Christel passed away peacefully on Friday the 19th of July, 2021 at The Heights at Mt View in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She was born on October 21, 1929 in Heer, Limburg, Netherlands. At the age of 16 she met her lifelong friend, love, and husband-to-be through their mutual passion for music, he on clarinet and she on piano. In 1955 they wed, came to Canada and began their life together.  Christel and her husband and family lived in Ontario, New Brunswick, British Columbia and also spent three years in Germany. They travelled extensively, seeing many parts of the world during their 66 years of marriage.

Christel is survived by her husband John Pasmans; her daughter Karina (Ken), and two sons James (Sheryl) and Paul (Jayne); eight grandchildren Matthew (Alanna), Chelsea (Stuart), Amy (Drew), Daniel, Stephanie, Niko, Ross and Katie; plus, eight great-grandchildren Ethan, Owen, Rupert, Maebel, Liam, Evie, August and Stevie.

Christel was always Oma to her family and friends. When presented to someone new, she would quickly correct any formal salutation to “I’m just Oma” and immediately launch into a litany of questions aimed at discovering just who you were, what were your loves and where were you headed in life. If she knew you and hadn’t seen you in some time you could expect to be lovingly interrogated until she was satisfied that she had gotten ’caught up’ with your life. It was this truly genuine interest and welcoming warmth that immediately endeared her to everyone who knew her.

Oma was incredibly well read and could discuss nearly any topic at long length with great insight. Her interest in learning something new was seemingly insatiable. Oma’s musical knowledge and talents were second to none. At Christmas time, we were all required to sing a song or two before we could lay claim to a delicious treat she had lovingly hung in the tree. No matter our skill level, our efforts were always met with true joy and enthusiasm from Oma. Her children and grandchildren all recall her happiest moments were around the piano or taking in a family talent show of which there were many over the years. Often these performances were in her honour. On more than one occasion Oma would be seen sitting on her own with a smile on her face and when approached she would say how unbelievable it was that we were all there because of her, and how proud she was of the family that she has. She had such love for everyone and made sure everyone knew how important they were to her.

It was always family that she focused on throughout her life. She often spoke lovingly and emotionally of her time in Heer, always eager to share her childhood stories, and songs that we now sing to our children’s children. For those of us who had the privilege of visiting with her in Heer, we witnessed first hand how proud she was of her hometown. Even when we visited there without her, we would find ourselves singing songs we barely understood and ‘schunklen’ to the music in the pub that in earlier times was her family’s bakery and her childhood home. We felt welcome in the space and would proudly announce whilst pointing to a family photo on the pub wall, “That’s my Oma!”

Oma was a very happy soul. Her love of life and exuberance was infectious. She was always ready for a chat, a piece of chocolate or a plate of fries. She introduced us to mocha cakes, rice pies and hagelslag sandwiches; taught us the art of fresh ground drip coffee and that everything tasted better with a dollop of whipped cream on top. She loved anything with a ‘good beat’, and the color magenta. She never ever turned down an adventure, eagerly participating in whatever we put in front of her from horseback riding to boogie boarding to trail riding ‘op de fiets’.

And, most special of all on those nights with her grandchildren, they vividly recall waiting, after being tucked in, to hear her whisper those words. A gentle touch to the forehead, the chest and each shoulder, ending with a kiss on the head. She never missed a night. Now, it is our turn to say to her,

“In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Oma schläft in Gottes Namen”.

As per Christel’s wishes, a public mass will be held at Holy Cross Catholic Church at 9am on Sunday, September 12th, 2021. Later in the day, her family will gather to celebrate her love of life.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens


  • Simone, Liona en Lilly

    Lieve familie,
    Heel veel sterkte met het verlies van lieve Tante Kien!
    Ieder jaar belde ze met of rond om mijn verjaardag en vroeg ze honderd uit over mijn leven. Geweldig om met haar over van alles te praten.
    Ze was een bijzonder mens!

  • Judy Cooke

    I think we originally met Oma at a Christmas at Ken and Karina’s. House
    From there it quickly spread to “come and stay with us in Victoria “ which we did several times, enjoying their great hospitality and Omas cooking’,

    The highlight of our relationship was them coming to Arizona to visit!!! We had a chance to host them
    I can honestly say I have never seen Oma without a big smile on her face
    She was one of our favorite people!!

  • Jillian Cooke

    While I saw Oma at countless family events, I remember way back to meeting her at Ken and Karina’s wedding….she had made the most lovely apricot squares that I still remember as one of my favourites! When I think of Oma, I can see her larger than life grin and sparkling eyes in my mind. I can hear her words almost tripping over themselves pouring out of her mouth as she asked in rapid fire a thousand questions. She was probably one of the most beloved women on the planet. May she be resting in peace with loved ones who went before. Love and hugs to the Cookes and Pasmans and extendeds. Xoxox

  • Noëlle

    Christel and John and their kids lived across the street from us on Penshurst. For a while, when my life fell apart, Christel looked after my 3 children while I was at work–because I needed help and she could provide it. Such an exemplary woman in so many way! Meg, Sean and Michael join me in offering condolences.

  • Julie Michaux

    John and Christel’s family,
    We fondly remember happy times with Christel. She loved all of you.
    Robert and Julie Michaux

  • Marie Green

    Christel was our neighbour on Penshurst Road for many years. She and John were raising teenagers while we were raising toddlers. She was such a kind and very supportive, friendly neighbour. Our two boys remember her sense of fun , her generosity and her kindness.
    Christel was very much a part of family weddings, baby showers and anniversary parties.
    She was an amazing hostess and her rice pie was a favourite of ours.
    We are so fortunate to have had Christel in our lives.
    Our sincere condolences go to John and the Pasmans family.

  • Ruud Vaessen

    Dear family, our deepest condolences on Kien’s passing. We are with you in our thoughts.
    Ruud en Celestine

  • pasmans-engelbert


    Wat een liefdevol bericht over Kien, jullie hebben mooie jaren gehad.
    Mooie herinneringen aan haar.

    Heel veel sterkte voor jouw hele familie.
    Lieve groet voor jullie allemaal,

    Laurie – Cindy en Nanny

  • Paul

    Gecondoleerd allemaal bij het overlijden van Kien,zij was een levenslustige en fijne vrouw. Veel sterkte voor de komende tijd Tiny en Paul

  • Gianni

    A smile I would never forget.
    What a beautiful person.
    So happy to have been (a little) part of her life.
    Toutes mes condoléances et courage à vous tous.

  • Monique & Harold

    Our condolences,
    It is with pride that we may have enjoyed just some of the stories and her warm heart.
    We’ll miss tante Kien dearly.
    With love,
    Monique & Harold

  • Alide Elkink

    We are very sad to hear of the death of Oma. We have such lovely memories of visiting Opa and Oma in Victoria with Ethan each time we visited Canada. Christel and I could keep up conversation for hours and then we still hadn’t covered everything. You will be sadly missed Christel.
    Lots of love
    Alide & Len

  • Josée en Georges

    Gecondoleerd en sterkte voor jullie mooie familie

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