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March 26, 2016

Peter William Dekker of Kincardine and formerly of Listowel, died peacefully at home after a year of health-care issues, Saturday, March 26, 2016, at the age of 83. Perhaps best-known for his powerful singing voice, Peter sang at many churches and weddings, and was the founder of Music Alive in Listowel. He was the founder of Conway Furniture in Listowel, a past member of the Atwood Lions Club, a past chairman of the Listowel Hospital Board, was on the Listowel Parks and Recreation Board, and was a past member of the Listowel Rotary Club. Peter was remarried in 1998 to Judy Nevery, and has resided in Kincardine, and John's Pass, Florida, since then. He is survived by his wife, Judy; and his children, Penny Evans, and Paul and Kristina (McCoag) Dekker, all of Listowel. He will be missed by his grandchildren, Rory Madge, Liam Madge and his fiancée Shannon Vance, Patrick Madge, Mitchell Dekker, and Harrison Dekker. Brother of Hans and Bernice Dekker of Goderich, and Robert and Karen Dekker of Kitchener, and brother-in-law of Nita Dekker of Baltimore. He will be remembered by Judy’s family, Cathy and Greg Brooks of Oshawa, Janet and Moe Benarroch of Mississauga, Karleen Nevery of Vancouver, and Gord and Darlene (Nicholson) Nevery of Waterloo, and by their families. He was loved and will be missed by many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his wife, Jeanette (Young) Dekker; parents, Pieter Willem and Gerardina (VanEybergen) Dekker; and by his brother, John Dekker of Baltimore. Peter was born March 21, 1933, in Hilversum, Holland, and grew up with his brothers John, Hans and Robert, during the Second World War. After the war, Gerardina took her boys to Canada and eventually landed on a little farm in Eramosa, Ontario (near Guelph), in 1948. Peter’s work career started as a mop boy in a pickle factory in Guelph, then advanced to a bread route where he honed his sales skills, as well as his English language skills. He hit his stride in the late '50s working with Prudential of America and being the vocalist in the Raddy Blagdon Big Band. Peter was always driven to be a financial success. At some point, he felt he should be his own boss and left the insurance business. He bought a Dura-Clean rug-cleaning franchise. Then became a carpet installer. While installing a floor in Listowel, Peter and Jim Mullholland saw an empty store front in the downtown, on the southwest corner of Main and Wallace. Here, they opened Conway Furniture in 1968; and soon after, a second store in Hanover and a third store in Kincardine. In 1973, all three premises were vacated when an 8,000 square foot store was built just east of Listowel where Conway remains today. In 1970, Peter stopped the commute from Kitchener to Listowel and moved his young family to an old farmhouse on the 2nd of Grey owned by Jim and Violet Smith. During the '70s and '80s, Peter sang at churches and weddings and, accompanied by Doreen Danbrook, at Lions Club functions and nursing homes. He did a couple of shows with the Hanover Little Theatre group including "Guys and Dolls." Through this ministry of song, he connected with many people. He was always a popular guy and a hard worker and as such, Conway thrived. Peter was active with the Atwood Lions Club. While Paul was in the Elma Logan Minor Hockey system, Peter volunteered and fund-raised. He was on the Parks and Recreation Board and on the Listowel Memorial Hospital Board. After a production of "South Pacific," to raise money for Grey Central Public School in Ethel, Peter joined the Rotary Club in Listowel and started “Music Alive.” This organization brought great live theatre to Listowel with all the Rogers and Hammerstein greats, such as "South Pacific," "Brigadoon," "Guys and Dolls" and of course, "The Sound of Music." Peter was a proud man - proud to be Canadian, proud of his work accomplishments, proud of his family and grandchildren. He went to be with his Lord on the terms he prayed for - no disabling strokes, no nursing homes and relatively little pain. Visitation will be held at the Eaton Funeral Home, Listowel, Tuesday, March 29, from 6-9 p.m. The funeral will be held at Calvary United Church, Listowel, Wednesday, March 30, at 11 a.m.rnFollowing interment in Fairview Cemetery, Listowel, the Celebration of Peter’s life will continue at Perth Meadows, Listowel. Memorial donations to the Kincardine and Community Health Care Foundation or Listowel Memorial Hospital Foundation would be appreciated.

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