James Leon VanNeck, born June 21,1935 passed away peacefully on July 27, 2016. He was predeceased by his parents Leon VanNeck (2001) and Irene VanNeck (nee Nourse)(2000). He is survived by his brother Gary (Charlotte) VanNeck and sister Barb (Duncan) O’Brien, his wife Joan VanNeck (nee St. Peter), his two sons Chris (Jennifer) VanNeck and Darren (Cathy) VanNeck and many nieces and nephews. But who he will miss the most are his grandchildren, his pride and joys, Ryleigh, Hayden, Quin, Kees, Noah and Blake.
Jim (aka Diamond Jim) started working on the Dyke Road family farm and then with his Dad, started Leon VanNeck and Son Ltd, a small construction company to keep them busy in the wintertime. With a strong work ethic and a golden rule business practice, before they knew it, they went from building barns to custom homes to multimillion dollar commercial jobs. Including such local structures as the Chatham Women’s Center (also sat on the board), Residence on the Thames (where he ultimately spent the last five years of his life), the Blenheim Fire Hall, Blenheim Retirement Village and one of his favourites, the Blenheim Memorial Arena.
Family was most important with Jim, but when not with them, his community was next. He was a long time member of the Shriners, the Golden Acres Curling Club (past president), Blades Executive member and also a founding member of the Morpeth Oldtimers. When not supporting his two sons many endeavours he enjoyed many years of sailing.
The family cannot thank the staff of Riverview Gardens and Residence on the Thames enough for their above and beyond the call of duty care for Dad.
As per his wishes, there will a private family service in Blenheim on Saturday. We ask that if you wish to make a donation in his honour, that you support his favourite charity, the Shriners Children’s Hospital.