van der Leest, Jan – Of Upper Economy. It is with great sadness that Jan’s family announces his passing on May 27, 2015, in Colchester East Hants Health Center, Truro. This followed a long battle with cancer, which he fought with courage and dignity. Born in Emmen, The Netherlands, on November 15, 1941, he immigrated to Canada in 1968 and settled in Truro, where he met and married Akke (Meijer). They lovingly raised four children: Jean Rémi, Yuri Alexis, Kristin Jacoba and Jan-Mark.
He matriculated with a Master’s degree in Soil Science from MacDonald College in Montreal, and went on to spend 11 years with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture. He moved on to own and operate Trident International Services and became known as a bailiff who treated all who crossed his path with respect. There was rarely a day when a smile could not be found on his face, a smile that captured the heart of Carolyn (Matthews), who became his second wife in 2003. Jan’s love of music led him to establish a world-class organ museum which served as the inspiration for “At the Organery”, a four and a half star bed and breakfast and tea room where he and Carolyn welcomed travellers from across the globe.
Jan was predeceased by his parents, Jenne and Henderkien (Eekhof) van der Leest; his first wife, Akke; his siblings, Jouke and Annie. He is survived by his children, Rémi (Leslie), Yuri, Kristin and Jan-Mark (Pascale); his wife, Carolyn, and her children, Pam, Tim (Margaret), Matthew; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; brother, Henk (Katri); sister, Alie (Rob).
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Arimathea Funeral Cooperative, Upper Musquodoboit. A celebration of Jan’s life will be held at a later date at their haven in Upper Economy. Donations may be made to Colchester East Hants Hospice Society.