February 3rd, 2023
Rich was born Ruurd Klaver in Boelenslaan, Friesland, on Oct 31, 1938, as the fourth out of nine children. At eight years old he moved with his family from The Netherlands to Michigan, then to Everson, Washington, and finally to Surrey, BC when he was 14.
He went to school up to grade eight and then worked to help support his family. He apprenticed as a mechanic at Columbia Dodge in New Westminster in 1957 and worked most of his life as a mechanic and service manager for Chrysler, and later, the parts manager in Babine Truck and Equipment, a business he started in 1987.
Rich met Betty Annie Bergen on a blind date when she was 15 and he was 19. They married in 1961 and had four children in the next ten years, Roger, Sheila, Jason, and Ryan. To get away from the pollution of the lower mainland, they moved to Smithers in 1975 where they bought 40 acres and built a beautiful house, Rich doing most of the work himself. They lived there until 2011 when they returned to the warmer, less icy, and snowy, climate of Surrey. In 2018 they moved to the country in South Langley on a small acreage with their daughter Sheila and her husband Adrian.
In 2020 Rich was diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome 10, which made it difficult for him to do the work he loved around the property, and in 2022 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. On Feb 3, 2023, at home and in the presence of his wife Betty, God called him home to eternal glory.
"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.' ”
"He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds."
Rich is predeceased by his parents, Hielke and Pietje Klaver, an infant sister, and brothers Johnnie, Hank, and Paul.
Condolences to Betty, children and grandchildren. We have fond memories of Rich. While staying in Smithers we were asked to look after the house and garden on Newens Road. Later the same hospitality was offered when return flights to Europe were changed and we could stay with you in Surrey. Praying for God's comfort and grace for you all. Gerrit and Dorothe 't Hart, Albany, Western Australia.
Memories of a cheerful kind and vibrant man with a wife with the same positive outlook on life who became our neighbour on Newens Road! His kids became friends with my younger sibs, walking with us to school and back. It was a treat to connect with Sheila's daughter Paige who moved here as a seminary family. Through her I learned of Richard's brave stint as a shop teacher as an octogenarian! And his subsequent health issues. God caused him to he a blessing! Condolences to Betty, and to Roger, Sheila, Jason, and Ryan and their families.
Your dad will always be an important part of my childhood, and adult life. I appreciate all he did to serve people here in Smithers. Our condolences and love to you all. He will be missed.
Betty and family Rich will always hold a very dear spot in our hearts. Rich drove me to work many, many days, whole living on Newens Road, and his conversations were always joy filled yet carried weight and seriousness. He impacted my curious mind on faith related topics more than you will ever know. He ran the race, the crown is his! It was a blessing and gift knowing him! Linda
Praying for peace and comfort from God during this sad time!
Our sincere condolences. Rich was a kind gentleman who loved to serve! May God's love and grace surround you all!
Betty, we are so sorry for your loss after such a difficult time of sickness. You are one of my favorite cousins and I wish we lived closer together. But prayers can cross the distance and we pray for God’s comfort, wisdom, strength. May the Lord guide you and may you feel His love and presence. Love and Prayers, Jerry and Frieda