December 3, 1929 – November 25, 2018
Maria (Puck) Botman-Berends of Vancouver, Montreal and Zwolle left us peacefully after a struggle with lung disease.
Puck was born in 1929 in Zwolle, the Netherlands. She was the oldest child of Jacobus Berends (b. 1894) and Elisabeth van Dijk (b. 1904) of Zwolle. Together with her beloved younger siblings Corrie, Leo, Aloys, Colette, Willem and Pieter the family lived through the occupation of Holland during WWII.
Puck studied at a Hogere burgerschool (HBS), a secondary school for higher positions in trade and industry. Following the war, she served as an officer in the women’s MARVA unit of the Royal Dutch Navy. In the rank of officer, Puck became one of the Secretaries (Navy) of His Majesty Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands at the Zwaluwenberg in Hilversum, in his capacity as Inspector General for military forces. While in the Navy she met her future husband Matthias Botman. Together they started a family and immigrated to Montreal during the mid 1950s.
In the 1960s, the growing family moved to Columbus, Ohio and later Rochester, NY before returning to Montreal in 1968 where they spent the next 20 years. Always creative and with a refined sense of style, Puck enjoyed weaving and created textiles which were presented at the Salon des Métiers d’Art exhibitions in Montreal. She had a long and successful career as the General Manager of Lighthouse Publications Canada, becoming well known in her industry.
Upon retirement, she moved to Vancouver’s West End to be closer to family and avoid the snowy winters of Montreal. Puck took up lawn bowling at the Stanley Park Lawn Bowling Club where she volunteered and served as club President. She was active and had many friends in her neighbourhood.
Puck lives on in her children: Elisabeth (Richard Migicovsky; Eric and Anna), Pieter, Richard, Robert (Melissa Weyland; Theodore, Beatrice and Jasper) and Anne Marie (Allen Banner; Kaitlyn).
Puck was warm, intelligent, generous, thoughtful and kind. We miss her greatly.
The family is planning a Vancouver memorial for her.