Betty Van Haren

Obituary of Betty Van Haren

VAN HAREN: Betty -

We are saddened to announce the passing of Betty Van Haren (Toonen) of Ridgetown, on Sunday, November 12th, 2023, at the age of 83. She was recently predeceased by her beloved husband of 58 years, John Peter Van Haren. She leaves behind her sons Patrick (Karin), Steven (Jessica) and Scott (Lori). She was the proud Oma to Christopher, Scott, Michaela, Nicholas, Theodor and Alexandria. Dear sister of Albert (Mieke) Toonen, Jose Cras, Reitje (Ans) Toonen and Willem (Daantje) Toonen. Dear sister-in-law to Adrian (Marisa) Van Haren of Ridgetown, as well as Annie (Jan) van Oostveen, Bets (Leo) van der Eyk, Harrie (Truus) Van Haren and Jos (Kiek) Van Haren, Annie and Dora Van Haren of Holland. Predeceased by several siblings and in-laws. She will be fondly remembered by her many nieces, nephews and their families.

Betty was born Bertha Willemina Anna Josephina Toonen on March 13, 1940 in Maren-Kessel, Holland. She earned her teaching certificate in Holland in 1960 and taught for five years before following her love John to Canada. Betty and John were married in Russell, Ontario in 1965. They resided for a period in Blenheim before moving to their dream farm in Ridgetown where they worked, played and raised their family. They were members of St. Michael’s Church in Ridgetown, and Betty sang in the choir for decades.

Together with their sons, Betty and John built a widely recognized family business in which she was the key partner in the financial management of the fast-growing company. Betty was also a leader in the St. Willibrord Credit Union’s Blenheim branch for several decades, as well as the regional organization (now known as Libro). She was a 25-year member and a leader of the Ridgetown chapter of the I.O.D.E. and organized book sales and other fundraising events.

One of Betty’s closest friends described her as someone who loved her work, worked hard and was always friendly and smiling. Betty enjoyed a life of service, reading and gardening but above all, she loved children. She was immensely proud of her three boys and even more so of her grandchildren. Although she did not work as a teacher in Canada, Betty tutored Dutch children in English and for several years was a regular volunteer for Ag in the Classroom work at the University of Guelph-Ridgetown College of Agriculture and Applied Technology (RCAT).

Together Betty and her husband John were a team, and they were inducted into the Chatham-Kent County Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2006. It was stated by others in their application that “they had courage and a lot of vision; they have been great Canadians; they are committed to whatever they do, and they put their best into everything.”

Betty will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by her children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews, and many friends.

Family will receive friends at the Funeral Home, 76 Main Street East, Ridgetown on Sunday, December 3, 2023 from 2:00 - 5:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, 26 George Street, Ridgetown at 11:00am on Monday, December 4, 2023. Interment for Betty and John will be follow at Greenwood Cemetery, Ridgetown.

Donations made in memory of Betty to the Alzheimer Society Chatham-Kent, the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the Ridgetown Rotary Club would be appreciated.

Online condolences may be left at

McKinlay Funeral Home

76 Main Street East, Ridgetown




2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 3, 2023
McKinlay Funeral Home, Ridgetown
76 Main Street East
Ridgetown, Ontario, Canada

Funeral Mass

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Monday, December 4, 2023
St. Michael's Catholic Church
26 George St.,
Ridgetown, Ontario, Canada
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