Van was a very special, dynamic man. He has touched many people around the world with his pure sense of strength and honor. He never backed away from a problem, always facing them head on and always seeing them through to the end.

Yes, he was little rough around the edges, but true and sincere in all his deeds and in all that he did. As a friend you could always count on him to stand by you through thick or thin.

His free spirit carried him around the world. He worked in Mouse Port, Louisiana as a commercial diver, in Papua New Guinea building homes for CUSO, as a wrangler in Australia, as a carpenter in Port of Spain, Trinidad and he worked on way too many projects to count throughout British Columbia.

His love was building specialty homes. Van didn’t like building (as he would always say) “square box houses, they’ve got to have some damn character”.

He was born in Calgary, Alberta and was raised along the rivers and valleys around Terrace, climbing mountains, canoeing the wild rivers, and always exploring around the next corner.

He will be sorrowfully missed by his wife Dianne, children Jesse, August, Karter, Lenora, Theron, Tricia, Russell, Shannon, mother Lenora, father August, brother Graham (Charlotte), sisters Carol (Keith), Ora, Shireen (Roy), Cindy (Trevor), nieces, nephews, two great nieces, one great nephew, and all his friends from around the world. Van was predeceased by his brother Ross and his sister Claire.

“Up here the north wind blows and warmed his soul

The jagged cliffs and the rising streams

Stirred his heart and filled him with wandering dreams”

We must remember that

“All those that wander are not lost”

Van was always about the children, he loved them all dearly, because of this his family are asking that in lieu of flowers a donation be given to the Friends of Soma fund to help the children displaced by the recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan.

Soma is a small town on the North East coast of Japan, a town much like Terrace.

Donations can be sent to the Royal Bank in Terrace care of Katherine Geeraert.

Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.