On Sunday October 18, 2020, William “Bill” Hortsing passed away at age 93, in Daytona Beach, Florida. He is survived by his wife Barbara (Duffy) Hortsing, his four children, Sierd (Elzbieta), Swanny Graham (Tom), Clark (Marie Taylor) and Catharine (Wayne Nesbitt), his grandchildren Damien (Trisha), Zosia (Ryan), Camille, Sofi, David and Mara, and great-grandchildren Matteo, Mylah and Nia; stepchildren, Barbara Lucy Jones (Greg), John Duffy, Mary Jo Schwartz, the Hon. Patricia Barksdale (David), Michael Duffy and Francis Duffy and Barbara’s 13 grandchildren: Rebecca, Thomas Clay, Emily, Hannah, Steven, Daniel, Jack, Sally, Samuel, Dylan, Thomas Raymond, Eva Marie and Luke and great grandchildren Garrett and Cash. Bill was predeceased by his first wife, Jane (Jantje, née Vanderlaan), and four older siblings.
Bill was born on January 12, 1927, in Sneek, Friesland, the Netherlands, to Sierd and Catharina (Broekema) Hortsing. As a teenager during WW2, he suffered the deprivations of occupied Holland, which would forever colour his views. Bill worked as a bookkeeper, but felt the possibilities of improving his circumstances curtailed by the difficulties of life in post-war Holland. The family lore is he applied to emigrate to Canada, South Africa and Australia. Whichever country responded first would be his new country. Moving to Canada in 1954, he spent many years working as an accountant in Oakville, Ontario, until his desire for independence took him and his young family to Delta, Ontario, as the owner of a country market. Later, Bill worked in various places in central Ontario, eventually retiring as comptroller from Shaw-Almex Industries in Parry Sound. Bill volunteered for the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Cocoa Beach and Edgewater, FL, delivering food and services to needy neighbours. As a young man he sailed the lakes of Sneek. He played horseshoes, golf, billiards and table tennis; he built hi-fi’s and model railroads, collected stamps, travelled, read prolifically and was an enthusiastic Scrabble player. As a widower, Bill met Barbara, also widowed, at a Scrabble tournament. They would have been married for 25 years this November.
The family is grateful to the staffs of The Gardens Health and Rehabilitation and Hospice in Daytona Beach for their kind and competent care of Bill over the past weeks. He will be buried in London, Ontario. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church in New Smyrna Beach on Thursday, November 12 at 10:00 am. In memorium, the family requests donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, 3171 S. Ridgewood Ave., Edgewater, FL 32141.