Simon De Jong Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

Simon De Jong

Obituary

.de Jong, Simon Leendert - age 69, left his body peacefully on Thursday August 18, in Vancouver, after a yearlong battle with leukemia. Born April 9, 1942, in Surabaya, Indonesia, Simon lived his first 3-½ years under Japanese occupation in a concentration camp with his mother and brother Hielke. Liberated in September 1945 by the Gurkhas of Nepal, the de Jong family immigrated to Regina in 1951. Educated in Regina, Simon completed an Honour's B.A. in social sciences at University of Regina where, as president of the student body, he advocated for its independence. Simon distinguished himself as a public speaker winning the...
.de Jong, Simon Leendert - age 69, left his body peacefully on Thursday August 18, in Vancouver, after a yearlong battle with leukemia. Born April 9, 1942, in Surabaya, Indonesia, Simon lived his first 3-½ years under Japanese occupation in a concentration camp with his mother and brother Hielke. Liberated in September 1945 by the Gurkhas of Nepal, the de Jong family immigrated to Regina in 1951. Educated in Regina, Simon completed an Honour's B.A. in social sciences at University of Regina where, as president of the student body, he advocated for its independence. Simon distinguished himself as a public speaker winning the provincial Bryant Oratory public speaking contest in high school, and engaging in politics becoming president of the CCF youth. As a member of the artistic community, his paintings have been represented in public and private collections in North America and Europe. In the fall of 1969, Simon moved with Wanda Mang to Vancouver where their twin sons, Justin and Micah, were born. He was co-director of Cool-Aid, providing warm food, clothing, housing and a medical clinic for the many young people who had migrated to West Coast. Simon returned to Regina at the end of 1974, working as a civil servant and later opening Gretta's Restaurant. In a surprising 1979 upset he was elected the New Democratic Party Member of Parliament for Regina East, a seat he held through five elections until retirement in 1997. During his 18 years in Parliament he held many portfolios, often revealing himself to be ahead of the times. The first MP to mention the greenhouse gas effect in the House of Commons, he advocated for a carbon tax. He also exposed the spraying of Agent Orange by the US Military in New Brunswick and the falsification of tests that supported the licensing of many herbicides and pesticides. Having come of age in the 60's, Simon had strong roots in the peace movement, and introduced a private member's bill calling for the establishment of a Peace Tax. When John Lennon was assassinated, he was quick to introduce a motion in Parliament expressing condolences to Yoko Ono. Upon retirement, Simon moved to California, later living between Regina, Brazil and the West Coast, continuing his lifetime search for spiritual truth to his last breath. He is survived by his sons Justin and Micah Mang and their mother Wanda, brother Casper (Allyson), sister Helena, sister-in-law June, nieces, nephews, cousins, partner Cheryl Anderson and family, by his large extended family including the Blewetts and Chouinards and his extensive circle of friends. He is predeceased by his father Simon, mother Dirkje, brother Hielke and sister Greta. There will be two Celebrations of Simon's life. The first will be on the terrace at Brock House, Monday, September 12th at 6:00pm, 3875 Point Grey Road, Vancouver, BC. The second Celebration of Life will be on Saturday, September 24th at 10:30am at Regina Senior Citizens Centre, 2134 Winnipeg Street, Regina, SK. Simon's ashes are to be interred at a later date. Arrangements by Victory Funeral Centre, Surrey, BC.

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""If you're goin' to kick yourself, wear slippers..." Thus was Simon's suggestion at a trying time of my youth, around 1974 when I met him with my dad, an..." Jim Slade (Vancouver)

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