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October 15, 2022

Albert Sikma of Goderich, formerly of Kincardine, died peacefully, Oct. 15, 2022, nine days into his 89th year. Born Oct. 6, 1934, in Oisterwijk, the Netherlands, he was the second youngest of nine children and was known as “Appie” to his friends and family. As a teen, he attended technical school at the Philips Bedrijfsschool in Eindhoven. He wanted to be a pilot, but his father thought it was too dangerous, so instead, after graduating, he became a seaman and sailed the world as an engineer, working in the engine rooms of Dutch merchant ships, with guitar, camera, and shortwave radio in tow. Al immigrated to Canada in 1957 at the age of 22 and first worked as a farm mechanic in Alfred, a small Ontario town along the Ottawa River. He proved himself more than able when his employer realized he could not only repair tractor engines, but also build his own replacement parts. This foreshadowed his brilliance in all things mechanical. In 1960, he met his future wife Teuntje (Tina) Bavelaar, also a recent Dutch immigrant, at a church picnic in Plantagenet, another small Ottawa River town. Al and Tina were married Nov. 4, 1961, in Navan, just outside Ottawa. Before long, daughter Alice was born. Over the next three years, the family moved to Napierville, Quebec, where Al took another job as farm mechanic, and then on to Kingston, where Al worked as a shipyard mechanic and machinist. In Kingston, daughter Jenny was born. In 1965, Al demonstrated his academic ability when he was hired as a nuclear operator at the newly-opened Douglas Point nuclear generating station. The family then moved to Kincardine, where son Gerald was born. It was in Kincardine that Al designed and built his first – but not last – house, complete with indoor, in-ground pool and a pool-heating system of original design. Over the years, thanks to his can-do, problem-solving attitude, he mastered all the following skills: bricklayer, plumber, architect, electrician, cabinetmaker, toy-maker, dollhouse-maker, carpenter, stonemason, and mechanic. It is possible this list is not complete. He helped his children and friends with countless hands-on projects. Those who knew him well believed there was nothing in the trades that he could not design, build, or fix at a professional level. Church and community involvement were important to Al. He was a Kincardine town councillor and an elder in the Kincardine Christian Reformed Church. After retirement in the late 1990s, Al and Tina moved to Goderich. They took many camping trips in their fifth-wheel trailer, sometimes just the two of them and their dog, Daisy, sometimes with children and/or grandchildren along on the trip. Al was a supportive, non-judgemental, creative, loyal, dutiful, generous, and gentle man who never said an unkind word about anyone. He is predeceased by his parents Gerk and Janke (Scheffer) Sikma, and is survived by his sister, Riek Van Mazyk; sister-in-law, Anita Sikma; and brother-in-law, Siebe DeJong. He will be deeply missed by his wife, Tina; his children, Alice (Dale), Jenny, and Gerald; his grandchildren, Kim (Dan), Kyle, Faegen, Saskia, Alyjah, and Seth; and great-grandchildren, Avah, Demi, and Paisley. Our thanks go out to Al’s palliative care team, led by Dr. Natuik and nurse practitioner Alison Clark, and to Goderich Place and Huron Hospice. There will be no funeral home visitation or service; a celebration of life will be held in the spring. Cremation has taken place. If so desired, memorial donations to the Salvation Army and Huron Hospice, are gratefully appreciated. On-line memorial and condolences at