Mary de Jong

Mary de Jong

Sunday, October 16th, 1932 Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

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Obituary for Mary Louisa de Jong

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our much loved Mother and Grandmother Maria Louisa Johanna (Riet) de Jong (nee van den Burg) on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 in St. Joseph's Hospice surrounded by her family.

Riet was born in Tilburg, The Netherlands on October 16, 1932 to Frans and Cornelia van den Burg. She was the second eldest of 9 children and the first daughter. This pride of place in the family made her a second mother to her 8 siblings which they all remember with fondness and appreciation. On October 13, 1956 she married her loving husband of 62 years John de Jong, and together they embarked on a great journey, immigrating to Port Arthur, Canada in 1957 on the ship “The Grote Beer”. It was here that they created their own family by first welcoming a son, followed by a daughter and then, with great surprise, twin girls! Riet was the true definition of a home maker. Her home was always filled with smells of delicious cooking, fresh baking every day, the sounds of her sewing machine or the clacking of her knitting needles. If she wasn’t in the house, she was outside tending her gardens and beautiful yard. When the grandchildren came along she was only too willing to help with their care, inventing all sorts of games to play with them, plying them with treats and just enjoying time with them. In the Netherlands her siblings always said that if you wanted to know what was going on in the family you just had to call Canada because they knew Riet would have been keeping up with all of them and always knew the news from the family. She never stopped being “second mother” to all of them in spite of that ocean between them. Riet also had a quiet kindness about her that she displayed whenever someone was in need. It could be playing secret Santa to children that otherwise would not know Christmas, cooking and cleaning for a friend in need or weekly visits to a friend in a nursing home. She did all of this out of heartfelt kindness. Riet was truly a good soul.

Riet will be forever remembered and missed by her children, son Frank de Jong (Sandy), and daughters Diane Nekuliak (Brad), Ingrid Britt (Donald) and Yvonne Bruno (Mimo), as well as her grandchildren Nicole (Matt), Chelsea (Kalyn), Brody, Tyson and Nicholas.

Riet is also survived by her sisters Nettie Mateijsen, Hanny Tinnemans (Jan) brothers Jac van den Burg (Henny) and Frans van den Burg (Renee), Sister in law Jo Scherders of the Netherlands, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and in-laws, all in the Netherlands and the United States

Riet was predeceased by her husband John in 2018, parents Cornelia and Frans ,2 sisters Wies and Corry and 2 brothers, Ad and Piet, as well as numerous beloved in-laws on both the de Jong and van den Burg side.

As per Riet’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private internment for the family will be held at a later date.

Thank you to the staff of Jasper Place for all their great care and concern for our mother over the years. A special thank you to the staff of the Hospice Unit at St. Joseph's Hospital for the wonderful, compassionate care they provided to Riet and for all they did to go above and beyond to ensure all of us could be with Mom during her final days. Thank you as well to Aparna of the NWLHIN for making sure Mom’s needs were put first.

If friends so desire, in lieu of flowers, a donation in memory of Riet may be made to The Underground Gym, Thunder Bay. Online condolences may be made at

To plant a memorial tree in honor of Mary Louisa de Jong, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Silvana Rizzo

Dear Yvonne, Diane, Frank, and Ingrid and families; please accept our sincerest condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Silvana & Luccio Rizzo
Comment | Posted at 09:05pm via Condolence

Suzanne Wice

To Frank & Sandy, Diane & Brad & family, and of course, Ingrid & Don & Nicholas, and Yvonne & Mimo & Brody & Tyson: We are sending our prayers to you all. We hope that one day soon, your memories of your family get togethers will bring a smile, rather than tears.
Sincerest condolences,
Suzanne & Alan Wice & family
Comment | Posted at 04:17pm via Condolence

Anna-Marie Pugliese-McDevitt

Frank and families. My sincerest condolences on the passing of your mom. May she rest in peace and may you find comfort in knowing she is now home with your dad and her family.... Remember to keep her memories close to your heart.
Comment | Posted at 01:56pm via Condolence

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