Marinus Leonardus (Ron) Verkerk
1939 ~ 2008
Ron Verkerk was born in the village of De Ronde Venen, Holand in 1939. The first child of Marinus and Dora Verkerk, he was christened Marinus Leonardus Maria Verkerk, He would be joined by a sister and a brother Thea and Hans in the next few years. These were the war years in Holland and Ron had many interesting stories of how the family survived the scarcity of food and materiel.
His senior school years were spent in Trade School where he developed his love of working with his hands in metal work, mechanics, and welding. After finishing school Ron worked in a mechanics shop fixing cars and motorcycles until the family left for Canada in 1956.
Eventually Ron acquired a job with the Macmillan Bloedell Pulp and Paper mill in Powell River where he worked for the next 18 years. During this time he met and married Lynda Wager with whom he had three sons. In 1977 Ron moved his family up to Lone Prairie, B.C. where, from scratch he began to develop a ranching operation. He began working at the Bullmoose Coal mine in 1985 first on the blasting crew and then as a heavy equipment operator. Ron loved his job driving a bulldozer and worked at the mine until it closed in 2003.
After retirement, Ron spent his time developing his ranch and visiting with his friends and family throughout the Lower Mainland, Calgary and Edmonton. Ron loved sitting around a campfire, Chinese food and his grandchildren. Ron will always be remembered for his huge Cowboy boots, belt buckle and his letters to both the Chetwynd Echo and Western Producer. Ron is survived by his oldest Son, Ken and his wife Melanie. Ron’s second Son, Warren and his wife Carol and Ron’s youngest Son, Aaron and his girlfriend Corrine. Ron had seven Grandchildren; Megan, David, Kalie, Sydney, Danielle, Blaire and Kali.
On a personal note:
Tex, as he was known in Lone Prairie, moved onto the ranch to the south of us when I was 8 years old. Our two families soon became good friends and neighbors.
Yesterday my dad said the single word that described Tex was Integrity. In the 31 years that we ranched side by side there was never a concern about an animal going missing or a deal going sour. He prided himself in maintaining good fences and asked that his neighbors did the same. He was always willing to put the work in to meet this goal. Part of the legacy that Tex leaves is that you can see that same integrity loud and clear in his three boys.
He was a great neighbor and he will be missed!
Eulogy presented by: Steve Rainey
A memorial service was held on Monday, March 10th at 2:00 pm from the Chetwynd Baptist Church. Pastor Bill Evans officiated. Interment followed in the Tuscoola Mountain Cemetery.
Very Respectfully, Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium