Dec. 8, 1942 – Oct. 29, 2021
Passed away surrounded by his family at the St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Elliot Lake on Friday October 29, 2021 at the age of 78. He is survived by his wife Rev. Beth Topps Willems of Elliot Lake, sister Jackie Snell (John) of Exeter, brother Dwight Willems of The Netherlands, son Joseph Willems of Vancouver, B.C., daughter Virginia Willems-Rossman of Toronto, stepson Matt Swan of Toronto, granddaughters Kezia Willems of Vancouver, B.C. and Leah Swan of Toronto. He is predeceased by his wife Susan Swan Willems and by his brother John Willems. Born in The Hague, Netherlands, he came to Canada with his family in Feb. 1952 and lived his early years on a farm, which he loved. On May 9th of this year, he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his entry into Christian ministry. Originally as an officer in the Anglican Church Army, (now known as Threshold Ministries), he served in a number of pastoral ministries such as Scott Mission in Toronto, and as a Prison Chaplain in a maximum security prison. Later he was called into parish ministry, and ordained a priest in the Anglican Church of Canada, first serving in St. George’s, Thunder Bay, and then St. Peter’s in Elliot Lake in 2005. Currently along with St. Peter’s, he had been serving as pastor to Faith Lutheran, Elliot Lake, Zion Lutheran, Massey, and Gowan Gilmore Memorial Chapel, Sagamok First Nation. Due to the current pandemic & health restrictions imposed by the provincial government, a memorial service celebrating Henk’s life will be celebrated at a later date from St. Peter’s The Apostle Anglican Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to any of the Churches mentioned above or to the Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated by the family. Funeral arrangements entrusted to the Elliot Lake Funeral Chapel & Cremation Centre Limited (36 Ontario Ave). Online condolences to the Willems family may be made at www.elliotlakefuneralchapel.com.