VAN DER BIJL, Wilhelmus Gijsbertus Josephus - Wilhelmus Gijsbertus Josephus van der Bijl (known to all of us as Bill). Beloved husband, father, opa, brother, uncle, friend and neighbor. He was born on April 23, 1927 in Amsterdam to Abraham and Maria van der Bijl-de Vlieger. Bill went to school in Amsterdam until the age of 15 at that time he quit school to work on the family farm growing potatoes, sugar beets and grains. At the age of 17 he joined the Military and was stationed in Indonesia where he served for a year and half, during that time he was injured in a motorcycle accident and discharged, he then returned to the family farm. Bill was a good mechanic and loved to tinker on cars, his father wanted to buy him a car garage, but Bill saw an ad in the newspaper for workers in Canada and the adventure was too enticing for him. So off to Canada he went in 1949 where he worked on a grain farm in the Melfort area. During the winter months he worked at a logging camp in B.C. During his time working on the farm he met Jim Hermus and Jim Wyne. As years went on Jim Wyne and Bill purchased a farm together and Jim convinced Bill to meet his sister. So off he went back to Holland to entice Audrey Wyne to marry him, with his good looks but mostly by the big cowboy hat he wore. They were married on February 25, 1960 in Holland. Upon arriving in Canada, Bill and Audrey lived in Melfort for about three years, at that time they had their two sons Will & Jim. When Audrey’s brother moved off the farm and into town Bill and Audrey moved out to the farm where they lived until Audrey’s passing in 2007, Bill stayed at the farm and moved into Diefenbaker Place in December 2013. Bill was still quite active in the farm at this time, harrowing and bring out parts when called. The boys knew that their dad’s priorities were starting to change when they phoned for parts and his answer was “Sure, but after my shuffleboard game.” Bill and Audrey loved playing cards with their friends and neighbors and also enjoyed curling. He drove many miles to take his boys to hockey and it was a rare treat to stop at McDonalds for a fillet-of-fish. As the grandkids came along he enjoyed taking them to hockey and soccer. After the passing of his wife he started going out for coffee more and kept himself busy curling, swimming, cards, shuffle board was an active member of the seniors club. He enjoyed circle-a-word puzzles and liked to hook rugs to keep his mind busy. After moving to Melfort he started driving seniors to their appointments, always willing to help someone. Bill’s faith was very important to him, a long-time member of The Knights of Columbus, hospitality ministry and he very seldom missed going to church on Saturday night. Bill will always be remembered for his strength and courage, even up to the last hours which he stayed so he would be able to hold his first great grandson. We believe that dad is on a new journey in Heaven. Left to cherish Bill’s memory are: his sons Will (Shelley) and grandsons Dylan, Dayne and Dayton. Jim (Susan) and grandson Chad (Kendra), great grandchildren Parker and Hudson and granddaughter Becky (Lane); sisters: Agnes and Tiny, brothers: Jan, Gerry and Ted; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and friends. He was predeceased by his wife Audrey, parents Abraham and Maria van der Bijl - de-Vlieger, brothers Kees and Ben, brother-in-law Art Vink, sisters-in-law Joke van der Byl and An Blom.
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