In Memory of



Obituary for Marten VanderWal

With both deep sadness and gratitude for a full and faithful life, the family of Marten VanderWal announces his passing into the embrace of his Saviour, Jesus Christ, on Wednesday, November 22, 2023 at the age of 87. Marten died peacefully at Belleville General Hospital with his beloved wife of 50 years, Rennie, and his oldest daughter Rosi by his side, surrounded also virtually by his five other children and their families.

Marten was born on January 21, 1936 in Wons, Friesland to Chris and Corinne (nee Visser) VanderWal, the younger brother to three sisters, Della Feenstra, Dorothy Visser, and Janny VanderWal.  Marten immigrated with his family to Picture Butte, Alberta in 1949, and eventually settled in British Columbia. He married Trudy Rikley in 1966, and together they had two daughters, Rosi and Wendy.  Marten and his girls said goodbye to Trudy too young, in 1970 when she passed away of cancer.  In 1972, Marten was introduced to Rennie Dykstra, and after a long-distance courtship, they married in 1973.  Marten and Rennie added to the family three more daughters, Marcia, Krista, Carla, and a son, Peter.

Marten and Rennie moved their growing family to Belleville, Ontario in 1977 where Marten worked as a contractor, eventually beginning his own carpentry company and building their family homes in Foxboro, Ontario.  Marten made many connections in the community and built his reputation as a reliable carpenter, hard worker, and strong man.  Marten was a faithful member of Maranatha Church, and supporter of the Christian Schools. He had a competitive edge, and delighted in (winning) a game of cribbage, euchre, dice, darts, or pool against his family members. He was also a bowler, and enjoyed a good game of lawn darts, horseshoes, or sjoelbak (shuffleboard). Marten enjoyed going to auctions, scanning through the Shoppers Market, and later buying and selling on Kijiji, all in the name of a good deal, and was a regular volunteer at the Belleville Thrift store, making sales and directing renovation projects.  He found the strength to work on the projects that were meaningful to him, for as long as he was able, and liked to do a job himself, building and taking care of his home and gardens and helping his kids with projects as well. He knew whom to ask for help for the jobs he wasn’t good at, and had good friends in different trades over the years, whom he trusted and respected, many who helped with the building of his final house at the age of 82.

Marten took great pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren and had a deep love for his family. He is lovingly remembered by his wife Rennie (nee Dykstra), and children: Rosi & Dan Ouellette, Wendy & John VanderWal Martin, Marcia & Ron Havlovic, Krista & Larry Wolf, Carla Hinde, and Peter & Shauna VanderWal. He leaves a legacy of a “can do” attitude, perseverance, and steadfast faith for his 14 grandchildren; Jade & Lilly Ouellette, Nathan, Renate & Arianna Gritter, Owen, Brennan & Caleb Havlovic, Lexie, Trinity & Josh Wolf, Spencer Hinde, Ruudryk, Norah & Isla VanderWal, and great-granddaughter, Darcee DesRoches.

Marten will be missed by his many nieces and nephews, extended family, Maranatha Church family, and many friends.  Guests will be received for visitation on Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 10 am at Maranatha Church, followed by a Funeral Service at 11 am and luncheon.  In lieu of flowers, donations to World Vision and Belleville Christian School would be appreciated by the family. Arrangements entrusted to Steele Funeral Home, Belleville.