Antonie (Tony) Vandekamp, 71, passed away on Saturday, June 8th in the Hospice Unit at Trillium Lodge in Parksville, BC. Tony was born May 10, 1948 in Zeist, Holland to Antoni van de Kamp and Wilhelmina van de Kamp-Woudenberg.
Tony leaves his wife, Ruth (Silversides): daughter, Genesta (Brian Newell); son, Brian (Mackenize Nixon); grandchildren, Liliana (Newell) and Elijah (Newell). He is also survived by his family in Holland; brothers, Jan (Henriette), Dick (Tjeerda); sister, Hanny; and eight nephews.
Tony immigrated to Canada in 1972 to pursue a career in aviation. He lived and flew in Surrey, Penticton, and Kamloops before settling in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan in 1974. Tony obtained his Airline Transport Rating VRA pilot licence, which he was very proud of, and worked as a flight instructor, ground school instructor, and charter pilot.
In 1978, he became a Canadian Citizen and carried his citizenship card in his wallet for the rest of his life showing it off saying "I can prove I'm a Canadian, can you?"
After flying as a charter pilot for Graham, he joined Canwood Mechanical, one of the Graham companies, in 1979 as an Estimator, putting to use his early training as a plumber with his father. Tony retired 30 years later as the Chief Estimator for the Graham Group in Calgary in 2009. He loved Graham and the people he worked with. He truly wore the "Graham Tattoo" with pride.
Tony and Ruth moved to Parksville in 2009, where he enjoyed 10 years of retirement, cooking, classical music, long walks, and a beer in the backyard. "Happy Friday", because when you are retired, everyday is Friday!
Tony's family would like to thank the Admiral Tryon neighbours, Dr. Papo, Dr van der Weyde, the wonderful nurses who provided care during the past year, BC Cancer and Oceanside Hospice.
A Celebration of Tony's Life will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, June 13, 2019 in the Serenity Room at Yates Memorial Services, 1000 Allsbrook Road in Parksville. Please bring your favourite "Tony story" to share as we all have one.
Tony requested that, in lieu of flowers, those wishing to honour his memory consider making a donation in his name to either the Oceanside Hospice Society, BC Cancer (PNET Research), Haven Society, or Save The French Creek Estuary Lands.
Tony will be missed and remembered for the unique and wonderful man he was.