Bill Elisen

Bill Elisen

Saturday, May 27th, 1939 - Saturday, May 9th, 2020
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Bill Elisen ~ Suddenly at his home on Saturday, May 9, 2020, Mr. Willem Gerhardus Elisen of Listowel, in his 81st year.
Husband of Nel (VanderKruk) Elisen. Father of Lorraine & Arch Vermeer of Beamsville, Karen & Tim Bakelaar of Listowel, Rob & Carol Ann Elisen of Listowel, Marsha & Dave Timmerman of Cambridge, Sue & Mike Huizinga of Wainfleet, Doug Elisen of Listowel, Sheri & Mike Nywening of Beamsville, James & Nancy Elisen of Newton, Jeremy & Kris Bernard of Stratford, and Justin Hoffman & Rodena Roy of Kitchener. Also survived by 33 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Brother of Riek & Gerrit Scholten, Gerdi & Arend Jan Hennink, and Ria teBrake, and brother-in-law of Kees & Linda VanderKruk, Ria VanderKruk, Art & Dorothy VanderKruk, Cor & Alida VanderKruk, Anne & René Dam, Laurie & Sam vanBerkel, and Pauline & John Schotsman. Fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews in both the Netherlands and Canada.
Predeceased by his parents Jacobus & Grada (teLindert) Elisen, parents-in-law Kees & Pauline (VanLeeuwen) VanderKruk, and brothers-in-law Jan teBrake, Brammie VanderKruk, and Bill VanderKruk.

Dad was born in Eibergen, Gelderland, The Netherlands on May 27, 1939 to his loving parents, Jacobus & Grada Elisen, followed by his three sisters Riek, Ria and Gerdi. At a young age, Dad had a love for animals and farming. He loved his birds and sheep.
In 1957, when he turned 18, he followed his dreams to farm and immigrated to Canada; leaving behind his Dad & Mom, sisters and dearest friend Johan te Raa. He did not know a word of English and was determined that in order to make it in a new country, he had to eagerly immerse himself in becoming a Canadian.
Dad was sponsored by the Keunen family from Caistor Centre, ON, and he lived a short time with them while settling in. He took on any job that he could, and soon found enjoyment in working in greenhouses.
Shortly thereafter, he found a home with the Vandenberg family. He became a new “brother” to a family of 8 children. Having been an only son, he had to learn to share a bed with a “brother.” While living with them, he was encouraged by his new “brothers” to date a young woman he had met earlier, who happened to be their cousin. She became the love of his life, and they were married on June 28, 1963.
On June 1, just two weeks before they were married, Dad bought his first farm in St Ann’s, ON. While farming, Dad continued his job as a Floral Salesperson for VanStaalduinen’s, in Stoney Creek. It was during their time on the farm in St. Ann’s that Lorraine, Karen and Rob were welcomed into Dad & Mom’s life.
In 1967, Dad & Mom purchased a farm in Caistor Centre, ON. There they welcomed Marsha, Susan, and Doug into their family. Then, in 1977, the family made a major move to another farm, in Listowel, ON. There they welcomed Sheri and James into their family.
Dad and Mom soon made Listowel home. Dad was passionate about his church and community. He was active in church life, and Christian Education. Dad’s faith walk was very important in his daily life. He didn’t preach it, he just lived it. Dad loved to be out in his community. He not only served on the Perth Dairy Committee, but he enjoyed being an active member and made so many lasting friendships.
People were important to Dad. He valued the the friendships he formed over all his years with people of all ages; getting to personally know what they did. He was not a man of great lengthy speeches, but when he had something to share, he said it with compassion and conviction.
Dad loved to open his home to many; from near and afar. Visits from his friends and family from The Netherlands were a highlight in his life. He loved to show them the country he loved. He was proud to be Canadian, but he was equally proud that all his children have been to Eibergen, to see where he grew up and to meet the people he grew up with.
Dad & Mom’s family continued to grow over the years. Their 8 children married and brought new joy with many grandchild. They were also blessed to witness the marriage of 7 of their grandchildren, and they rejoiced with the births of 6 great grandchildren. The family also grew as Kris & Jeremy and Rodena & Justin became adoptive parents of 3 of their grandchildren.
On Saturday May 9, Mom’s dearly loved Husband, our Dad, and Grandpa was taken to his eternal Home. While we mourn his loss, we celebrate how our Dad had a huge impact on each of us, and on everyone he held dear.

A private family funeral service will be held at Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Listowel on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. Interment in Fairview Cemetery, Listowel.
The funeral service will be live-streamed by going to Memorial donations to Listowel Memorial Hospital Foundation or a charity of your choice would be appreciated, and may be made through the Eaton Funeral Home, Listowel. Online condolences may be left at
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Service Details

  • Service

    Thursday, May 14th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Thursday, May 14th, 2020 11:00am
    Bethel Christian Reformed Church
    345 Elizabeth St. E.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    A private family funeral service will be held at Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Listowel on Thursday, May 14, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. The service will be live streamed by going to
    Pastor Ralph Wigboldus
  • Interment

    Fairview Cemetery
    875 Davidson Ave. N.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: THE LISTOWEL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL FOUNDATION.


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Private Condolence
Ken and Sharon Weitzel sent flowers to the family of Bill Elisen.
Guaranteed hand delivery by a local florist

Tena Boven (nee DeRuiter)

Posted at 09:50pm
Dear Nell and family
So sorry to read about your loss. I enjoyed the many times I connected with Bill when he served on various boards associated with OACS. I pray that you will feel God’s comforting presence as you walk these days and in the weeks ahead.

Emily DeMol

Posted at 08:31pm
Uncle Bill and Tante Nellie always had smiles on their faces whenever we saw them! I remember going to the farm to play as a kid. I always felt welcome. Uncle Bill will always have a special place in my heart. Our prayers are with your family as you grieve a special man.

Julie Emond

Posted at 06:48pm
My sincere condolences to Nell and family on the passing of Bill. Wishing you much strength for the future.
Julie Emond, Monkton.

Mark TarBush

Posted at 12:25pm
I have known Bill and Nel for many years. Your obituary caught his penchant for his telling of his story about arriving in Canada and the adventures along the way. I share conversations about those stories as well. I do send sincere condolences to you and can say very sincerely that i will miss our conversations.

Nick Van Berkel

Posted at 12:20pm
We mourn with you all and send our deepest condolences. I have many wonderful memories of Uncle Bill and his love of his nephews and nieces. Whether it was 'helping' on the farm, or seeing up-close and personal what the freshest of milk tasted like if getting too close when he was hand milking a cow, he was always quick with a joke and a laugh. May God be with you all during this difficult time.

Nick and Emily Van Berkel and family

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