Hengeveld remembered as busy, sociable man

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The Register/Advertiser

Gerhardus (Jerry) Hengeveld

KENTVILLE - Gerhardus (Jerry) Hengeveld is being remembered as a busy, sociable and active man at his Kentville church.

The 81-year-old Waterville man died March 25 when his car went off a ramp and into the water of St. Ann’s Bay of the Englishtown ferry in Cape Breton.

“One of his passions would be singing,” Pastor Bert Vanderbeek at the Kentville Christian Reformed Church said. Hengeveld sang in the church choir for services and during visits to local nursing homes.

Regardless of weather, Hengeveld regularly attended services and activities at the church. He was at a Bible study group just two days before the ferry incident.

“He seemed to have a deep love for the church and everyone there.

“He was a very quiet man but I wouldn’t say that he was unfriendly,” Vanderbeek recalled.  “He had a deep love for his family and his grandkids.

Hengeveld was sociable, Vanderbeek noted: “He always seemed to be out visiting someone. He loved to get out and he loved to get out and visit with friends and family.”

Family members have said the busy senior enjoyed travelling, which is why it took five days for him to be reported missing to RCMP.  

Vanderbeek said Hengeveld kept in touch with friends and family in Cape Breton, where he first lived after immigrating to Nova Scotia in the late 1940s or early 1950s, and may have been visiting people in the area.

How and why he drove into the bay might remain a mystery, but the pastor said he was glad to hear the car and Hengeveld’s body were recovered by divers April 2 so there might be some closure for the family.

“It was kind of a shock and very odd circumstances and very troubling,” Vanderbeek said.

There will be a memorial service for Hengeveld April 7 at 10 a.m. at the  Kentville Christian Reformed Church

Jennifer Hoeg - Kings County News

Organizations: Kentville Christian Reformed Church, Kentville church, RCMP

Geographic location: Cape Breton, Englishtown, Nova Scotia

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  • Stena Carter Cook
    April 06, 2013 - 22:59

    Deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. Hengeveld. What a terrible way to lose a loved one and not know just how this happened. Know he was a God fearing gentleman and it would appear that the Lord had need of him in his heavenly home. God's blessings to all!