William Oostenbrink

Obituary of William Louis Oostenbrink

June 4, 1934 – Heemse, The Netherlands

May 23, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta


William (Bill) Louis Oostenbrink was born on June 4, 1934, in Heemse, Overijssel, NL, the third of six children of Jacob Oostenbrink and Antien Louissen. In his youth, he was known as “Wim”. An indelible event in his childhood was the 1944 expulsion of his family from their home and business by the Nazis. In recent years, Bill looked back on his post-war teenage years in Heemse as idyllic, especially because he loved playing on Heemse’s soccer team. In later life, Bill would coach several youth soccer teams in Canada and Saudi Arabia.


Bill’s high school education in the Netherlands was to prepare him for university, but his education was interrupted when the Oostenbrinks immigrated to Canada in July 1951, having been sponsored by a sugar beet farmer in Coaldale, AB. While waiting for the harvest, seventeen-year-old Bill got his first taste of real manual labour working on “the pipeline”. In December 1951, the family moved on to New Westminster, BC. In the following years, Bill would work in the forestry industry, and most notably for a commercial window cleaning company called Modern Cleaning Services, a job he quit when his wage demands were not met. A year or so later, at the age of 19, he borrowed money from his father to become the owner of this same business, which he sold in 1957 to finance his further education, first to complete his university entrance requirements and to improve his English, and then to attend the University of British Columbia.


In 1959, while he was a UBC student, Bill married Maria Van Egmond after a courtship that began in 1954, when both families belonged to the Canadian Reformed Church of New Westminster. By the time he graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) in 1962, Bill and Maria were the parents of Jim (1960) and Rob (1962). He then started a job as a Human Resources manager at the Celgar pulp mill in Castlegar, where Tony was born in 1963. The family was completed when Marcel was born in 1967 in Calgary, where Bill and Maria moved in 1964 when Bill began his career in the oil and gas industry as a junior economist for Mobil Oil. He had an extraordinary career that included being Mobil's representative on the board of the Canadian Petroleum Association in the early-mid 1970s and chairing its Economics Committee, as well as six years in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, between 1978 and 1986 as Aramco's energy demand specialist. In this position, Bill met with Ahmed Yamani, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Petroleum. As Mobil’s Manager of Economic & Regulatory Affairs, Bill was very involved in the early 1980s in the development of Mobil's leases off Canada's east coast, especially Hibernia and Sable Island. In the late 1980s, he was focused on the deregulation of Canada’s natural gas industry.


After he retired from Mobil Oil in 1990, Bill involved himself in many projects in keeping with his "project manager" personality. Bill had always personally landscaped their homes, but his post-retirement projects in Calgary became quite elaborate and beautiful. After successfully completing a project, Bill and Maria would move to a new home on a larger property and do it again.


When Bill retired from Mobil Oil in 1990 at the age of 56, Bill and Maria had three grandchildren, including one granddaughter. A dozen years later, there were a dozen more grandSONS – a soccer team! Bill and Maria delighted in their grandchildren and took great interest in them as they grew up. Bill felt it was important to offer advice and counsel to his grandchildren, as he did with his own sons. Indeed, Bill took seriously his role as leader of his family, which now includes nine granddaughters-in-law and seven great-grandchildren (with two more expected in August).


Bill and Maria shared an enthusiasm for adventure, and their time in Saudi Arabia was an exciting period for their family. Major moves and the boys’ attendance at various schools in Alberta, British Columbia, the Netherlands, and Saudi Arabia had to be planned and coordinated, in addition to their many travels during these years. Bill depended on Maria’s passion and skill for organizing and her judgment about many matters. Even though Bill and Maria were often apart from each other for long periods, the roots of their marriage deepened, and their marriage blossomed. This was truly a partnership for life, and it was based upon the foundation of their love for Christ and His church. Bill and Maria together were richly blessed by the Lord in countless ways, and to the very moment of Bill’s passing into glory when Maria was with Bill. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!


Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and sibling will be remembered by:


     Maria Johanna Gerarda Oostenbrink – Van Egmond (his wife of almost 65 years)


          Jim & Nelly Oostenbrink


               Justin & Janae Oostenbrink (Jayden, Jessie)

               Jordan Oostenbrink (Rojen, Raelle, Georgianna, Beatrix)

               Joshua & Carley Oostenbrink (Ayla)

               Jerrod Oostenbrink


          Robert & Arlene Oostenbrink


               Nathan & Keelaina Oostenbrink

               Reuben & Muriel Oostenbrink (Expecting)

               Levi & Vivien Oostenbrink


          Tony & Janet Oostenbrink


               Ariel Oostenbrink

               Peter & Jessa Oostenbrink (Expecting)

               Simon & Bianca Oostenbrink


          Marcel & Debbie Oostenbrink


               David & Brenam Oostenbrink

               William Oostenbrink

               Michael & Angel Oostenbrink

               Luke Oostenbrink

               Adam Oostenbrink


          Siblings, Janny Pol, Lucy Mulder, and Bernie Oostenbrink


          Many nieces, nephews, and friends


Bill was predeceased by his siblings, Albert Oostenbrink (1997) and Margaret Oostenbrink (2018).

Maria and her family are very grateful to the doctors and nurses of Rockyview General Hospital, Unit 61A who faithfully attended to Bill in his final days.


Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McInnis and Holloway (Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB) on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


A Private Family Graveside Service will be held at Eden Brook Memorial Gardens on Wednesday, May 29, 2024.


Funeral Services will be held at Bethel Reformed Church (730 – 101st Street S.W., Calgary, AB) on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at 1:30 p.m. Reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Bill’s family here.


In living memory of Bill Oostenbrink, a tree will be planted in the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis and Holloway Funeral Homes, Park Memorial, 5008 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.



7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
McInnis & Holloway Park Memorial - Elboya
5008 Elbow Drive SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
(403) 243-8200

Funeral Service

1:30 pm
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
Bethel United Reformed Church
730 101 St SW, Calgary, AB
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


To follow in the Church Hall.
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