Let the memory of Awna be with us forever.
  • 72 years old
  • Born on January 23, 1946 in Schraard, Friesland, Netherlands.
  • Passed away on November 1, 2018 in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada.

A musical Celebration of Awna's Life will be held on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at Plura Hills United Church, 2090 Pacific Way, Kamloops, BC at 1 pm.   

Rev. Barbara Samuel from the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations in Awna's memory can be made to the Kamloops Music Collective, a non-profit organization which provides young musicians opportunities to learn, play and perform music through a variety of programs and mentorship.  Donations to the Kamloops Music Collective can be made at https://www.kamloopsmusiccollective.info/


Awna (Anno) de Haan passed away at 5:40 pm on November 1, 2018, at the Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, BC.  He made his transition surrounded by family, friends, and music, after a battle with cancer.  Awna will be dearly missed by his loving partner Colleen and a vibrant and supportive community of family, friends, and musicians in Kamloops, the Fraser Valley, Ontario, Saskatchewan, USA and beyond.  He is survived by his partner, Colleen Nielsen, his six children, Jeff de Haan (Tammy) and granddaughter Chelsea de Haan, Shana Salas (Geo) and grandchildren Tiara de Haan and Espen Salas, Kam de Haan, Josh de Haan, Kaylee de Haan, and Kaden de Haan; his 4 stepchildren Melissa Nielsen, Eric Nielsen (Sam), Charlotte Bylsma (Troy), and their 6 children, Jessica, Jasmine, Jenna, Joel, Justus, & Jaxon, and Kristina Benson. He is also survived by his six siblings, Sid de Haan (Frieda) in Abbotsford, BC, Carmen Johnson (Bob), Shadde de Haan (Dianne), Betty Van de Kemp (Tim), Janna de Haan, Pearl Verstoep (Hugh), all in Ontario, as well as many wonderful nieces and nephews.   He was predeceased by his parents, Casey de Haan in 1979 and Wilma de Haan in 2016.

Awna was born in Schraard, Friesland, Netherlands, on January 23, 1946, and immigrated to Canada with his family in 1948 when he was two years old.  His family settled in Blythe, Ontario, where he enjoyed his childhood growing up on the farm.  The de Haan family moved to Langley, BC in 1957 when Awna was 11 which was another great adventure for him.   In 1961 the de Haan family returned to the east and purchased a farm in Trowbridge, Ontario.  Awna finished high school in Listowel, Ontario.  Moving to London, Ontario, Awna spent many hours at the Roller Rink and became a competitive dancer on roller skates!  He and his friends entered many competitions both in Ontario and northeastern US.  Awna moved back to BC as a young adult and with Diane de Haan raised his family in Abbotsford and Chilliwack.  

Awna moved to Kamloops in 2000 and has made many friends and has shared his love of music and enriched the many lives he touched.   Awna was a talented musician, playing guitar from his teens and discovering the ukulele on a trip he and Colleen took to Hawaii in 2010.  The ukulele was such fun, he wanted to share it, and with Colleen, was a founding member of the Ukulele Orchestra of Kamloops in 2012.  The UOK now has 75 members and holds the Annual Kamloops Summer Ukulele Festival which hosts 160 ukulele enthusiasts and has brought in wonderful musicians and instructors from Canada, USA and Australia.  Awna led the team that looked after providing sound for the 2 large concerts at the Festival.   During the past 6 years with UOK he led many a uke jam and circle.  He played his ukulele every day and was always innovating and learning new chords up the neck, new techniques and improving his playing.  Awna was the Music Director at the Centre for Spiritual Living - Kamloops for a number of years.  Joined by 3 others, they formed the house band Heartbeat, in which Awna played Guitar, Colleen played Ukulele,  Rheal Bosse played drums with Pam Jones and all band members providing vocals.  During the last several years, he and Colleen have frequented music festivals and events around the province, such as (of course) the Kamloops Summer Ukulele Festival held at Sorrento Centre, the Sweet Adelines Competition in Surrey, the Vancouver Ukulele Festival, the annual Elvis Festival in Penticton, and the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival.  Awna also had a lifelong love of tractors and in August 2018 he and Colleen attended the Antique Tractor Show in Lynden, WA where he was in his element seeing all the old tractors. He could name each make and model and had a story to tell about each!   Awna had a unique sense of humour and would brighten the day of anyone who crossed his path.  He was always making friends and had a large group of close friends in Kamloops who will dearly miss him.  He dearly loved his family, friends, music, golf, tractors (with a special spot for John Deere tractors), and travelling.  Awna was a kind, gentle, very capable and talented man, always loving, loyal and supportive of the endeavours and interests of his family and friends.  

Awna worked as a long-haul truck driver for many years, both as an employee and an owner/operator, driving all over Canada and the US.  For the last 10 years Awna worked for Columbia Transport Training at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, as a Class 1 Driving Instructor and Air Brakes Instructor until his retirement in January 2018.  He loved his work and was a patient and thorough teacher, whether teaching driving or ukulele!   

Many thanks to the wonderful staff of nurses and care aides at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.  The care, compassion and respect you provided to Awna during his final journey is so much appreciated and will never be forgotten. 


