Westelaken – Paul James of St. Thomas passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Monday, November 7th, 2016 at the St. Thomas-Elgin General Hospital. Beloved husband of Betty (deRyk) and loving father to his five children Tony (Stephanie) of Sarnia, Richard (Kathy) of St. Thomas, Joe (Mary Ann) of St. Thomas, Betty Ann (Jorge Teodoro) of London and Pauline (Steve Tremblay) of London. He will be fondly remembered by his eight grandchildren Paul, Alexandra, Kristen, Sara (Ben Yanch), Scott, Luke, Rebecca and Sean. Born to Christian and Lucia Westelaken in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, on February 8th, 1929. He came to Canada in 1953 and settled briefly in Chatham. He started teaching in Aylmer where he met and married Betty in 1957 and continued his career as a teacher, vice principal and principal in St. Thomas until his retirement in 1989. Paul was an avid outdoorsman, taking the family on numerous camping and boating trips. He enjoyed participating in SCUBA diving, canoeing, power boating and sailing. He was an active member of the local power squadron serving as an instructor and Commodore. A spiritual and humble man, Paul was active in the church and lived his life based on his faith. He was predeceased by his siblings, Arnold, Ben, Annie (Liebregts) and Lucy (van Boxmeer) and survived by brothers John, Herman (Wes) and Edward.
Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Angels’ Church on Thursday morning at 10:30am. Interment to follow in Holy Angels’ Cemetery. Visitation will be held at Williams Funeral Home, 45 Elgin Street, St. Thomas on Wednesday from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. Prayers will be recited at the funeral home on Wednesday at 4:00pm. Memorial donations may be made to Holy Angels’ Restoration Fund.