Berend Douma, Sr.

09 Sep 2019 | 11:57

Berend “Bill” Douma Sr., age 71, of Wantage, passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, surrounded by his family

Born in Friesland, Holland to the late Kenneth and Susan (Aukema) Douma, Bill came to the United States via Ellis Island when he was fourteen. Since that time, he has lived in Wantage. A proud US Army veteran of the Vietnam War, Bill was the lone survivor of his platoon; earning himself a Purple Heart. He was known for his excavating business, Backhoe Bill’s Excavation.

Predeceased by his parents; brothers Bob and Hank Douma; sister, Edith Peereboom; and grandson, Aiden J. Douma, Bill is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Shirley (Jacobs) Douma; sons, Berend Jr. and his wife, Suzette, Douma of Vernon, and Michael and wife, Nicole, Douma of Wantage; daughter Kara Douma, also of Wantage; seven grandsons Joshua, Tyler, Berend lll, Matthew, Nicholas, Theodore, Zackery, and his only granddaughter Lillian; sisters Janet Heida, Rose Hoekstra, and Wilma Van Teijen; and a brother, Harry Douma.

A celebration of Bill's life will be held on Sept., 28, starting at 4 p.m. at the Franklin American Legion, 1 Legion Pl., Franklin NJ 07416 Online condolences may be offered at