William van Leeuwen

Obituary of William van Leeuwen

It is with great sadness that the family of William "Bill" van Leeuwen of London announce his passing on December 12, 2023 at the age of 89 after a long battle with dementia. 

Bill was born in Leiden, Netherlands on February 22, 1934.  Growing up in occupied Holland, Bill learned to scrounge and save, and yet he generously shared anything he had.

He emigrated to Canada and attended HB Beal Secondary School. 

Bill became a master craftsman as a stone mason and bricklayer, working on many memorable projects in London, including one of his favourite locations – the Humpty Dumpty wall at Storybook Gardens, and two side by side homes that would be lifelong homes for his and his sister’s families.  He later moved over to the London District School Board where he was a jack of all trades in and around London schools.

Bill was an avid sports fan, often watching his favourite teams, and taking up a long and storied running career when he was 40.  His long distance training runs often took him through Springbank Park.  He was a proud member of the London Pacers running club, competing in 4 marathons and 2 World Masters Track and Field competitions.  When he was not running, he could be found in the pool with his daughters as a member of the London Silver Dolphins masters swim club or travelling to some amazing location.

Bill is survived by Dianne, his wife of 64 years, his daughters Janette Mitchell (Ian) and Elizabeth House (David) along with his grandchildren Scott Mitchell (Caitlin), Lisa Modesto (Ryan), Jennifer Yates (Kevin) and Christopher House (Denise); and the great grandchildren Alexander, James, Maddison, Evelyn and Vivian.

Bill is also survived by his brother Hans van Leeuwen (Lynda).  He was predeceased by his sister Koosje Newman and brother-in-law Keith.

The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to the staff of Windermere Way at McGarrell Place for their compassion and care over the past few years.

Cremation has taken place.  A private family celebration of Bill’s life will take place at a future date. Memorial donations in Bill’s honour can be made to Goodwill Industries or the charitable organization of your choice. Arrangements entrusted to Woodland Cemetery, Mausoleum and Crematorium.

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