Monday, March 16, 2009

Celebrating Henny's Life

Hendrika “Henny” Scherer (nee d’Haene) – Passed away peacefully in hospital in Toronto on March 15th, 2009 after a brief battle with cancer at the age of 73. Henny was a force of nature on the tennis courts and off.

Her quick wit, fearless attitude and zest for life inspired all who met her. She was the adored wife of Karl Scherer, cherished mom to Peter (LeeAnne Wright) and Robert (Kelly Graham-Scherer) and beloved Oma to Jordan, Cailey and Graham. Henny is survived by brother John (Julie) d’Haene and sister Helene (Tom) Delmaar and predeceased by brothers Pierre (Luuk) and Eugenius d’Haene.

Henny will be deeply missed by many nieces and nephews as well as friends and neighbors in Don Mills where she was involved in the community for nearly 50 years. Funeral Mass will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 19th at St. Bonaventure Catholic Church, 1300 Leslie St. Reception at Kelly and Robert's house will follow. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in her name to the Toronto Humane Society or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation of Canada.


  1. A Message of Love From The Stewart Family

    We are very saddened to hear of Tanta Hennys passing.She was a very kind and loving lady with a heart of gold.She lit up the lives of everyone she touched, making them feel speical.I remember when I came to stay with her,she made me feel so welcome sure that I had everything I needed.She took me to the zoo and Niagra Falls but I will always remember when we went shopping at the mall.We had some great laughs together and I will hold those memories forever in my heart.Ifeel very grateful to have had her in my life and she will be truely missed!!

  2. "Where's Henny?"
    The scene would be Don Mills Tennis Club on any Thursday morning at 9:30, and the sounds would be the cries of red-winged blackbirds, and of Henny's teammates, asking one another "Where's Henny?" Then we'd spot the familiar slim figure in a blue and green tracksuit walking up the path at an energetic pace, and she'd say "WHY do you guys always come so EARLY?" As our valiant North York League Captain and as an award-winning tennis player for over forty years, Henny was forthright but fair-minded, a wise and skillful manager of the people on our team. I was fortunate enough to be Henny's partner on three different tennis teams in the past six years, and I learned that her fierce and fiery exterior on the court concealed a kind heart. Every August it was a joy to behold how warmly Henny welcomed us into the lovely home and garden she had created, at our end-of-season potluck pool party. Henny would talk about Karl, her sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. She'd reminisce about her early days in Canada, when she worked as a flight attendant, and tell us stories about the birds and other wildlife who lived in the birch trees near her pool. Sometimes it was hard to believe that this affable, hospitable hostess who made such good cakes was the same Henny who was the steely-eyed feisty opponent on the tennis court. But, hey, these contrasts were exactly what made our Henny such an unforgettable, quirky, strong-minded woman. Who can understand the mysterious formula that makes up a human being? Henny lived her life with gusto, creativity, and enthusiasm, and was a wonderful friend to many people. That's why we are still trying to come to terms with the loss of a good friend. Our hearts go out to Karl, Peter and Lee-Anne, Robert and Kelly, and to her grandchildren, for their loss is so much greater than ours.

  3. A message of Love From Your Brother John

    When Hennie was born in Oct.1935,I was five years old.
    My name is Johannes Jacobus d'Haene known as John and the brother of Hennie.When Hennie was about 4 and a half years old, the war the war broke out and the Netherlands were invaded by German Forces. It took 5 days for the powerful German Armies to run over our country which is small.Our country fits about 300 times in Canada. I remember our strict school years, the boys went to the catholic school and were taught by broeders [ brothers, a catholic order.] They wore long black robes.The school was called St. Vincentius or in english St. Vincent . Behind the school was a monastery where the brothers lived. The girls went to the Heilig Hart[Holy Heart School],where the teachers were nuns, who lived in the convent behind the school.
    The last years of the German occupation we hardly got anything to eat, as the Germans plundered our country empty.To stay alive we ate tulip bulbs, which had to be boiled 3 times, and some could be poisened. It only gave us diarrhea.Our mother was sick in the hospital and Hennie and I had to walk about 10 blocks to visit her.When we arrived at the hospital, our mother had saved her meals in the side of her bed for us to eat. The patients in the hospital got good food.We loved our mother very much for she had a soft and gentle character.
    In 1941 I remember my brother Eugene leaving in the middle of the night.He said as we slept in the same bedroom, " I'm going away and see you later." He wanted to flee to England, where he wanted to become a pilot and bomb Germany.He told my mother once and she thought it was all talk. Eugene was 16 years old at that time, but he meant it.Later we heard that he was with a bunch of guys, hanging on the outside of trains and managed to arrive in Switzerland, a neutral country. They had no money on them . At that time it was known, that people were picked up by English boats from the dutch and french coasts by night. Eugene still wanted to try to get to the french coast.He left Switzerland crossing the swiss french border, where he was picked up by German guards and sent to concentration camps, where he died 2 weeks before the Russian Troops liberated the city of Leipzig.A belgian fellow by the name of Gaspar,who lived in the cell next to Eugene and survived the war, came to see us after the war to drop off a little note Eugene wrote on a piece of paper to us, that he felt sorry for all the sorrow he had caused us and asked for forgivness.Gaspar came home and heard that his dad died in another concentration camp,
    Our brother Pierre was in the Dutch Resistance and was lucky to survive the war. Some of his resistance workers were killed by the Germans. Piere was very silent about the war time,he never wanted to talk about his experiences, which we figured must have been very bad at times.
    After the war Piere signed up as volunteer in the dutch army to go to Nederlands Oost Indie, the former Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia.Indonesia got their independence from the Netherlands in 1948.
    I remember my dad saying, " Are you crazy to go in the army to fight over seas!""You just went through hell in the war time", but he had made up his mind.
    By the end of 1946, we were notified by the Red Cross, that they had found Eugene's body.We had to tell mother, who had a heart condition and 2 months later she died broken hearted.She always hoped that he would come back. Our dad died in May 1953 from stomach cancer.
    In the meantime Hennie joined the Dutch Air Force, I believe in 1954 and she was discharged before she left with Piere and Luuk and family to Canada in 1957 where they arrived in Calgary.
    Hennie became a flight attendant and met the love of her life, Karl Scherer in Toronto. They married in Calgary on the 8th of April 1961 and settled in Toronto where Karl worked.Hennie visited Calgary several times and Helene too.We spent good times together and visited her in Toronto.Hennie was a go getter, very active in her community and a pro on the tennis court and got several medals for the seniors.
    We will miss her very much and she we be in our thoughts forever!!