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Helena Maria 'Lenie' Rhebergen

Fellowship Baptist Church
469 Elgin St., Cobourg

Wednesday March 22nd
9:00am - 12:00pm


Fellowship Baptist Church
469 Elgin St., Cobourg

Wednesday March 22nd
Interment at Cobourg Union following service
A livestream of the service will be available below. In the event you are unable to watch the livestream at the time of broadcast, a recorded version of the service will be available shortly after the service has ended.

This obituary is protected by copyright by MacCoubrey Funeral Home Limited. Proudly serving Northumberland County in the province of Ontario, Canada. All rights reserved.

Helena Maria 'Lenie' Rhebergen

August 19, 1941 - March 17, 2023

RHEBERGEN, Helena “Lenie” Maria (Vreugdenhil) left this life on March 17, 2023, with her daughters and family attending to her at her home in Cobourg, Ontario. She will be greatly missed by her children, grandchildren, and “the greats”, Bonnie (Nemanja Savić) Rhebergen – Robert (Nat) Vanderwel (Dredon, Dalyn), Maria (Mark) Boulerice (Ella, Blake), John (Amy) Vanderwel (Willow, Ivy), Brooke Hall (Aubrey, Colton); Judy (Dan) Zandstra – Cameron, Madeline; Colin Rae; Kim (Paul) Triemstra – Lennea, Lewis; Christina (Troy Rhodes) Rhebergen – Isaac Koene; Patricia (Rob) Jones – Amy, Phil, Faith; by her siblings, Adrian (Trudy) Vreugdenhil, Marien (Anne) Vreugdenhil, Frank (Doris) Vreugdenhil, (Gloria Vreugdenhil), Dick (Pieta) Vreugdenhil, Gord (Marijke) Vreugdenhil, and Marie Ann (Dick) Lammers; by the Rhebergen family who welcomed her into the family; by her many nieces and nephews; and by the many others who called her "Mom" and "Gramma Lenie." Lenie suffered the loss of her husband, Henry Rhebergen; her children, Philip Rhebergen and Baby Girl Rhebergen, and daughter-in-law Mary-Ellen Rae; her parents, Dirk Cornelius and Maria Lana (van Nieuwkerk) Vreugdenhil; and her brothers and their wives, Harry (Betty) Vreugdenhil, and John (Arlene) Vreugdenhil.

Lenie was born on August 19, 1941, in 's-Gravenzande, the Netherlands. In 1948, at the age of 7, she emigrated to Frankford, Ontario, with her family in the wake of the Second World War. She excelled at school, helped her mother at home, and liked to test the thin ice while skating on the canal. She enjoyed travelling with the Beach family as she watched their children and cleaned house.

Lenie was the first in the family to attend college, taking courses at Calvin College in the summer following her high school graduation. In September, at the age of 19, she returned to her hometown and started teaching at Trenton Christian School. Her pupils included younger brothers and even future brothers-in-law (not that she knew that then). Lenie had a passion for Christian education and helped establish Durham Christian High School in 1967, and Northumberland Christian School in 1978, which she continued to support for many years in ways from donating funds to sitting on the Board to making chicken noodle soup for hot lunches. She also worked as a Teacher’s Aid in the public school system for several years.

Lenie was active in her church’s young people’s activities, where she met Henry Rhebergen, whom she married on August 3, 1962, just before her 21st birthday. Shortly after they married, they bought a chicken farm in Harwood followed by a second farm in Cobourg. They ran one or both farms until their retirement in 1995.

Lenie gave birth to seven children, including a still born daughter who remained in her heart forever. Lenie and Henry were foster parents to dozens of children formally and informally, and one of those boys was loved so much he joined the family permanently. Her door was always open for anyone who needed a safe place–she literally did not lock her door till she was in her 70s.
In 1995, Lenie was awarded the YMCA Peace Medal for her work in the community. Beyond her work with the Children’s Aid Society, she procured clothing and supplies for Scott Mission (Toronto), the Seafarers (Montreal), and missions in the Dominican Republic; she volunteered with the Salvation Army lunch program and Meals on Wheels; and, most recently, focused her energy on the Cobourg Mission Thrift Store toy department.
Life was always an adventure to Lenie. She loved to travel far and near and visited 11 different countries. Her favourite reason for traveling was to see what her family was doing, witness their achievements, and join their celebrations.

Lenie was an avid reader, especially enjoying true stories and memoirs of people who overcame overwhelming circumstances. She was naturally athletic, won numerous trophies in high school track and field, and thought nothing of getting up on water skis at 50 for the first time in decades or taking her grandchildren downhill skiing. She loved watching sports—anything with a round ball, she would say. Heaven help you if she called you while a game was on, you wouldn’t get much conversation beyond the latest shot, hit, or score.

Lenie’s lifelong love for the church was expressed through her faithful service and worship. She did the work of an elder and deacon long before women were allowed to hold the offices. She appreciated the support of her mother who had said, “If any woman can do it, Lenie can.” Lenie continued to do it her whole life.
Lenie always wanted to do good and serve her Lord, and she leaves a legacy of service and love.

A visitation will be held Wednesday March 22nd at Fellowship Baptist Church, 469 Elgin Street West, Cobourg Ontario K9A 4X5, from 9:00am to 12:00pm, followed by a service at 1:00pm. Interment at Cobourg Union Cemetery immediately following the service. Friends and family are invited to Grace Christian Reformed Church following the interment for a light luncheon. Donations in memory of Lenie may be made to the Deacon’s Fund of Grace Christian Reformed Church, Cobourg (cheques made payable to Grace CRC).

