Obituary of HISTORY OF TONY BLOKKER
Healer of our every ill,
Light of each tomorrow:
Give us peace beyond our fear,
And hope beyond our sorrow.
Tony was born in the Netherlands, the seventh of ten children. At an early age, he showed curiosity for knowledge outside of the local Dutch tradition; so at age 24 he emigrated to Canada as a farm hand with his young wife Lise. The year was 1954, and by 1955 he enrolled at the Radio College of Toronto. In the summer of 1956, he was recruited by the Defense Training Board of Canada as a civilian instructor at the Clinton Air Force Base, where airmen were taught radar principles for the operation of the DEW and Pinetree Lines. Together with Lise and young son Jim, he settled in Goderich.
In 1966, as the father of six children, he made the move from Goderich to London, where he had acquired a position as an instructor at the Ontario Vocational Centre, later known as Fanshawe College. He taught there for 28 years, eventually becoming Coordinator of the Electronics Engineering program. At the same time he managed to complete a BSc. in Computer Science at UWO, receive his P.Eng. license from PEO, and earn a Master’s Degree in Management Sciences from the University of Waterloo. His family also continued to grow, finally numbering nine children.
Tony’s interest in all things engineering rubbed off on his children and especially his grandchildren, five of whom have chosen it as their field of study. Other members of the family work in areas as diverse as medicine, psychology, art, law, computers, and mathematics. They have also spread out across the country, from Victoria to Charlottetown, and even across the ocean, to Germany. Tony was proud of them all and credited a good deal of their success to the loving wives and husbands they found.
For Tony the keys to success were, above all, intelligence and hard work. It was these qualities, together with the opportunities offered in Canada that enabled him to build a comfortable life from very humble beginnings. After retiring in 1993 he enjoyed many peaceful years exploring his other interests, including playing music, canoeing with Lise watching the stock market. Old age finally caught up with him. In the end, he was comforted by the compassionate and exemplary care from Lise, frequent visits by children, their spouses, and grandchildren, as well as the bird feeder that hung outside his window.
~~A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us; and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and quiet breathing.
Spite of despondence; yes, in spite of all
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall.