Agatha Henriette van der Starre van Dorp December 21, 1930 – March 25, 2021
Agatha was born in Schipluiden, the Netherlands. She was predeceased by her husband Teunis (Tony) in 2007. She is lovingly remembered by her son Arthur (Corinne), daughter Ariana (Ben), grandchildren Laura (Kyle), Evelyn (Larry), Kelsey, Teunis and great-grandson Matthew. She is also survived by her sister Jannie, brothers Henk, Eel, Bram, Andy, Jan, many beloved nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Agatha and Tony married in 1953, immigrating to Canada shortly after on an endless honeymoon. They eventually settled in Burnaby, BC where they raised their family along with cats, dogs, chickens, rabbits, doves, ducks and a goat named George, living in first one house and then another on Sperling Ave for close to 60 years. Agatha was very social, loved a good party and welcomed many visitors over the years, some of whom stayed for months and a few special ones for even more.
Agatha began working at Peggy Speere in Oakridge in 1960 which proved to be the perfect outlet for her social nature, extraordinary sales ability and her creativity, as a window dresser and fashion designer. Her love of fashion and skill as a seamstress served her all her life.
Always sporty, Agatha enjoyed swimming, camping & biking and in her late forties re-discovered her childhood love of speed skating. Thus began a new phase in her life, as an athlete. Agatha loved to skate! She competed across the province and the country, winning numerous national and provincial championships, breaking record after record in both Long Track and Short Track, competing into her eighties and inspiring many skaters, young and old. She served on the Burnaby club executive for years, helping the club grow in size and success. In 2008 she was inducted into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame for her contributions and accomplishments.
Agatha and Tony were long time, active members of the Vancouver Christian Reformed Church and her involvement was an important part of her life until the very end. Combining her love of adventure and her athleticism with her Christian faith, Agatha joined two Sea to Sea Rides to fight global poverty. At the age of 74, she cycled from Vancouver to Regina and 3 years later from Seattle to Boise. Overcoming obstacles and injuries throughout her sports career, her tenacity was renowned.
There were challenges, of course. Agatha struggled at times with severe homesickness for her beloved Holland and suffered several episodes of depression. Her resilience and tremendous strength helped her through those mental health challenges as well as the cruel descent that is Alzheimer's Disease. She courageously pushed boundaries by continuing to skate, cycle and enjoy a good party until the disease bit by bit stole her away. We would like to thank and acknowledge those that lovingly cared for her in her final years: Niesje, Alyce and all the staff at Carlton Gardens Care Home.
Agatha was a remarkable woman, possessing a 'joie de vivre' that inspired many. She was well-known and well-loved in the church, the skating and the Oakridge communities.
We love her and are so proud of her. We miss her dearly, but take comfort knowing she is now free and at peace. Skate on Mom!