Obituary of Robert Bob Dekker
Robert (Bob) Dekker has left his home in Kitchener, Ontario and is now residing in his forever home. Left to mourn is his wife of 47 years, Karen (Hallman), daughter Marilyn, both of Kitchener and son Glenn (Samantha) of Parry Sound.
Preceded by his parents Geerdina and Pieter Dekker, and his brothers Rev. Dr. John Dekker of Baltimore, Maryland, Peter of Kincardine (formerly of Listowel), and Hans of Goderich (formerly Guelph). Survived by nieces and nephews and their families.
Born in Bussum, Holland during a bombing attack on November 3, 1940. In 1948 he came with his family by boat to Canada. First to St. Ann’s, ON where they learned English, then to a farm outside Guelph. Robert attended Watson school and GVI, and the family worshiped at Barry Hill United church. Lifelong friends were made here.
After moving with his parents to Kitchener, Robert finished school at KCI. He worked at the Cluett and Peabody shirt factory and Raytheon. In the 1960’s he started his own business Duraclean Services, cleaning by hand rugs and furniture. He sold his business in the early 80’s when cleaning machines were introduced. He did not feel that they did as good of a job and left wool carpets wet!
Bob and Karen met at Lincoln Heights Missionary church in 1965 and married there in 1975. When Marilyn and Glenn arrived, Karen went back to her work at Sears Canada and Bob became a mister mom! Once they were in school, he went to Conestoga College to become a nurse.
Both children were in school, what was he going to do? A neighbour told him that the city was looking for crossing guards – so he put in his name in.
Well, the call came, he took the training and the first day of school found him crossing children over one of the busiest corners in the city – Homer Watson Blvd and Pioneer Park Dr.
Around this time each February, the city of Kitchener proclaimed a red nose day to brighten the dreary month. So, Bob got a red nose. He had soooo much fun that day that he wore it every day! Every day, everywhere! (Even to church and when in the hospital!) He always got a smile back and children would laugh and dance! Almost everywhere he goes in the city he gets a “hello” from former students he had crossed. He was even nursed by one of them!
Another way he found to make people smile and encourage them, was to wear a tee shirt with a message. Last year his tee shirts, red nose and smile gave many fellow patients at Jurovinsky Cancer Centre, a bright spot in their day.
Bob’s mother instilled in him a love of music. Saturdays she took him to a variety of concerts. He sang in each church choir, as they moved, often singing solos and in quartets. He joined the Schneiders Male choir, traveling with them to England and Europe in 1995. They sang in several churches including the Notre Dame Cathedral.
He and Karen also were a part of the Gloryland Chorus. Singing concerts in various venues. Dear friendships were made.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to Erb & Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street S., Waterloo. Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Thursday June 29, 2023 from 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. A Funeral Service will take place at Cedar Creek Community Church, 2042 Dumfries Rd. Cambridge on Friday June 30, 2023 at 10 a.m. Internment will take place at Johnson-Eramosa Union Cemetery, 8149 Side Rd 20, Rockwood.
In lieu of flowers, donations to International Fellowship of Christians and Jews of Canada can be arranged through www.erbgood.com