Johannes Cornelis Das “Hans” was taken suddenly yet peacefully to his eternal home on January 15, 2018 at the age of 90. Predeceased by his beloved wife Janke (Jane) Das, brother Piet and sister Josien Skibo. He will be greatly missed by his children John Das (Jennie) of Sarnia ON, and Teresa Hodgson (Tom) of Port Perry ON. He is survived by his sisters Bep of Delfgauw NL, Sophia (Fie) of East London RSA and his brother Jan of Pijnacker NL. He was a much loved “Grandpa” to Jason Das (Heather Kolb) of Ottawa ON, David Das (Laura) of Redmond Washington, Alisa Das of Hamilton ON, Nathan Das (Aleah) of Paris ON, Andrew Hodgson of Toronto ON, and Jessica Vreugdenhil (nee Hodgson) (Jeremy) of Oshawa ON and “Great Grandpa” to Myles & Dylan Das of Redmond Washington, Rohnan Paterson-Astle & Connor Das of Paris ON, and Jane & Ivy Vreugdenhil of Oshawa ON. He was much-loved uncle to many nieces and nephews and their children in Canada, Netherlands, RSA, Spain. Pico, his Pug of 11 years was the inseparable joy of his life.
Hans’ passion in life was in the field of Electronics. After WWII for his compulsory military service, Hans was given a choice of going off to Indonesia to fight another war, or be promoted from Private to Sergeant and teach electronics for teletype and radio in Nijmegen. He chose the latter. He built the first television in Holland to receive test signals from the BBC with surplus allied electronic parts. After his military service was completed he married Janke Van der Valk and soon emigrated to Canada, making his way to Sarnia.
For most of his years, Hans was self employed as “Hans Das Electronics” specializing in repairing radio telephones and RADAR on Great Lakes freighters. He did contract work for DECCA, Marconi, XEROX, Motorola and others. He built control panels for Dow, Fibreglass, and others in the Chemical Valley. During the ‘60s, Phillips from Netherlands, sent him some of the first colour TVs in Canada to test with Dutch technicians because he had lots of equipment and was close to Detroit which broadcast in colour before Toronto.
Hans was also an inventor. Among the first, were ambulance sirens and communications gear for the Ontario Ministry of Health. While working for the Petrolia PUC, in 1977 he built a system to control the water pumping stations with emerging Micro Processors, interconnecting Brights Grove, Maundamin and Petrolia facilities via VHF radio, predating the Internet by a decade. His insights into water system management are still in place today.
In the last ten years, he focussed on industrial electronics, including the rebuilding of a Mori Seki CNC milling machine which he completed in 2016. Customers were still trying to drop off items for repair just days prior to his move to St. Joseph’s hospice. In the hospice Hans was designing in his mind a better Blood Oxygen sensor that would use multiple finger sensors for more accurate results. He also relayed to his son, John, how to finish a couple of priority items in the shop. He baked bread with his granddaughter Alisa just three weeks ago as the “secret” recipe needed to be passed on. Two days prior to his death, he was teaching College level electro-magnetic theory to his 9 year old Great Grandson. Hans’ interest in learning and relaying his knowledge was evident until his last breath. The torch has now passed to the next generation.
Visitation at Smith Funeral Home, 1576 London Line, Sarnia on Thursday, January 18, 2018 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Private family internment at Lakeview Cemetery. Memorial service at Redeemer Christian Reformed Church, 5834 Blackwell Side Rd. Sarnia, on Friday, January 19, 2018, at 11:30 a.m.