John William Zyp


ZYP, John

It is with great sadness the family of John William Zyp announces his passing on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at the age of 87 years.

He is lovingly remembered by his wife Bettie Zyp; children: Paul (Deniece), Cindy (Rick), Richard (Joan), Robina (Mike), Phil (Linda), Danielle; 13 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 2:00 pm, with viewing commencing at 1:00 pm at Serenity Funeral Service North Chapel, 10129 Princess Elizabeth Avenue, Edmonton.

Memorial donations in John’s honour may be made directly to the Canadian Mental Health Association,

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Tribute wall - a place to share your memories and condolences

Femke Zijp

Dearest family, Canadian branch of the Zyps! Dear tante Bettie, dear neven & nichten Rick, Bina, Dany, Phil, Cindy and Paul, dear aanhang… My heart goes out to all of you!

The youngest brother – and now: the oldest. Too fast after one another to really cope. One cannot help but wonder whether they’ll be together now, laughing with each other, sharing stories after not having seen each other for quite a couple of years, their strong deep voices bouncing around heaven’s kitchen & dining room, before landing on the couch. They might be having a drink, what the heck.

Yeah…. We just don’t know what’s out there. I believe that when we die we’ll be absorbed back into the great pool of radiant energy where we all came from, and in that sense: we’ll be coming home. All of life’s sorrow & sadness, our unsolved questions, our deepest fears, our human guilt, and shame, and anger – all of that will be dissolved in the moment we die, leaving us with an all encompassing knowing, and understanding. And love…! This belief gives me comfort and also helps me to live life to the best of my abilities, while I’m still here, after all: we’re all in this together.

And thinking of Frans and Jan both now having travelled that road, one after the other, with Henk, who went ahead, already there, is reassuring, and takes away some of my despair. Because man, will we miss them…. They belonged to us, to our clan, to our circle. They were big trees, catching the wind for us, giving us shelter.

So: my heart goes out to all of you! I’ll be there with you in my thoughts tomorrow, when you say goodbye to Jan. I bet it will be a beautiful ceremony, with lots & lots of people, and tender words, memories, and singing & music, and tears – and hopefully a little laughter as well, to honour our lieve, lieve oom Jan….de oude reus!

De Zwartkoptuinfluiter – een gedicht van Hans Warren

Eigenlijk al van mijn kindertijd af
denk ik aan mijn uitvaart.
Ik zou willen dat iedereen dan
gelukkig was, dat vreemde geluk
om iets wat te mooi is, wat pijn doet.
Ik heb me daarbij muziek voorgesteld,
een klagende hobo van Albinoni
of dat ik op een bandje voor jullie
een stoïsch, dankbaar gedicht voorlas;
maar eigenlijk hoop ik dat het mei zal zijn
onder hoge beuken, en heel stil,
en dat dan opeens twee zwartkopjes gaan zingen
tegen elkaar in. Laat dan niemand spreken,
want iets mooiers, iets ontroerenders
bestaat er niet op aarde.

Wishing you strength and warmth, with all my love,

Evan Pugh

I recall a time when Mr. Zyp inexplicably let son Richard borrow his little Toyota Corolla one Friday night whereupon a circus load of us stuffed ourselves into it and thundered off to the Klondike Hotel tavern. Upon arrival Richard somehow managed to lock the keys into the still running car, setting us all to ponder what to do, before we all proceeded to stumble down the tavern stairs. It slowly dawned upon us all that there was nothing at hand to remedy our predicament aside from giving Opa Zyp a dreaded phone call pleading for rescue. John kindly answered the call by meeting us in the parking lot some twenty minutes later, and with a dignified flourish, brandished a spare set of keys and unlocked and opened the driver side door. I remember setting my gaze upon John’s imperturbable countenance as a great acrid cloud of pungent smoke, of dubious Mexican plant origin, billowed forth and set us all three steps back. John never batted an eyelash but merely leveled a stern look at us all and suggested we carry on without consuming an inordinate amount of beer.
I also fondly remember being invited to the family Zyp Christmas gatherings, before falling under the influence of John & Bettie’s eldest son, and thus becoming a banished black sheep. There I would be given sage advise from John between entertaining stories, wise & thoughtful observations about life, and heaps of generous hospitality. I still have and value two of his hand drawn charcoal prints that I had taken a liking to and that he had so generously given me.
Please accept my condolences and best wishes to all of the extended Zyp family.
Evan Pugh

Juliette Champagne

Dear Danielle,
My husband joins me in expressing our sympathy at the loss of your father. We extend this wish to your family as well. I believe it was Victor Hugo who said something like: with the loss of a loved one, the world will never be quite the same.
Juliette Champagne and Yves LeGuével


“Beautiful in Blue” was purchased for the family of John William Zyp.

Gerry Thiell

Jane and I are so sorry to hear of John’s passing. A fine man, a great educator, and a friend to all who knew him. I seem to remember that John and Bettie lived on 149 Street, not far from St. Rose School. To this day when I drive by that area, I think of John. Our condolances to Bettie and all of their large family whose many members are feeling the pain of his loss.

Gerry and Jane Thiell

Monique Zijp

We have to say goodbye to our beloved uncle John. We feel sad. Our memories of our times together are wonderful. We lived with John and Betty for almost a year and we enjoyed each others company enormously. John was an inspiration for us at the start of our careers in art and art education. He helped us a lot. We had great laughs and precious discussions with him. And after we returned to Europe, we kept having this special connection although an ocean kept us apart for most of our lives. Now there is no ocean that can keep us from feeling near any longer. Johns agile spirit will move where it wants to go now. And we will proceed sharing Johns optimistic, critical and joyfull way of looking at the world with all around here.

Monique Zijp (dutch niece) & Reg Gruson(husband) & Serge and Max

Ray Theberge

As a first year teacher it was my privilege to have John as one of parents of my new class. John was an inspiration and never failed to be supportive of the activities we engaged with not only that year but ever after as well. Education and the world Is a poorer place without your wit, humor and positive outlook. Ray Theberge

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