Gil Craenen

Obituary of Gil Craenen


Gil Craenen

February 5th, 1935 - March 10th, 2024


Embraced by the love of his family Gil passed away peacefully on March 10th, 2024. As we bid farewell to a remarkable dad, we take comfort in knowing that he has been reunited with his beloved Diny, who welcomed him with open arms into eternal peace. Treasured dad of John (Joanne), Perry (Connie) and Linda (Richard). Opa to Shiann (Mark), Pauline (Leo), Clark (Janine), Brock, Gillian (Evan) and Nathan. Great grandpa to Kyla, Mikey, Caitlin, Scarlet, Amber, Ruby, Ethan and soon to be welcomed into this world Lloyd. His love for his family was unparalleled, and he took pride in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Born in Eindhoven, Netherlands, just before the outbreak of World War II, Gil was the eighth child in a large, devout Catholic family. He cherished his upbringing, filled with the laughter and camaraderie of his siblings.

Gil's journey to Canada was inspired by a profound connection to the country, forged during the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian soldiers during World War II. Their kindness left an indelible mark on Gil, instilling in him a deep admiration for Canada and its people. Together Diny and Gil embarked on this journey with hope in their hearts and determination in their spirit. Settling in Strathroy, they built a life defined by hard work, love, and a dedication to giving back.

Throughout his adult years, Gil was deeply involved in his community, serving on town council in a variety of positions, volunteering with organizations like Meals on Wheels and fostering the growth of youth sports. He was particularly proud of his role in bringing organized soccer to Strathroy and his participation in the 1988 Calgary Olympic torch relay in recognition of his contributions to soccer.

In his late fifties, Gil discovered a passion for music that would bring him immense joy for over two decades. Joining the Strathroy Vocal Federation, he found solace and camaraderie in the harmonies and rhythms of the songs. Gil's love for music extended beyond just the performance itself; he relished in the process of rehearsals, the meticulous preparation for the annual concert, and the shared excitement with his fellow singers. The annual concert was a highlight of his year, a culmination of months of hard work and dedication, where Gil stood proudly on stage, surrounded by his friends, sharing the gift of music with the community.

Gil’s life was a testament to resilience, love, and a deep commitment to community. He would often say “Keep smiling, as it improves your face value”. This encapsulates his outlook on life and serves as a guiding light for those who knew him. He will be deeply missed.

A private family service will be held at DENNING’S OF STRATHROY. Cremation to follow. As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made to the Victorian Order of Nurses. Online condolences and donations may be left at A special thank you to the compassionate and caring team at Strathmere Lodge. As a family we are eternally grateful for all you have done.

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