Obituary of Rika van Hardeveld
Rika van Hardeveld passed away in the early hours of Thursday, January 25, 2024. Those who were fortunate enough to have met her knew her to be a kind, caring and compassionate person.
Rika was born in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, June 3, 1950 to Willem and Gijsbertje van Klompenburg. Her younger brother Herman completed the family in 1952. Rika was a fun and adventurous young woman who met the love of her life, Lee van Hardeveld. After a two-year courtship, they were married in February 1971. They were a happy couple, and their family grew when their first child was born. Jai van Hardeveld arrived one year and one day after their wedding.
Rika lost her father, Willem, in 1976.
Their second child, Tamara van Hardeveld, was born in 1977. The following year, they travelled to Canada for a vacation to visit family, including Janny Kramer, who was her cousin and best friend. They enjoyed their time there, and Lee wanted to stay right away. They went back to the Netherlands and immigrated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1979.
Adjusting to life in Canada was not easy for Rika. She didn’t speak English and spent some time at night school and watching TV to help her learn. During her time at home, she loved to cook and bake and took great pride in her home. Anybody was welcome at any time. She had more than a few friends stay while they were going through difficult times. The people at their church knew they could count on them to help in times of need.
Rika lost her mother, Gijsbertje, in 1988.
Rika was wonderful with children, especially babies. She ran a day home where countless infants, toddlers, and children received her tender love and care. She loved nothing more than seeing a baby's first smile, hearing a first word, and watching a first step.
Rika was a voracious reader, gardener, and collector. We couldn’t even keep track of how many angels and nutcrackers she amassed over the years! She loved music and dancing. Her feet would tap anytime she heard a good tune.
Lee and Rika moved a lot. They were always looking for a new adventure, making lifelong friends wherever they settled. After Saskatoon, they moved to Regina. Career opportunities for Lee took them back to Saskatoon and then to Nova Scotia; however, they missed the connections they had made in the Prairies. They moved back to Regina before relocating to the Netherlands. When they heard Tamara was expecting their first grandchild, they made every effort to return to Regina.
The grandchildren, Ryler, Grayson and Isabella, were the light of her life. She looked after them when Tamara went back to work and loved attending as many of their sporting and extracurricular activities as she could until her health deteriorated. She spoke often and lovingly about them.
At the end of her life, Rika was surrounded by family. The family is very grateful for the amazing staff in the Palliative Care unit at Regina Pasqua Hospital.
Rika died peacefully in her sleep.
Rika (Mom and Omi) will be greatly missed.