Ary Spaans Jan.15,1925 - Nov. 4, 2012 Born in Scheveningen, The Netherlands Ary left us to be with his beloved Lily. Even after Sixty-five years of marriage, he just didn't want to be without her. Life was not easy for them. Living in The Netherlands during World War 2, Ary was picked up by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp in Horbach, Germany, as a labourer. After his release, emaciated and suffering from TB, pleuritis, and blood dysentery, he somehow made his way back to Holland. No one thought he would survive but he fooled all. In 1952, with 3 children in tow and $90.00 in their pockets, the family landed at Pier 21 in Halifax and took the train across Canada. Ary remembered the kindness of strangers, as fellow passengers got off at various stops and returned with food for the young family, who stayed locked in their seats. Ary had secured a job in Telkwa but an immigration official recommended he stay in Prince George. They lived in a series of shacks and Ary held a succession of jobs as an electrician. With $300.00 saved he started building his own house. It took a few years but he had the Canadian Dream. Ary loved HAM radio but later the internet, Email and Skype provided a connection to the outside world. In the last 10 years, he fought heart attacks, bypass surgery, bladder cancer and prostate cancer, just so he could live and take care of his beloved Lily. Now he can rest. He leaves behind his daughter Irene (Don) and sons Jan and Peter. The family would like to Thank Dr. Mann and Corinne, Dr. Jamieson, the nurses at UHNBC and PG Rotary Hospice. Also a great debt is owed to his close friends and neighbours who stepped into the breach when the family couldn't. Ary hated funerals and just wants you to remember him with happiness and love.
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Published in The Prince George Citizen on November 6, 2012