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Sophia Hoek

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Sophia Hoek

December 26, 1924 - June 3, 2014


Sophia (Sophie) Hoek, age 89, died on June 3, 2014 surrounded by loving family at her home in Cerwydden Care Centre. The youngest of five daughters, Sophie was born on December 26,1924 in Amersfoort, Nederland to Sophia Poort and Peter Walet. Known as Zus or Fietje, she was especially close to oldest sister Bep (Bertus) and their daughters. She graduated from home economics training and found work in Amersfoort during the war. While searching for food in the country-side, she met the dashing Herman Hoek and married him in 1947. They lived in Utretch when they had their first daughter, Margaretha, and struggled to make ends meet in post-war Holland. In 1953 the young family immigrated to Canada to join Herman’s brother Cor (Anne) in the Cowichan Valley and, shortly after settling in Somenos, they welcomed daughter Sonja. City-born and bred, Sophie found country life a bit of a challenge when she first arrived in the valley: outside plumbing, wooden stoves, a long walk into town for supplies, plus cows, goats, turkeys and chickens (esp bantam roosters!) to look after. Despite the language barrier, she quickly made friends with her supportive neighbours as well as in the growing Dutch community. In 1962 the family was completed by the arrival of their third daughter, Shirley-Anne.   

Sophie was a talented homemaker and seamstress who outfitted her family in fashionable creations from '$1.49-day' material and fed them nutritious meals from the backyard garden. Her freezer and pantry were always full of delicious harvests for the coming winter. Sophie loved spending time in the garden and working on her tan as she read or knitted. She was a huge reader, first using books to master English and then devouring a constantly changing stream from friends and the library. She excelled at needle-work and knitting, producing beautiful pieces well into her eighties. Sophie applied her sewing talents to many projects, from King's Daughters Hospital to Queen of Angels School. She was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Catholic Women's League, St. Edward's Bowling League, the Dutch Ladies Coffee Club, Walden House and the Red Hat Society in her later years.

After moving closer to town in 1959, Sophie walked to and from downtown Duncan for her daily errands, and she regularly took courses like Aqua-fit during her 70's and 80's. This healthy lifestyle gave her the resilience and strength to cope with health challenges later on and to bounce back with determination and a positive outlook. She had a great sense of humour and was always up for a good giggle, a social occasion with friends, or a chat over a cup of coffee and a homemade cookie. 

Over the years, she took many community courses in cooking, first aid, flower arranging and needlework, and Sophie and Herman, both excellent dancers, enjoyed taking classes in ballroom dancing. They also loved traveling, going to Mexico, Hawaii, and the Caribbean in the winter, and visiting family in Europe during the summer. As their grown daughters moved across Canada, they regularly travelled to visit and lend a helping hand in the new homes. However Sophie's true hobby was shopping for great clothing deals and wearing her finds with style and panache. She was always 'well put-together' and took pride in the details of her appearance, especially her beautiful nails. In her later years at Cerwydden, she was jokingly called 'the Diva' by those who loved her and admired her daily efforts.

Sophie moved to Cerwydden Care Centre in 2010 when her health made it impossible to stay at home with Herman. With lots of visits from family and friends and with Staff who provided her with a warm and loving environment, Sophie gradually settled into her new life. She developed special friendships with Leiloni, Mark, Maria, and Jan, as well as with her weekly travel companion, Leslie. She took part in the varied programs, such as flower arranging and morning walks, kept up her reading and handiwork and enjoyed her many daily outings.

Sophie was predeceased by Herman, her husband of 67 yrs, in December 2013. She leaves behind three daughters, Margaretha Hoek (Roger Schiffer, deceased), Sonja Milbury (Arthur) and Shirley-Anne Weber (Colin); and grandchildren Wanda Weirsma (Steve), Johanna Milbury, Janet Kirk (Kevin), Cadi Schiffer, Julia Lawrence (Chris), Jaime Weber and Mark Milbury (Claire); along with great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, all of whom provided her with much joy and laughter. Sophie was preceded in death by her parents and four sisters; she leaves behind sisters-in-law Bep Kaag, Hanneke Hoek and Anne hoek, and many nieces and nephews in Canada and in Europe.

The Hoek family wishes to extend our gratitude to the staff and administration at Cerwydden Care for their unfailing love and support of Sophie during her years with them; to Dr.Michelle Ismail and Robin Morin for their professional efforts to enrich her quality of life; to  'Roses and More' for weekly flower donations; and to Anne Hoek for her unfailing energy and support.

A Celebration of Sophia's life will be held for family and friends on August 10, 2014 from 2-6pm at The Quamichan Inn,1478 Maple Bay Road, Duncan. Please call Sonja (250-748-6397) to RSVP.  

A Mass will be said for Sophie and to honour her place in St. Edward's Roman Catholic Parish on July 27, 2014 at 10am, St. Edward's Church, 2085 Maple Bay Rd, Duncan.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre Staff

H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Tina Campagne
Relation: Friend of Sonja

Sonja, Johanna and all your family, my most sincere condolences to you all on the loss of your Mom and Grandmother on behalf of myself and the Milino Family. Our prayers and thoughts have been with your over this difficult time.

From: Bob and Carole Hourigan
Relation: As a Pet Therapy visitor (Carole)

Sonja, our sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your Mother. I will remember her beautiful smile when I visited. We will keep her in our prayers.

From: Jean Davis
Relation: Acquaintance

Dear Shirley-Anne,
I was so sorry to read about your dear Mother’s passing. When she came to my first parent/teacher interview at Alexander School, I thought that she was just the sweetest lady, and my view never changed whenever we saw each other over the years. My love goes to you and the rest of your family. Sincerely, Jean Davis (One of your “open area” teachers).

Service Schedule

  Funeral Service

Date & Time:
August 10, 2014
Beginning at 1:12am

Quamichan Inn
1478 Maple Bay Road
Duncan, BC Canada

1478 Maple Bay Road
Duncan, BC Canada

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

Thank You Notice

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