April 16, 1925 – March 4, 2019
Jan (John) Jacobus Denhamer passed away peacefully Monday, March 4, 2019 at the age of 93.
John is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Joan (Ferguson), his two sons, Peter (Janet) and Fergus, and grandchildren, Julie, Andrew (Jenny), Michael, Tyson, Kyra and Liam; and two great grandchildren, Casey and Isamu. He is predeceased by his two brothers, Jacobus (Co) and Frans, and two sisters, Jopi, and Elizabeth (Betsy) Van Wielingen.
John was born in Samarang, Indonesia to Pieternella (de Meester) and Andries Pieter den Hamer, both of whom were born in Holland. John spent his formative years in Lombok Indonesia, where his father managed a rubber plantation as part of the Dutch East Indies Company holdings.
Caught up in the war, John and his family were in a prison of war camp from 1942-1945. Surviving and recovering from this experience, as part of the Dutch Army, he was soon engaged in the struggle that followed WW2; which finally lead to Indonesian independence in 1949.
After liberation, John moved to Australia where he met his love, Joan. John received an Education degree from the University of Queensland; achieving athletic records, as a high jump and javelin specialist, which stood for several years after he graduated. Golf became one of his passions and there are many family stories of how golf became an integral part of our family interactions.
In 1966, the family moved to Canada and found the Columbia Valley. John became the School Principal at Canal Flats and loved teaching and working with new teachers and students. He left a lasting legacy in the community as demonstrated by their close friends, including the number of people who would greet him in his daily activities in Fairmont Hot Springs. As an avid tennis player, instructor, and golfer, he was known for his competitiveness and for many years being able to shoot his age in 18 holes of golf.
John was very well read and travelled, spoke multiple languages, enjoyed cooking, played competitive bridge and chess up to his last days and loved to keep up with current world events; John was a “Renaissance Man.” One of John’s greatest joys was watching his grandchildren grow up and being known as “OPA!”
A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life will be scheduled at a later date. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made in John’s name to the Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca) #100, 119 – 14th Street NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1Z6. Condolences and memories may be forwarded through McPherson Funeral Service. www.mcphersonfh.com.