In Memory of




Obituary for Frank de Gruijter

Frank de Gruijter
1935 - 2023

Frank passed away unexpectedly but peacefully on November 27, 2023 just days after
his 88th birthday, with his wife and daughter by his side. Born in the Netherlands, he held
many happy memories of growing up in The Hague with his five siblings (despite WWII).
His first job after high school was working in the office of the Canadian Embassy. It was
here that the idea of moving to Canada began. While serving his mandatory duty in the
Dutch Air Force, he applied to emigrate to Canada and, much to his parents’ surprise,
was granted an early leave. In July 1955, at the age of 19, he landed in Gander,
Newfoundland with instructions to report to Hanover, Ontario. There he was sent to
work as farm hand in neighboring Collingwood. When the harvest was finished, the city
beckoned and Frank moved to Toronto. On a weekend visit to see his Collingwood
buddies, he caught a car ride with a friend. Frank slid into the back seat beside another
passenger. Maxine was on her way home for the weekend from Teachers’ College. It was
Destiny. The two married in 1959.

In 1966, Frank joined Employment and Immigration as an Immigration Officer at the
airport; a job that he loved. He worked his way up and retired as Manager of
Management Services Operations.

Frank had an amazing ear for languages and music. He spoke Dutch, English, German
and French. He knew the lyrics of every Gilbert and Sullivan musical, was a voracious
reader, (with Charles Dickens often on repeat), a beautiful calligrapher, a smooth
ballroom dancer and a tireless volunteer with a quick wit and goofy sense of humour. He
was a gentleman, and a gentle man.

In 1991, after years of part-time studies and handwritten essays, Frank graduated from
York University, with a Bachelor of Arts Degree. It was a great accomplishment and one
of his proudest moments.

Frank leaves his wife, Maxine (nee Griesbach) of 64 years and daughter, DeAnn (Oleg).
He was beloved Opa to cherished grandsons, Willem and Marcus Glozanski and special
Grandpa Frank to Ian, Alex and Anna Noriega. Frank also leaves sisters Diny van Buuren
and Liesbeth (Frans) Buschgens in the Netherlands, and many nieces and nephews on
both sides of the ocean. In the spring Frank’s ashes will be buried beside his infant son,
Gregory, in Westmount Baptist Cemetery, Collingwood, not far from the farm where his
Canadian adventures began.

Please join us at Frank’s Celebration of Life
January 27th, 2024 at 2 pm.
Donway Baptist Church, 235 The Donway East, Don Mills Ontario M3B 2Y8
Reception to follow
Online live-stream link available from family.