1930 ~ 2017
John (Johannes Hubertus Gerardus) Straat, born August 13, 1930 passed away peacefully February 17, 2017 at the Raymond Health Center at the age of 86 years.
John was the third child born into a large family of nine children (six boys and three girls) in Vaals, Holland. By the time he was nine years old, the growing family needed more room and they ended up moving from the Holland to Belgium just before the start of World War II. The Family eventually settled at a much larger and picturesque farm called “Barbothez,” with a huge stone farmhouse in the beautiful Belgian countryside, not far from Bolland and the historic chateau there. Growing up we heard many riveting stories of American GI’s staying at the farm and German soldiers dropping in for supplies and random inspections. Separated from Bolland by thick woods, the family used to go to church in a different town, but one day after his 18th birthday, John decided to go to church by himself in Bolland. It was flying down the last hill at breakneck speed on his bike, which he almost ran over a 15 year old girl, Marie-Louise Deloyer, who was walking to church with her mother; that girl would one day become his first wife.
Seeking opportunity after the war, like many young men of his time, John immigrated to Southern Alberta in 1958. After saving enough money for another boat ticket in just six months, he sent for Marie whom he promptly married in the small Catholic Church in Raymond. John and the family have lived in the area ever since. The current family farm was purchased in 1967 and for the last 50 years, John was fortunate to live there doing what he loves most, working around in his domain, checking his crops and his animals. Marie eventually gave birth to four children; Paul, Johnny, David, and Kelly, two of which farmed with their Dad to this day. In 1981 Marie (Mya) passed away suddenly and eventually John remarried to a local gal Karleen Tolsdorf who blessed him and the family with two more fine strapping sons; Matthew and Nicholas.
After a rich and varied life lived largely on his own terms, John has left the earthly plane to be reunited with the loved ones, numerous in-laws and immediate family members that have predeceased him: his parents Pierre and Catherine, his brothers Joseph, Rene, Pierre, and his first wife Mya. John Leaves behind to mourn his passing, his surviving siblings Matthew, Hubert, Henriette, Maria and Angeline, all in Belgium; his first four sons; Paul (Jamey), Johnny (Rachelle, mother to Tori), David (Veronique), Kelly (Shalayne). Karleen Tolsdorf Straat and their two son’s together; Matthew (Georgia) and Nicholas (Sarah Rose). John also leaves behind his eleven grandchildren; Joshua, Tori, Jason (Jodi), David, Marie-Louise, Leah, Luke, Lexi, Talon, Beau, Flynn, and two great-grandchildren; Abigail and Benjamin, and many in-laws and dear family friends.
A Eulogy will be read at 10:30am followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00am on Friday, February 24, 2017 at OUR LADY OF ASSUMPTION CATHOLIC CHUCH, 2405 - 12 Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB, Father Lukas Drapal, celebrant. Interment will follow in the Mountain View Cemetery.