Handy carpenter Henk Boon died of leukemia at the age of 54: ‘We had a good marriage’

Handy carpenter Henk Boon died of leukemia at the age of 54: ‘We had a good marriage’
Handy carpenter Henk Boon died of leukemia at the age of 54: ‘We had a good marriage’

November 8, 2023 at 2:45 PM


Henk Boon was born on November 9, 1946 and died on January 16, 2001. If you look at the (cold) figures, you will discover that the born Oldebroeker, who lived most of his life in Doornspijk, was only 54 years old. has become. Leukemia ended his life, even though he was rarely, if ever, ill. We talk about it with his wife Jannie Boon (70), who became a widow at the age of 48. “Fortunately, my son Wilfred (52) still lives at home and I have a lot of support from him. That saves half the grief.”

Barry Wensink

When Jannie Boon saw the first episode of this section in the newspaper, she contacted the undersigned. Only to leave a voicemail message a few days later that included the sentence ‘I’ve decided not to do it after all’. And yet the (life) story is now in this (monthly) section?! “I don’t find it difficult to tell, but you never know what you are doing right,” is her explanation. “Hopefully it can be of some comfort/help to others who experience something like this.”

The ‘story’ of Henk and Jannie started in the late 1960s in Doornspijk. “I was standing along the road with a group of girls, as we often did. Boys passed by and Henk was among them. It was certainly not love at first sight, but we really had a good marriage.”

After a (short) time, Jannie became pregnant and the couple soon tied the knot. “Well, that’s how it was in those days when a child was on the way. We dated for about nine months. I was only seventeen and Henk was 23 when we got married.” Henk Boon turned out to be something of an ‘all-rounder’. A ‘handy Harry’ who could make with his hands what his eyes saw moments before. “Officially he was a carpenter and he also regularly did odd jobs. For example in the evenings and on Saturdays. But if someone had broken his car or bicycle, he knew what to do with it.”

Henk and Jannie Boon in 1995 when they had been married for 25 years.

He regularly went to Amsterdam for work and then left home before 5 a.m. in the morning. “To avoid traffic jams,” Jannie explains. “Henk was a professional when it came to making stairs, for example, and many knew where to find him. We used to have a discotheque here in the village and Henk built the bar for it at the time. He was also good at making beds,” the born and bred Doornspijk native looks back on what has happened. “He was always busy and was there for everyone. Henk wanted to help.”

In his spare time, Henk spent a lot of time with his family, where there was more than average (medical) care. He also enjoyed tinkering with a Fiat 600 that he was renovating. “You know, this car is now 46 years old and is still here in the shed. We really won’t get rid of them.” Jannie looks aside for a moment and there is silence. “Where has the time gone?” is heard in the cozy living room on Albert Topweg. “Do you know; We never went on holiday either, because neither of us really felt the need to.”

The year 2000 is far from the top in the Boon household when it comes to a time to remember. “At that time, my father regularly said that he wondered what was wrong with Henk. He often lay exhausted on the couch. I remember well that Henk took a blood test at the doctor’s office on a Monday morning. He was admitted to hospital in the afternoon of the same day. He also told me to pack the suitcase, because this was not good. He had leukemia and I had already seen how that often ended with an uncle. He also received bone marrow from a brother, but to no avail.”

Henk Boon became increasingly ill and on November 9, 2000, Jannie thought that her husband’s end was near. “He fainted and we had to go to the hospital in Utrecht. He lay there for four weeks and the doctors could do nothing more. Henk wanted to die at home and the last nights we slept in the living room.”

Jannie and her son, the two of them, tried to restart their lives after Henk died. It worked and a prediction that Henk had made came true. “I have never been rebellious, because I know that doesn’t help anyway,” says religious Jannie. She suffers from a number of health problems, including fibromyalgia, which causes her to often be in pain and tired. However, complaining is not in her dictionary. “I am a volunteer with the Red Cross and have served coffee at ‘t Hart van Thornspic for years. I attend church services at home via my laptop and I am a member of the Elderly Association and the Women’s Association. I don’t have geraniums, but I’m not the type to sit behind them either.”

Although Jannie can talk well about (the death of) her husband, she (still) regularly has difficult moments. “In any case, on the anniversary of his death; January 16. Then you count the hours after the moment of death; 11 hours. Furthermore, during a church service, a sermon can move me so much that it brings tears to my eyes.”

Jannie takes the keys to her scooter and drives to the cemetery, about a kilometer away. “Sometimes I don’t come here for a long period of time and then again from time to time. That varies enormously and it is not always physically desirable,” she says. I have a photo of Henk’s grave at home and I look at it regularly.”

In the section ‘Forever in our hearts’ we offer a platform for relatives to tell the (life) story of a deceased loved one.
Would you also like to participate? Email [email protected] or call 085-6202925.

The article is in Dutch

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