80th Birthday Celebration

Lloyd’s Dad turned 80 years old this past Friday. An event worth celebrating! And celebrate we did, with the rest of the family in BC this past week.  The main event took place on Friday evening, March 11th, at Cornerstone, Dad and Marie’s church in Chilliwack BC. About 45 family members, including two of Dad’s siblings from Terrace, BC, were able to attend. We enjoyed a catered meal together, as well as a slide show of Leendert Vanderkwaak’s life and many many stories of the past. Before and after this group event, Lloyd and I were able to spend time with various family members. We stayed at Judy and John’s (his sister) for a few days, and at Mike and Pat’s (his brother) for a few days as well. All of their kids were either already home, or able to make it home for the weekend, so it was a good time for us to catch up with our siblings and also all of our nieces and nephews on the Vanderkwaak side.  We arrived back to Des Moines last night, totally tuckered out from the 2 hour time difference in addition to the fact that clocks turned back an hour this past weekend. It didn’t exactly help that we had to get up at 2:00AM yesterday, in time to drive to the airport and catch an early flight!  We’re still dragging abit, but very thankful that we were able to make this trip!

Happy 80th, Dad (Opa)!

Levi shares a March 11th birthday with Dad (Opa). He turned 17 this year.

Matthew and James. James is now 10. Matthew is currently living at home after two years at Briarcrest.

Matthew wrote a song in honor of his Opa's 80th. "Ode to Len".....

Kassi arrived mid-celebration after a 6 hour drive from George Fox University where she is a student. The drive actually took her closer to 8 hours.

Mike and Patti

A father-son moment. It was an interesting challenge for Lloyd as facilitator of the event, to "contain" the many stories of his Dad.

Tante Yanni, a sister from Terrace, had a few stories to tell as well. Like Lloyd's Dad, she was hard of hearing, so Lloyd served as her "interpreter", while Tante Yanni's son, Clarence, who was sitting near Lloyd's Dad, served as his "interpreter".

We are so thankful that Dad has Marie to be his loving wife and comp anion for all these years. Her kids, Randy, John,and Kevin were all at the party with their families. Her son Rick, who recently moved to Alberta with his family, was not able to be there. However, Rick's and Henriette's daughter, Tanya, who still lives in Chilliwack, was able to be there with her husband, Ute.

The VanderZwaag girls, Denise, Erin and Lisa


Brothers. Lloyd, Mike, and Dave

Danielle and Daniel. Tyra (6) and Joseph (2) missing......too busy playing!

Nicole and Jenny

Ben with Dad, Dave

Dad Vanderkwaak with his kids. Like he said during one of his talks, "Can a father ever forget his children?"

Dad and Marie with Dad's siblings, Yanni and Cory (John Vis)

The baldies--cousin, Clarence, Dave, Lloyd and Dad

Nothing like a brother!

James and Lisa making fun during party clean-up

And now, after a wonderful week in BC, back to life in Des Moines……..

6 responses to “80th Birthday Celebration”

  1. i was hoping you’d post pictures after your trip–thanks, mom! it’s always so amazing to me to watch the passage of time in action when i see pics of the cousins! it has been a very very long time since i’ve seen them all. i can’t believe i wasn’t far away when all of this was happening. too bad the training didn’t line up better with this event, it would have been really great to be there! we’re feeling far far away when we look at these pics!

  2. LOVE the pictures! Thanks for posting! We really wish we could have been there to celebrate with you all! Time off with new jobs is always a struggle. We’ll make it up there some day (hopefully sooner than later!)

  3. ditto.. that wouldve been nice to catch up with that side of the family… everyone is so grown up.

  4. Levi is an awesome counselor at Camp Qwanoes.

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