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Leonardus A.M. Pylman



We are sad to announce that our kind and gentle dad and husband passed peacefully from this world, while holding the hand of his youngest daughter. Born in Amsterdam, Holland to Leonardus(d) and Cornelia(d) Pylman , he was to be the older brother of Corrie(d) and Mientje(d).

As a young man in Holland he embraced every opportunity. He thrived in track and field at school and later learned to ballroom dance, becoming a competitive dancer and instructor. Before joining the army and being shipped overseas to Indonesia, dad worked as a diamond cutter which was an experience that he loved to share with the family. Dad’s time in the army and in Indonesia had a profound impact on him.

The friendships mixed with the hardships, but one favourite story was to do with how he became a transport driver during his time in the service. The only way to qualify for the job was if the driver could move the standard transmission vehicle up a hill without crushing the cardboard matchbox that had been placed behind the tire. Dad was one of the few that could leave the matchbox untouched so he became a driver in the army and never caused an accident in all his years of driving.


He spent a lifetime looking after his family. Starting in 1944 as a young man of 15, he trekked out from Amsterdam to the countryside, asking for food from the farmers so his sisters wouldn't starve, to 1958 when he and his newlywed bride emigrated to Canada in the pursuit of a better life.  Dad would do what needed to be done working as a chauffeur, digging peat moss or any other job that would help them start their new lives, eventually finding his career at Alcan where he worked until retirement. He always enjoyed ballroom dancing, a good game of crib, camping and driving to new places. He loved being part of his children and grandchildren’s lives, sharing recipes for his own special “Opa Flappe” and “Appel Flappe” amongst other things.

He lived to 94 and has now passed after 100 days in the hospital, fighting to stay with us longer. The example he set before us on how to be an accepting, and forgiving person will be part of his family legacy. He will be missed by his wife of 66 years, Aafke: his three children, Harry Pylman, Abbotsford, Carla (Craig) Harman, Alhambra, AB and Wendy (Craig) Rachwalski, Langley: his 4 grandchildren, Cody (Alicia) Harman, Derek (Mandy) Harman, Cole and Jake Rachwalski and his five great-grandchildren Linden, Blakely, Nora, Bostyn and Graydee Harman.

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