Maria Stephanie Schepens, nee Vandevelde - January 28, 1933 – November 3, 2019.
Maria was born in Waanrode, Belgium to Florentinus and Maria. She was six when World War 2 broke out. Maria had a special place in her heart for Canada as her village had been liberated by Canadian forces.
In June of 1955, she married a young Dutchman, Cornelius (Casey) Schepens in Clabecq, Belgium. Cornelius had been living and working in Labrador previously. Shortly after their marriage, they board a ship in France for Montreal. Their decision to return to Canada was born from a desire for a better life and a lifelong gratitude for the country that liberated them. Leaving was very hard as they left behind generations of family, but they never regretted their decision. Canada was good to them.
They eventually settled in Prince George where they raised their two children, Robert and Joanne. Later, she went to work in the Prince George Hospital. She made many friends and loved her job. She was very active in planning potlucks, Christmas and retirement parties in the hospital. She retired from the hospital at age 65.
Maria was an avid gardener and loved to show anybody stopping by, the lovely glass greenhouse that Cornelis had built for her or her large garden. Maria constantly had a crochet hook or knitting needles in her hands. She often made afghans, slippers or crocheted Christmas ornaments for St. Mary’s Christmas bazaar. Mom was resourceful and never wasted anything even turning plastic bags in floor mats.
We are grateful for the neighbors who cared for her and treated her as family, especially John and Eleanor Murphy who understood how difficult it was for mom when Cornelius died too young and was alone.
Maria spent her later years in Peace Villa as Parkinson’s took it’s toil. We are grateful for the care and kindness she received from the staff.
Maria is predeceased by her father and mother, her husband and numerous siblings. She leaves to mourn her son, Robert Schepens (Angel), her daughter, Joanne Schepens (Adrian) and grandchildren Jessica Schepens, Eric Schepens and Ashley Schepens. Her sisters, Simone and Erma.
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