Peter Vriend was born in Andijk, the Netherlands, on May 19, 1913, and died in Abbotsford, B.C. on September 20, 2008.
Peter met Claire Dijkstra, married her on February 23, 1939 and immigrated to Canada in 1947. They had seven children, four boys born in Holland and 3 girls, born in Canada. Peter and Claire spent the war years in Holland, growing food for their family and for relatives who lived in Amsterdam. Peter often rode to Amsterdam on a bicycle, with food for his in-laws, and released a homing pigeon to let Claire know he had arrived safely.
Peter was always passionate about playing chess, and had two good chess games with his friend Wally in Abbotsford, a few days before he passed away. Peter was an avid gardener and supplied his family, and many community members with vegetables. His carrots were legendary and many people benefitted from his garden. Peter loved music and played the organ for his family, and for church services for many years. Peter worked for the CN railway until he was 65 and for Northwood, part time for an additional five years. He stayed in Houston until 1998 and then moved to a home in Abbotsford.
Peter is predeceased by his wife Claire, sisters Grace and Betty, brothers John and Jim, brothers in law Tom Esselink, John Mulder, Henry Wiens, Dick Bouma and Bob Matthews. He will be fondly remembered by his children (Norman, Harry, John, Jerry, Joann, Olinda, Dorothy) and their spouses, by his brothers (Bill and Neil) and their spouses, his sisters (Nellie and Evelyn), his grandchildren and great grandchildren.