Richard Hubert Josef Van Laak

Richard Hubert Josef Van Laak


Born in Marsberg Germany November 5, 1926 passed away at Kelowna General Hospital February 3, 2013

at age 86. Left to carry on

his memory is his wife

Hazel, six children; Johanna Goodson, Gabriela Van Laak, Catherine Rice, Arlene

Hildred (Rick), Geninne

Fitzgerald (Dale), and Kevin Shaver (Monica): seven grandchildren, Luc Goodson, Heather Hildred, Jeremy Hildred, Jacob Fitzgerald, Carrie Fitzgerald, Victoria Robert, and Tynon Shaver. Richard will be missed by his mother in law May Blenkarn, as well as

his brothers and sisters in laws and many nieces and

nephews. He leaves many relatives in Germany as well. Richard is pre-deceased by his parents, sister Hanna (2012), brother Hein (2012), first wife Elfrida (1985),

son Greg (1989), and son in law Edward Rice (2000) .

To celebrate Richard’s life, his family will be holding an

open house on Monday, February 11 2013 from 1-4 pm

# 32-1874 Parkview Cres. Please feel free to stop by to

re-tell the stories he can no longer tell. In his early years Richard left Germany to travel the world while working on cargo ships. He had never ending stories about his

adventures from around the world. One time he went

snorkeling at a deserted bay in Fiji and then he took a

rest on the beach. A local arrived later and asked him if

he had been in the water, Richard told him yes and said

that it was one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen. The local called him crazy because silver tip sharks where known to cruise that bay and that was why the bay was deserted. After arriving in British Columbia Richard

said his heart just felt it was home. He settled and had a family. He had a small acreage in lower mission for many years and loved working on it. He was a life long animal

lover and was able to have many on that land. In his later years he worked as a Chef, as an instructor at Okanagan College, and later at the local Toyota dealership detailing cars. Richard had a constant thirst for knowledge. He never stopped wanting to learn and always was sharing that knowledge. He could always be found by just listening for him humming. His heart sung all the time. He loved music, but had a special spot for jazz. He spent hours reading

and clipping “the most important things” out of newspapers everyday. He loved nature and anything to do with nature. As a younger man he spent a lot of time hiking, camping and skiing with his children. He treated everyone he knew with kindness and respect. He was loyal and was a great

listener and gave wonderful hugs. Mostly he loved his

family and they adored him whole heartily. His legacy

will live on through his kids and grand kids because of

his stories and his lessons. “Saw the sky and started walking” Walk on Husband, Dad, Grandpa. We love you.

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