Westelaken, Paul James

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.

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  1. Sue Walters

    So sorry for your loss! Our thoughts are with you!

  2. Marg Chetcuti Howard

    Sorry for your loss. Love and prayers for all of you.

  3. Some influences in life you will never forget. Thank you Mr.Westelaken for being one of mine

  4. Vicki Maudsley Woolley

    Paul and Betty are my neighbors. My condolences to the family.

  5. Linda Poort

    So sorry for your loss Rick and Kathy and the rest of the family!

  6. So sorry to hear that we’ve lost such a kind and gentle man! A favourite teacher of mine at W.S.Morrison.

  7. Kathy Westelaken

    Thank you to every body for your kind words. It has been a very difficult week. He was a strong man and loved his family dearly.

  8. Bonnie June Baldwin

    An absolutely wonderful man extremely dedicated to his family and willing to lend a helping hand ,,,you just never know when you’re being admired