Dick GrootAugust 4, 1933 ~ March 5, 2017 (age 83)
Dick was born to Pieterman and Ida Groot on August 4, 1933 in Andijk , the Netherlands. He was the oldest of six children. His family immigrated to Canada in 1938 and they settled in Houston (Barrett). When Dick was in his early twenties he moved to Smithers. He bought a portable sawmill and soon acquired more equipment and spent many years logging to make a living. In 1958 he married Hennie Veenstra., He always credited her for her constant encouragement and support in all his business endeavours. In 1971 Dick purchased the planer mill from Pete Dieleman, and in the years that followed, he and his brother Norman worked hard expanding the business with a new sawmill and planer mill. Dick had a keen sense of business and was always ready for a new challenge and in the early 1980’s he and Jack Kryger built Northwest Panelboard. The vision of this business was to use the log chips instead of burning them and create a viable commodity. Dick also enjoyed spending time at his mining claims in and around the Smithers area. In the early 1990’s, after selling D. Groot Logging and Northwest Panelboard , he relocated to an office in town and became semi-retired.
Dick was a content man with an optimistic, quiet nature. He had a great love and devotion for his family. Dick and Hennie had six children and received many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Dick also served and contributed to his church and school community, which were both dear to his heart. One of Dick’s greatest joys was that he and Hennie could sponsor two families from Sudan (the Jada’s and the Loki’s) and help them have a peaceful life here after the struggles in their own country. Dick loved visiting with them and his own children after church on Sunday mornings.
In his early 70’s it was becoming apparent that Dick was suffering from dementia. Thankfully, the disease progressed very slowly and Dick was still able to live a very good life. Two years ago, as the disease progressed and Dick needed more care, he was lovingly moved into the Bulkey Lodge. This was one of the hardest decisions the family had to make, but much time was spent visiting with Dick there.
As a family, we feel incredibly blessed for the wonderful husband and father God has given us. A man who we loved and respected for his gentle strength, his loving guidance and his down to earth wisdom, he loved life and was ever so thankful for every day God gave him. He always considered himself greatly blessed. Our greatest comfort, even in the deep pain of seeing dad go thru dementia, was his firm faith in God. Dad never wavered in his faith, he always knew where his help came from (Psalm 121). Over the last few years we experienced so many grace-filled moments, and had so many wonderful times of fun and laughter with Dad. Memories we will always treasure.
We would like to thank Dr. Flynn and the nurses and care aides at both the Bulkley Valley District Hospital and the Bulkley Lodge for the outstanding care and compassion provided to Dad over the last 5 years. Many thanks also to those who visited, offered words of encouragement and supported Dad and our family through his dementia journey!