Meindert de Vries was born in Drenthe, a province in the northeast of the Netherlands. From the time he was sixteen, Meindert was a man with a vision. At age sixteen, he started working on farms as a hired hand. His vision was to own his own farm. He realized he'd never be able to attain this goal in the Netherlands, where farmland was very expensive.
In 1955, he emigrated to Canada. For the next twenty years, he lived and worked in Edmonton, not exactly the right location for a farm. He and his wife, Johanna, whom he married in 1957, had four sons.
By 1974, conditions were right to start looking in earnest for a farm. He found one close to Wetaskiwin in August 1975. Meindert worked hard, at first raising hogs, then purebred Hereford cattle, then growing crops.
Meindert loved starting building projects. Among these projects were designing and building three complete basement suites and, with his sons, doing much of the work building a new home on the farm.
A great sorrow for Meindert and Johanna was losing two sons, Martin and Hugo, to leukemia. Their son Robert lives on the farm now, and Neil is still a railroader.
From 2014 on Meindert's health deteriorated, and he died in October 2018, at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife, Johanna, sons Robert and Neil, two adopted daughters, Mi Ja and Hi Ja, and their families, daughter-in-law Becky, four granddaughters and their partners.
A private family funeral has taken place. A Celebration of Meindert's Life is planned for a later date.
If you so desire, donations may be made to the Wetaskiwin Health Foundation or a charity of donor's choice