wassenaar, Elaine DeJong, Ida and Henry Lunshof, Nancy and Gerrit deBoer and Lillian Buesink, as well as a great number of nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents Rein and Aaltje Westendorp, his siblings: Donald and Susan Westendorp, Joseph and Margaret Westendorp, John and Lenore Westendorp, Annie and Ralph Postma and Edward Westendorp, and also by Willa’s parents: Benne and Ida DeJong and Willa’s siblings: John Geerts, Marguerite and Peter DeVries, Gerald Vandezande, Jessie Posthumus, Allan DeJong and John Buesink.

In light of current events, the family has made the very difficult decision to restrict the funeral arrangements to a private funeral service and interment.

The family is so very grateful to the staff of Caressant Care, Arthur, for their compassionate care for Henry, and also to the pastor/members of Palmerston Christian Reformed Church for their support.

As expressions of sympathy, donations in Henry’s memory to Diabetes Canada, Listowel Christian School, or Palmerston Christian Reformed Church appreciated, and may be made through the Hardy-Lee Funeral Home, Harriston.

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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, March 21st, 2020 |
    Saturday, March 21st, 2020
    Palmerston Christian Reformed Church
    400 Whites Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    In light of current events, the family has made the very difficult decision to restrict the funeral arrangements to a private funeral service and interment.


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Winnie winkel

Posted at 12:13pm
Dear westendorp family. Our sincere sympathy on the passing of your dad. We’re sure a lot of music will be played during this difficult time as your dad was very talented with music. In our prayers sincerely Hank and Winnie Winkel

Joan Hogg

Posted at 09:01am
Sending our sincere condolences on the passing of Henry. He was always a kind gentle soul, trying to raise money for good causes with his love and passion of biking, Always proud of his family and leading them with wonderful Christian values. Sincerely, John and Joan Hogg, Harriston


Posted at 11:09am
Note from the Family: Due to the need to have a private funeral, we're adding this brief summary of Henry's life story, which we would have included on the church bulletin if we had a public funeral.

Henry Julius Westendorp was born on January 1, 1943 in Chatham, Ontario. He was the 6th and youngest child born to Rein (Ray) and Aaltje (Ellen) Westendorp. He grew up on the family farm in Raleigh Township, southwest of Chatham, until he was 11 years old, when his parents sold the farm and moved the family into the city of Chatham.
Henry attended a one-room schoolhouse for his elementary education. One of his teachers was an excellent music instructor, and in his early years Henry developed a love and talent for music, which blessed him and many others for his entire life. Henry attended several high schools in Chatham. After high school Henry worked for a year or so for the Toronto-Dominion Bank as a teller. In 1961, when he was 18 years old, he took the SATs and started his post-secondary education at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
While he was schooling at Calvin, Henry returned home with his buddies almost every weekend, so he could visit his girlfriend Willa DeJong, from Wyoming, Ontario, who he had begun dating earlier that year. Henry and Willa knew each other through their churches’ combined youth group events.
In September 1964, before he had even completed his college degree, Henry began his teaching career. He taught for a few years at Calvin Memorial Christian School in St. Catharines, Ontario. It was during this time, on November 27, 1965, that Henry and Willa were married.
In 1968 Henry decided to work on completing his degree, so they moved to Grand Rapids where he did his practice teaching at Jenison Christian School, outside of Michigan. Later that year, Ottawa Christian School recruited Henry to begin teaching there, even though he still hadn’t quite finished his degree. In the summer of 1969 Henry completed his last few credits at Carleton University in Ottawa, and obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Calvin College.
That same summer, Henry and Willa’s first son Julius was born. Their second son Elden was born in 1971.
In 1973 the family moved back to St. Catharines, where Henry began teaching at Beacon Christian High School. Willa stayed at home to raise their growing family, and during their time there they welcomed their 3rd and 4th sons, Jared in 1975 and Ezra in 1976.
In 1977 the family of 6 moved to small-town Harriston, Ontario, because Henry was hired to teach at the nearby Listowel Christian School. He taught there for 11 years, until 1988, when his chronic back issues caused him to stop teaching.
Over the years Henry and Willa welcomed 4 daughters-in-law and 12 grandchildren into their family.
From the time he retired from teaching until around 2015, Henry contributed his time and energy to countless causes. He always generously volunteered for his church and local Christian school. He was the cheerful bus driver for countless groups of school children – elementary and high school kids – to their sporting events and class trips. He canvassed and did other administrative work for Diabetes Canada and other charitable organizations. He incorporated his passion for bicycling into fundraising events – for Cycle for Kids, Camp Shalom, and many more, but most memorably in 2005 for the Sea to Sea campaign (to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Christian Reformed Church in Canada) when he biked coast-to-coast from Vancouver to Halifax.
In 2005 Henry and Willa downsized to a smaller home, still in Harriston. In around 2011 it became noticeable that Henry was starting to sometimes forget persons’ names, or events, and in 2014 he was diagnosed with dementia. In September 2017 Henry moved to the Caressant Care nursing home in Arthur, Ontario.
On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Henry was called to his eternal home by his Saviour in heaven.
Henry did not have an easy life. As a child he dealt with family conflicts, and several serious illnesses and injuries. As an adult he endured several serious back and hip surgeries. He lived with chronic pain for most of his life. Despite those difficulties, Henry was a loving and compassionate person. He was a man of faith – and he lived out his faith in real, tangible ways. He was beyond generous, with his time and finances. He had a heart for the people in society that most other people choose to ignore. And he loved his family – immediate and extended – so dearly.
Henry was dearly loved by his many family members and countless friends. He will be tremendously missed.

Shawn Futher

Posted at 08:52pm
Elden, Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your father. My heart goes out to you and your family in your time of sorrow

Christine Allison

Posted at 02:08pm
So sorry to hear of your Dads passing Eldon. My thoughts are with you and your family.

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