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Centennial a busy day for ‘recently’ retired farmer Kolkman

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

GODERICH, Ontario – The recent one hundred birthday of the Vroomshoop, Overijssel-born retired farmer Teunis Kolkman turned out to be an action-packed occasion with plenty of family and community involvement. Kolkman’s eight surviving children and other offspring, five generations in all, were on hand to help in the memorable celebration.

A former dairy and beef cattle farmer, Kolkman moved into a local care home four years ago when beef farming became a bit too much for him. A jokester all his life, and quite alert, Kolkman keeps up with the news in this paper without needing glasses.

Born in 1909, Kolkman lived ’a happy life’ with his wife, Lena, and their nine children. The family immigrated to Canada in 1951, and moved to Goderich, Ontario in 1953 following the birth of their 10th child. The Kolkman family settled into the farm life just north of town in 1957, where he happily worked the land until the age of 96. After his wife’s death in 1983, he cooked all of his own meals until 2006.

The centenarian is the grandfather of 20, great-grandfather of 32, and great-great-grandfather of 10.

Following a family gathering in the morning, and a residential open house in the afternoon, Kolkman was also guest of honour at a community open house.

Kolkman joked he did not farm long enough to become a millionaire.