Frederick J.N. Spoke

Frederick J.N. Spoke

September 5, 1920 - October 1, 2016


Fred was born in 1920 in the Dutch East Indies (DEI) and emigrated to Canada in 1951 with his wife Henny and young family. He grew up in colonial Indonesia and in Holland. His early life was shaped by those experiences including living through early WW2 in occupied Holland as a member of the Dutch Underground and then escaping through Europe in order to serve in the Dutch Army as an Engineer officer in Surinam and later in the DEI prior to its independence in 1949. Fred had a varied and accomplished career in both Canada and Holland as a Civil Engineer, including working for BC Electric, H.A. Simons, and BC Hydro. He returned to Holland in 1967 to act as Project Director for the construction of the Erasmus University Hospital in Rotterdam. In 1970 he was appointed Deputy Managing Director for the Port of Rotterdam. He returned to Canada in 1974 to finish his distinguished professional life as Port Manager of the Port of Vancouver until his retirement in 1983. As important as Fred's profession was, family and friends were what he cherished above all. He adored Henny, his five children and all the younger generation and had a wide circle of close friends. Fred loved the outdoors, reading, his home and garden, family celebrations, travel, and engaging in political/socio-cultural debates. With amazing recall of facts, names and dates, he recently completed a detailed autobiography recording a very long and full life. Fred had a strong belief in God and considered his church as his 2nd family. He was an ethical, principled, respected, hard-working and above all much-loved man. Fred was predeceased by his loving wife of 63 years, Henny; his parents Lily and Fred; his brothers Nico (Pep) & John (Leny) and son-in-law Jake Browne. He is survived by his brother Cor (Mary); his children Mary, Fred (Marie-Lucie), Enneke Allan (Rob), Peter (Janis), & Jennifer Cant (Malcolm); his grandchildren Neil Allan, Scott Allan, Sara Hall (Scott), Jeremy Spoke (Twyla), Murray Allan (Sanya), Sebastian Spoke, Christopher Spoke, Matthew Spoke, Step-granddaughter Carolyn Derfler (Brian) and his great-grandchildren James, Jack, Payton, Paige, Oriana, Nico, Alaya, Frank and step-grandchildren Kevin & Emily, as well as by many other relatives and good friends. The family extend sincere thanks to Dr. Peter Quelch for his support and care of Fred over the past several years.


A Celebration Service will be held at First Church of the Nazarene, 989 East 19th Avenue, Vancouver on Friday, October 14 at 1pm. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Fred's memory to Mission Possible, 543 Powell Street, Vancouver (V6A 1G8).

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