Longtime CC Board Member Nelly Westerhoff Dies at 80

Nelly’s departure coincided with Spring’s arrival. In her garden, tulips bloomed as orioles flashed overhead in the new green canopy. Nelly cultivated her garden through the seasons into a place full of beauty and life.

During her service on the Christian Courier Board, Nelly nurtured Christian writers and worldviews and saw its pages filled with their ideas. Nelly believed this work could help unite the community and share valuable insights.

Her love of learning personal stories let Nelly discover new landscapes and histories. She understood that if tended to (like her garden), words can create colour and feeling, and shift the way we interact with our messy world. They give voice to empathy, sadness and frustration; words evoke our laughter, our joy and above all, let people we love know it well.

Nelly is now off exploring her heavenly home. We are left with a world made more wonderful by her presence, ready to continue her service to gardens, Christian Courier, and the stories alive in those around us. Nelly’s life inspires us to seek the “good stuff,” always extending our wonder to new people and places.

nelly’s obituary

Nelly entered God’s Full Presence on May 12, 2022.
Nelly will be dearly missed by Ceus Westerhoff, her loving husband and best friend of fifty-seven years; as well as her children Melinda Regnerus (Andrew); Kendrick Westerhoff (Elizabeth); Jennifer Maillet (Greg); Trevor (Jennifer). She was a loving Grandma to 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
Also grieving are sisters Wilhemina Tervrugt and Ann Evans (Ken) and In-laws Irene Jonker (Leo), Catherina Dryfhout (Dave), Margaret Kingma (Peter). Pre-deceased by her sister Coby Jonker and brothers-in-law, Reinder Westerhoff, Roland Jonker and Richard Tervrugt.
Nelly and Ceus carved out a beautiful life dedicated to family, church and family businesses. A wonderful Mom, Nelly raised her children while taking piano lessons and studying for her B.A. in English Literature from Brock University.
Nelly always celebrated the “Good Stuff” in life. Her passion for her garden was motivated by wonder and potential as she shifted rocks and planted seeds. She loved music and championed the skill and craft of her musician friends. Nelly also loved food and wine, landscapes and languages—she marveled at their origin and their beauty. She showed tremendous interest in people’s lives and their adventures. Nelly’s enduring love for her husband Ceus, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be treasured more than words can say.
Nelly volunteered regularly and served as a Church Deacon and Elder. She enjoyed her Church Life Group, made friends with newcomers to Canada, and spent quality time with friends. A strong supporter of Christian schools, Nelly also served on the Board of Governors for Redeemer University and the Board of Christian Courier. As a capstone to her service, Nelly and Ceus participated in service projects with World Renew Disaster Relief Services, building wonderful friendships along the way. Nelly truly lived out her faith in service to God, the One from whom all blessings flow.

By AJ Regnerus & Jenelle Maillet, Nelly & her husband Ceus’s grandchildren.


  • A.J. Regnerus

    A.J. has an M.A. in International Affairs. He works in Ottawa where he lives with his wife, Coriander, and dog, Basil.

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