With great sadness, we announce the sudden death of Antonius (Tony) Bekkers of Lanark, Antigonish County at age 75 on Thursday, June 19, 2014 in St. Martha's Regional Hospital, Antigonish, NS. Born in Sint-Oedenrode, Holland, Tony immigrated at age 12 with his family to Canada in 1952. In 1956, his family moved to the current site of Sugarloaf Holsteins.
Tony's life was spent developing the family farm, first with his father, Gysbertus, until 1965; then with his brother, John until John's retirement in 1988; and finally with his sons, David and Gordon. After his family, the growth of the farm was his lifelong passion. He spent every day caring for his dairy herd and cultivating and maintaining properties he loved, both farm fields and gardens. Tony truly enjoyed the fulfilment that came from hard work and instilled this quality in others. Progressive and forward thinking, he was a quiet leader in the farming community. He was always willing to adopt new technologies and methods. He served on the Board of Directors for Farmers Dairy and he was a long-time member of the Federation of Agriculture and the Eastern Nova Scotia Holstein Club.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary (MacIsaac) and their children, David (Denise), Maria McCurdy (Andrew), Gordon (Tara) and Lisa Poehl (Greg), 11 grandchildren whom he held very dearly: Adrienne, Rachael and Peter Bekkers; Therese, David, Christopher and Meaghan McCurdy; Baileigh and Mallory Bekkers; Benjamin and Kathryn Poehl. Tony is also survived by his brothers, Henry (Mien), Marinus (Joanne) and Martien (Janet) and a large extended family.
Tony was predeceased by his parents, Gysbertus and Fredreika, son Steven, in infancy, sister Maria, in infancy and brother John.
Visitation on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at MacIsaac's Funeral Home from 2 to 4 pm and 7 to 9 pm. Mass of Christian burial on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 10 am at St. Ninian's Cathedral, Antigonish, NS. Reception to follow. Family flowers only. Donations in Tony's memory may be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association.