PAULINE (Apolonia) BRAAK
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Lord took home to be with himself one of his faithful followers, Pauline Braak, who was born on June 12, 1930 and who peacefully passed away at the age of 89 in the Bulkley Lodge on Monday July 8, 2019.
Pauline was christened Apolonia Nieuwenhuis in Freisland, The Netherlands, but everyone called her Plona. She immigrated to Lethbridge with her parents and 6 siblings after the Second World War but this did not deter Hendrik Braak; he left his family with the hope of renewing their relationship. In May of 1953 they were married before the Lord and surrounded by family and friends. They moved into a 2 room house that Hendrik, a trained carpenter, had built on his in-laws property.
They were blessed with 6 children; Corry (& Cindy) Braak who live in Orlando Florida, Betty (& Mark) Bandstra in Smithers BC, Sid (& Debra) Braak in Calgary AB, Pete (& Debbie) Braak in Lethbridge AB, Hermina (& Gerald) Vanderkwaak in Smithers BC, and John (& Marlene) Braak in Lethbridge AB.
The little house grew by a few rooms but it never acquired indoor plumbing so after the last child was born, Hendrik purchased property in the Fairview subdivision, put in a concrete block basement, moved the house over and finally installed hot & cold running water plus one bathroom.
Besides her family, Pauline’s greatest joy was reading Christian authors, attending worship services, discussing the Holy Bible with her dad and sharing her faith with her children. Knitting was the practical way that she could share her love; at first she knit many beautiful articles of clothing for her kids and grandkids but later she made blankets for homeless shelters.
The family grew to include 15 grandchildren; Carly, Christi, Danielle, and Cassidy Braak. Tamara, Theo, and Darcy Bandstra. Kyle and David Braak. Natasha, Neil and Christina Vanderkwaak. Shaun (deceased), Jennifer and Kevin Braak. Pauline could only be convinced to travel if it included visits to see the kids and grand-kids. Fortunately for Hendrik that included places like Orlando FL, Ottawa ON, and Fort Nelson BC.
Pauline’s sister, Shirley DykmanV died in 1968, her dad, Siebren NieuwenhuisV, in 1978, her mom BotjeV (Postma) in 1980 and her beloved husband of 46 years, HendrikV, died in 1999. She continued to live in her Lethbridge home surrounded by siblings StanV (& RiaV), JohnV (& AnnV), Tina (& John ProceeV), Pete (& Marj), and Sid (& Martha). Her brother-in-law, Herman V (& MargrietV) Dykman, who lived in BC, also visited regularly. Her own family expanded with spouses for the grandkids and 25 great-grand-kids.
In 2012, due to her cognitive deterioration, the family home was sold and she was moved to Smithers where her two daughters, Betty and Hermina, live with their families. After three years of loving care in Hermina’s home, Pauline finally had to be moved to the Blueberry wing of the Bulkley Lodge. Pauline’s family is very thankful for the care that the staff at the Bulkley Lodge also gave to our mom. The contentment that came from her trust in her Saviour, Jesus Christ, never wavered and she peacefully left this earthly body on Monday July 8th to go to the place prepared for her in Heaven. It is a day she has been anticipating with great joy. Her ashes will be interned next to her late husband in Lethbridge AB, and a service in the Lethbridge Maranatha Christian Reformed church will take place in August. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” Phil. 1:21.