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4525-47a Avenue, Red Deer, AB T4N 6Z6
By: MAG Staff and TenHove Family
In December 1944, Jacoba (Coby) Spuijbrock was born in the middle of the night by the light of an oil lamp. With the scarcity of resources, her family was lucky to find oil in it.
Food was limited in the winter of 1944, making pregnancy difficult. When Coby was born, her mother was grateful for the gifts she received: a pint of milk, 4 eggs, and a half loaf of bread.
(image: Coby TenHove 1945)
After the war, Coby’s life was uncomplicated. As the oldest child, she helped her mom because they “were all in this together.” At 4, Coby took a bag, money, and a list to the grocer. There, she handed over the list and money, bringing the food and change home.
(Image: Coby and first 3 siblings, c.1949)
Coby attended school, ultimately specializing in child care. In 1969, Coby decided to come to Canada to learn English. She landed at the Montreal Airport, heading to a child care worker job in Dixville, Quebec. Originally, she planned to obtain a visitor visa, but was told immigrating would be easier.
(image: Coby in Home Ec. Class as a teen)
In 1970, Coby took the train to Red Deer to live with Bas and Rita from her hometown who had immigrated in 1966. She stayed with them, helping around the house and working at the Capri Hotel, until Rita passed away. Coby then shared an apartment with another lady.
While attending bible study at the Christian Reform Church, Coby met Dirk (Dick) TenHove, who had emigrated from the Netherlands with his parents and siblings in 1953. They were married in 1972, and by 1979 had 4 children together.
(Image: Coby at Amsterdam Station 2019)
Thank you to Coby and the TenHove family for sharing.