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My father-in-law, Peter Croezen, passed away last week (April 30), after a very sudden and devastating diagnosis of lung cancer.  Peter was a fine man who was very positive about my painting, bless him!  He was a father of four sons, a grandfather and great-grandfather.  He immigrated to Canada in 1956 from Holland and became a teacher in Newmarket, North Bay and Kitchener.  When he retired from teaching, he took several groups of Dutch tourists on travels around Canada; he was a treasure trove of interesting stories.  In 2010, he returned to his home town of Coervorden in the Netherlands where he instigated the renaming of the main streets of the town after the Canadian soldiers (James Reilly, Mervin Brampton and Montgomery Cliff) who liberated it on April 5, 1945.  


Peter also developed a method of reproducing rare endangered orchids in a test tube and travelled several times to Peru where he taught students how to use his method to save orchids which are threatened with extinction in the mountains.  There were always thousands of tiny orchids in his home laboratory.  He created hybrids of orchids and named them after his grandchildren and his daughters-in-law.  I was never very good at keeping his orchids alive and had to return one that he gave me when it was in serious condition.  However, I have recently painted a watercolour of a white phalanopsis in a cracked pot (see my Watercolour page).  I think I need to work on a few more orchid paintings and I will remember him as I paint. I can never look again at an Orchid without fondly remembering Peter Croezen.


My life was all the better because of Peter Croezen.