Posted by Patti Tourand on 27th November 2018
My sincerest sympathy to Colleen and all her family. You would have been so proud Awna of the musical tribute to you. It was a beautiful service. I had no idea you had such a large family. It was easy to see there are lots of memories.
Posted by Betty Van De Kemp on 22nd November 2018
Tim and I are very deeply saddened by Anno's recent passing. He will be missed by so many in so many ways. Being the closest in age to him, Anno and I played a lot together as children. Great memories. Thanks Colleen for being there for him especially during this last difficult year. Love from both of us.
Posted by Ann Phelan on 21st November 2018
Sincere condolences to the De Haan family at this difficult time. Cherish your wonderful memories of Awna. - Ann & Bill Phelan, Jack & Dinah de Groot , Marion de Groot
Posted by Jeremy Johnson on 20th November 2018
A wonderful tribute to Uncle Awna. The musical celebration is a tremendous way to commemorate his life. ❤️ Love from Australia.
Posted by Lori Nelson on 19th November 2018
It was an honour to meet Awna early this year and be able to spend some time learning and playing ukulele with him in KUO. He and Colleen made me feel very welcome. My sincere condolences on the loss of such a gentle, caring, talented man.
Posted by Dolores Duke on 19th November 2018
My deepest condolences to Colleen and family; a kind and gentle man who was always willing to share his music and ukulele knowledge! What a loss to all who knew him...the UOK will miss him deeply. May God keep you strong.
Posted by Gihan Salgado on 19th November 2018
This is a difficult time for all who knew him, especially the family. Our condolences to you all
Posted by Frans Schelte De Haan on 18th November 2018
Dear relatives in Canada and US. I write this message as a nephew of Awne. I am a son of your uncle Sjerp (Ϯ 2003), brother of Cees) and aunt Tine (Ϯ 2018). Like your father Cees I'm born and living in Schraard, nearby Gaast, where your mother Wiep is born. I've never met your brother Awne (Anne) but he shared the same love for music as we do. Music plays an important role in our family and gives a good opportunity to express our inner feelings. The love for God, his creation and people we care. You can be sure that Awne is now gathered with his family, the best place to be, waiting together for the new world when Christ our Lord will return back. Then we will live forever (gospel according to John 11: 23-26)! May this message gives us thrust en hope. Heartily greetings from Schraard, Frans Schelte de Haan
Posted by Diane DeHaan on 18th November 2018
We never know where the roads in life will lead, for Awna; he took the road less traveled. He learned to bring love and happiness to those around him. My condolences to all of his children, brothers and sisters as well as his step children and loving partner Colleen, who welcomed everyone and stood strong for each one of us who shared in the loss of Awna. May he rest in peace within God’s loving arms.
Posted by Anneke Haagsma on 17th November 2018
Awna, we did not meet in person but we were both named after my brother and your uncle Anne de Haan who died during World War 2. This connected us in some sort of strange way. We did not meet in this life, but I am sure I will see you one day in the beautiful loving Light of Heaven. Life is Iternal!
Posted by Shaddr De Haan on 17th November 2018
Had to think about this for a bit before I could write it My brother was a kind man and spent his life trying to make life better for other people. May you Rest In Peace Thanks Coleen for being a major part of his life. And ty for looking after him in his final days You will always be a welcome visitor to our home
Posted by Darlene Kelly on 16th November 2018
Colleen, I want to send you some love and light... thinking of you!!! oxoxo Awna was a great guy, and perfect for you.. Some great memories you have to cherish.... Please look after yourself, and I am only a call away if you need a friend... Hugs to you, Colleen... xoxo
Posted by Jim D'Ville on 14th November 2018
It was a sincere pleasure to have met Awna and become friends with him during my past three years at the Kamloops Ukulele Festival. Although he will be missed terribly, his spirit will continue to reign over the festival each and every year from now on. God's speed, my friend.
Posted by Paulette Davies on 14th November 2018
Awna was a gentle, kind, and thoughtful man, who will be missed by all who knew him. My sincere condolences to Colleen and family at this time. The musical tribute to celebrate Awna's life will make a fitting goodbye for someone so loved.
Posted by Kaylee Dehaan on 13th November 2018
I will always miss you Papa, you are deeply loved and I will always cherished in our memories. Your love for nature and music will always bring me great joy. Love you papa :) you baby girl, Kaylee d.
Posted by Sherry Carroll on 12th November 2018
I am so grateful for having met Awna and colleen, to have been able to learn and share ukulele with him and the wonderful group at the UOK. Awna was one of 2 men who deeply inspired me with ukulele, the other was dear friend Judge Russ Mckay who took his uke to the court house. He also lost his battle to cancer far to young. There must be something magical about the ukulele that two such kind, charming and talented men would hold this little instrument so dear! Thank you Awna and Colleen for the music, the memories and all the sweet circles.
Posted by Ron Eng on 12th November 2018
Colleen, Family and Friends: We loved Awna's unique, kind, generous spirit. He definitely shared his love of ukulele and music with us. We will miss his quirky funny sense of humour and the smile that always seemed to be on his face. Your music will continue to play on! Hugs and Love to Colleen and Awna's family.
Posted by B B C Johnson on 12th November 2018
My heart is broken at the loss of my youngest brother Awna. Colleen you are in my heart forever for being such a good partner to my brother and for looking after him during the past months. May you find peace in the coming days ahead.
Posted by Yiovani Salas on 12th November 2018
My deepest and sincere condolences to all Mr. Dehaan's family and friends. May his music play up above for all his loved ones to hear in their hearts forever.
Posted by Sunny Tangas-Hut on 12th November 2018
Awna was a friend to all and was always willing to help everyone. We will sadly miss you Awna. Thank you for your great music . Condolences to family and friends.
Posted by Bev Fowler on 12th November 2018
My sincere Condolences to Colleen ; Family ; Friends . Awna was such a gentle soul ; always smiling . I loved the music of Heartbeat when they played at CSL .My thoughts and prayers are with his Family . Friends.

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