Herman de Jong

1932 - 2004

. . . with his beloved Stiny

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Please do still visit our Open House to share some memories and thoughts or just to remember. Even if you just register we will be heartened by your visit.

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Memorial Service
Audio/Visual Presentation 

This expanded program for the Memorial Service has links to the text of the reflections, meditations and songs that were shared there. Many of these pages will play a recording of that part (if your computer is set up for it). You can click on the the arrows to move back and forth through the service.

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Memorial Service Welcome

Unfortunately, those with just a dial-up connection
will have a bit of a time with the audio clips
since they range in size up to 7 MB.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I feel a sense of urgency as my father slips away from this life. I don't quite know why, because as much as I would like him to see this and what still could be, I know that he may not have the strength or the voice to fully respond. And I know that our memory of him will not fade so fast that we can't do this at our leisure later on. But somehow it seems right that now, at this critical juncture between this life and the next, we give back to him some of the treasures that he shared with us in his inimitable way throughout his life.

Herman de Jong is not such an extraordinary man that he deserves his own domain name and web site. But, if we simply consider how much he has been a 'media man' in his lifetime, it seems entirely appropriate to use this modern media for reflection. Dad never shied away from a large audience. He would readily pull out all the stops or tell another story for any number of friends or strangers. In doing so he has touched many lives and is remembered fondly in many places. This web site is an opportunity for us too to overcome distance with a generous spirit and an open heart.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Herman de Jong went home today a little after four in the afternoon. He died peacefully in his own bedroom while two of his grandchildren (Janine and Sarah) were singing to him. On Sunday he still expressed great appreciation for back-scratching (a life-long love of his), he responded with interest when we told him about this web site, and he poked two of his young grandchildren good-naturedly during their goodbyes. Now he is gone.

Henry James de Jong


Songs and Compositions

To the very end of his career as a musician (finally as organist of St.Johns Anglican in Thorold) Herman de Jong kept busy writing and arranging music. I would sometimes catch him at his desk on a Saturday writing out another (chant) setting of that Sunday's scripture (probably a psalm). My earliest treasure is a setting of the Creation that he composed (and directed) as a teenager in Holland. As I am able I will include some reproductions here:

Bible Songs A 36 page booklet of settings of Bible Texts composed for (school) children and published in 1970

(Click any link like the above one to view)



A cassette tape labled 'Opa, Michael & Jovita' that has languished in my desk drawer for more than a decade begins with a self-recording of some organ playing and singing. Here is a fragment of that tape presented in Real Audio format.

Christ Be With Me
My Hope is Built On Nothing Less

(Click any link like the above one to view)  


I'm not sure how many of the thousands of words that flowed from Herman de Jong's fertile imagination are still easily available to be re-published. We'll start with a few and see how far we get. Most of these works are in Dutch.


Actually, Herman de Jong is a published author in three languages. Some eighteen stories in his mother tongue, the Gronings Dialect, are posted to the Didledom web site.

(Click the links below to view these stories on the Didledom web site)


Erbarm U Over Ons
A Meditation
Reflections on his own father
Over Honden and Katten
A Story
Het Winschoter Complot
A short novel featuring a Dutch-Canadian RCMP officer returning to his native town to do some sleuthing.


Am I My Brother's Keeper?
This forty page collection of prose begins with a lengthy recounting of the story of Cain. Some of the remaining poems are included here.

Photo Gallery

We'd like to share a few photos to capture the spirit of Herman de Jong.

Family portrait with Herman on the right


The Organ that young Herman practiced on at home


School play: Herman wears the hat
and a very uncharacteristic full head of hair


Herman and brother Sense just after immigration
on a Port Dalhousie Street (1954)


Walking by Sarnia Christian School with son Henry


On the playground at Sarnia Christian School


Playing the organ in Knox Presbyterian, Goderich
(early 1960s)


With Henry and Wayne on the steps of their
Brock Street Home in Goderich


Staff photo at Sarnia Christian School
(Year: ? Teachers: ?)


Class photo at Sarnia Christian School
(Year: ?)


Entrepeneurial flyer circa 1979


Speaking to 1500 women


Singing "Bedel Vrouwje"


Playing the organ at home


Babytalk with his first grandchild


Story-time with Jovita


Amusing Michael at a party

He had the uncanny ability to sleep anywhere
-- as long as he had a book in hand

Surveying his family
from the quiet, shaded dunes

Enjoying his favourite treat
during a visit to Holland