Joe (Diesel Joe) Vriend, (Joseph Antonio), passed away at the age of 90, September 23rd, 2020.
Joe immigrated to Eastern Canada, from Holland, via France, in 1956. Joe and Dina made their way West working on the St. Lawrence Seaway, Mack Truck in Quebec, farms on the Prairies, and on reaching Vancouver the PGE Railway. They eventually settled in Squamish, landing the job as locomotive mechanic for PGE there, which led to his lifetime of working as a heavy duty mechanic in the logging industry.
Joe described himself as an innovator, continually inventing, with many of his inventions being patented. He proudly was a founding member of Eagle Grove Co-op, now known as Eagle Grove. He was a military man, serving in the Dutch Underground, and later became a mechanic for the Dutch Airforce under NATO. His military service was the most talked about part of his life. Many an afternoon was spent with him sharing his war stories proudly with family and his many friends.
His proudest accomplishment was his family, whom he passionately loved. Many family dinners, garage sales, afternoons in the backyard were spent surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Dina, and his four boys, John (Margaret), Frank (Monika), Joe (Roci), and Randall (Wendy). His adored grandchildren are, Christopher, Nicholas, Itzia, Kelsey, Breanna, and Hunter. He also leaves his brother Sam and many nieces and nephews in Holland, whom he has stayed in contact with his entire life.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Jamison, ER doctors, all nurses at SGH, VCH care workers, and particularly the ambulance service that on many occasions provided Joe with comforting and kind care.
At Joe’s request there will be no service. We ask that in lieu of flowers, you kindly consider making a donation to the Squamish Hospital Foundation.
Joe has now joined many loved ones and we know entered heaven with his famous words.
“Never fear Joe is here”.