Frank Sytsma July 9, 1933 – April 19, 2021
To plant a memorial tree in honor of Frank Sytsma, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
It is with heavy hearts we announce the peaceful passing of Frank Sytsma on April 19, 2021, with his wife by his side. Frank is survived by the love of his life Anne and his sons Al (Beth), John, Rick (Marnie). Proud Grandpa to Michael, Daniel, Megan, and Pake to Paul (Kristy), Chris (David) and Taylor (Kevin). Opa to Levi, Bentley, and Pake to Regan, Suzy and Eleanor. Remembered by his brothers Doede (Annie), Sipke (Alley) and Wiebe (Tinneke) and extended family in the Netherlands and Canada. Predeceased by his parents Arjen and Sijke and brothers Kornelis (Anneke), Johannes (Trijntje).
Born in Friesland, Netherlands in 1933, he emigrated to Canada at the age of 22 with his then wife Shirley. Frank was adventurous with a wide range of interests: finance, flying and traveling. He enjoyed nature and anything outdoors, gardening, fishing, luxury camping in the airstream and house boating with the family. In his life’s journey he pursued various careers from poultry farming, GM assembly worker to eventually excelling in sales. He became an Independent Insurance Broker under the name, Frank Sytsma Insurance in the early sixties and was one of the first brokers to have a “mobile phone” that took up most of the back seat in his car. Subsequently he operated as Peel Insurance in Mississauga. Between 1990-1992 he served on the Insurance Brokers Association Executive Committee and became President of Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario in 1993. During his tenure he launched the Broker Identity Program, “The Bipper” logo and endorsed mandatory continuing education for brokers. He retired from the insurance business in 2000.
He loved animals and over the years took up breeding of Shelties, Collies, Limousine cattle and finally Friesian horses. He was proud of winning “Best in Show” with his Collie Brandy and showing his prize Limousine at The Royal Agricultural Fair. He had a green thumb and every year grew the most delicious tomatoes in his garden.
He was never short of words, even hinging more on exuberant, when it came to voicing his political opinion or engaging anyone in a political debate. He was more than happy to point out the faults in his opponent’s argument.
In 1977 Frank attained his Private Pilot’s licence and eventually got his Instrument Rating. Flying was his passion. He was an excellent IFR pilot flying the skies in CGDVV with precision. He loved to fly long distance trips with his Co-Pilot Anne by his side. They participated in the John Lovelace’s Cross Canada Century Flight in 2009. Together there were many Caribbean flying trips to the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, Dominican Republic, Grand Cayman, St. Maarten, Martinique, Anguilla, Belize, Vieques and Guatemala. Hanging up his wings in his 85th year he said he never imagined that he would have the good fortune to fly the skies to all those destinations.
Above all he cherished his family and supported their endeavours in every way. He always took a keen interest in his grandchildren’s education. He loved to host family gatherings and always dressed to the nines for the occasions with an ice-cold martini in hand.
Frank will be missed beyond words, but has left us with some invaluable words of wisdom and our hearts full of many wonderful memories. He was a gentle man with an amazing charm and he will always be with us.
“Air Traffic Control this is Charlie Gulf Delta Victor Victor….could you please close my flight plan.”
The Family would like to extend their gratitude to all the doctors, nurses and all others that have been involved in his care over the past number of years.
Respecting the current situation and pandemic restrictions, there will be no service at this time. A celebration of Frank’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice.