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Born: March 27th, 1925

Passed in: Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Passed on: December 1st, 2013

The family of Jack Kerssens is sad to announce his sudden passing on December 1, 2013. He died peacefully at home with his wife Ria at his side.

He was born on March 27, 1925 in Assendelft, Holland and emigrated to Canada in 1953 with his cousin Lou. He soon met and married his true love, Ria deDood, in 1954. His first job after arriving in Canada was as a farmhand. He then found employment in the forest industry as a logger.

Wanting to be home every night with his young family, he started working at the Canoe Saw Mill near Salmon Arm. It was here where he nurtured an interest in employee rights and to be the voice for his fellow workers. Soon he became a business agent for the IWA and then was elected President of the Union. After his retirement in 1989, he was appointed as an arbitrator for the Employment Insurance Board of Referees and also served on the B.C. Assessment Board.

Jack's love was volunteering and he was a 30 year member with the Kamloops District Labour Council. He was also very involved with the Child Development Center, YMCA and was on the Board of Directors for both Community Futures and the Thompson Valley Savings Credit Union. The one organization that was most dear to his heart was The Kamloops Hospice House, being a founding board member since 1981. He was also a life long NDP member. Both Jack and Ria have been members of Sacred Heart Cathedral for many years.

He will be greatly missed by his wife Ria of 59 years. During the last 10 years Jack was devoted to her with her ongoing health concerns. He is also survived by his children and grandchildren: Catharina (Harry), Sam and Adriana; Elsie (Bernie), Sarah, Kurtis and Nathan; John (Robyn), Chris and Jacob; Margaret (Pete), Alyse, Erika, Brandon and Mikayla. He is also survived by his brother Ton and sisters Gre, Joop and Riet in Holland, as well as many relatives in both Canada and Holland.

Jack was a man of strong character, always willing to lend a hand and offer advice to others. For those who knew him, they were always met with a hearty greeting.

He will truly be missed.

Prayers will be on Friday, December 13th at 7:00 p.m., with a Memorial Mass being held Saturday, December 14th at 1:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral, 255 Nicola Street, Kamloops, B.C.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Jack, can be made to the Kamloops Hospice House 72 Whiteshield Cres. South, Kamloops, B.C., V2E 2S9.




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