Message Of Condolence

Note: Your message of condolence will appear at the bottom of the page.
MacCoubrey Funeral Home Ltd. reserve the right to delete or remove any comments we find inappropriate or offensive


Willemien Willems-Karssenberg - April 5, 2023

Gecondoleerd met het overlijden van Lenie. Wij hebben hele goede herinneringen aan haar. We hebben haar en Henry voor het eerst ontmoet toen we in 1996 te gast waren bij fam. Potter in Belleville. In 2000 zijn we opnieuw naar Canada gegaan en hebben de meeste familieleden een bezoek gebracht. We hebben ook gelogeerd bij Lenie en Henry. Ik volgde haar op Facebook en verbaasde me over haar grenzeloze energie. Jullie zullen haar zeker missen.

Roxane Brunette - March 27, 2023

To all of Lenie's FAMILY I had the pleasure of meeting Lenie through Ryan and Maria. They had started a LAWNCARE and SNOW REMOVAL buisness and Lenie was one of their clients. I cut Lenie's grass on Tuesdays. My husband passed October 2016. I had a difficult time and I was in a dark place. I was just functioning to get by. Well I pulled up infront of Lenie's place as I always did. Lenie would always come out on her front step with that smile of hers. I swear she had that smile tattooed on her beautiful face. Well she came right out to the road this one Tuesday afternoon. Before I had knew it, we had talked for 45 minutes. By the time that lady walked back to her front door, she had removed my dark soul and lifted the weight out of the pit of my stomach. I had no more tears. I was actually wearing a smile when I got home. Ryan and Maria were shocked to see me with that smile because I had not smiled since my husband passed. I know that lady had healed the aching pit in the bottom of my stomach and gave me peice within. Well, I looked forward to Tuesdays at Lenie's because if I was feeling down or having an issue, she would greet me with that smile of hers and I would be healed til the next Tuesday. I stopped cutting Grass 3 years ago now and I had not seen Lenie. I seen a photo on line. It was a picture of Lenie and Irene Raycraft. That photo I had seen was an amazing picture of both those ladies. I sent Irene a message and said that it was the best picture I have seen of both those ladies. Irene told me that Lenie was being cared for by her family. I was shocked. I just want you all to know what she did for me. She had the healing hand on me. Please lean on each other because she put the healing hand on each of you. I will remember the smile she put back on my face.

Jayne - March 25, 2023

I don’t know Lenie But I have to say her spirit and photo caught my attention. She has a lovely smile so I read her bio. I can tell she was an amazing woman And a lovely soul. Godspeed to Lenie and condolences to her family. She will be smiling down on you all. Jayne Xox

Evelyn Rhebergen - March 24, 2023

Your mom was an amazing women and I always looked up to her. She would always take the time to talk with us younger folk. Her door was always open. Remember sleeping there when our son had a volleyball tournament. Will miss your mom. ❤️

Brenda Nutter - March 23, 2023

Bonnie,Judy,Colin, Kim, Christina, Patricia and family - It was with great sadness that I learned of your Mother’s passing this morning. She and your father were exceptional people and I feel blessed to have known them and to have witnessed the example they set for all of us. On my many visits to your home as a CAS worker, I was constantly restored by their compassion and caring. I am so sorry for your loss but so happy for the endless memories that you carry with you. Sincere condolences, Brenda Nutter

Ruth and Bob - March 23, 2023

Our eyes are full of tears. Lenie represented everything that we admired about a Christian woman through our contact with Northumberland Christian School. Our condolences to her family. - Ruth and Bob Kerr

Maria Cannell - March 23, 2023

Patricia and Family...Such a beautiful service honouring your Mom, Grandma, Sister, Friend, etc... A wonderful testimony of a women who has done so much for others. Well done my good and faithful servant, the Lord would utter. My condolences to you and your family. May you all experience the Lord's comfort, love and peace that surpasses all understanding during this time of sorrow and always...God Bless...Amen! Love and Prayers Maria xoxo

Alison Williams - March 23, 2023

Aunt Lenie was more than an aunt... she was a comfort, a confidente and an encouragement. She made me feel confident about taking risks and going on adventures. She gave me such sound advice and a hug along the way (not to mention some money in my pocket too). I have never been more proud of an aunt and I know she has influenced me more than she knows. I'm so sad she is gone. What she left behind is joy. I hope we all take a bit of Lenie with us as we move forward into new days.

Pauline Vandermeer - March 22, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Deacon's Fund - Grace CRC

Jamie O'Shea and DorAnn Homes Ltd. - March 22, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Deacon's Fund - Grace CRC

Penny Smale - March 22, 2023

Bonnie & Family So very sorry for the loss of your Mom. Thinking of You at this time. Penny

Teresa Corvers - March 22, 2023

I am so sorry to hear that Lenie passed away… but know that she would have entered heavens gates with the words spoken to her “well done my good and faithful servant “ … I have so many great memories of Sunday’s spent at your home !! Wishing you all strength❤️

Brenda Chamberlain - March 22, 2023

Sending my deedest condolences to the families and friends at this difficult time RIP Lenie

Sid and jane Adema - March 21, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Deacon's Fund - Grace CRC

Jack&Anita VanderVeer - March 21, 2023

Lenie was a true example of a cheerful giver. It was an honour to witness her ability to love with grace and humility. Lenie loved and encouraged us as a mom. She stayed in touch and visited us in the various places we lived after Cobourg. We are thankful for our recent visits and we will sincerely miss her. Our condolences to all of her family. Thank you for sharing your Lenie with us.

Jeanette MacDonald - March 21, 2023

My deepest condolences to the family of Lenie. She has been a such big part of my life especially through our church community at Grace CRC . Such a generous, kind and caring person who will be missed greatly. Always there to lend a hand. I will miss her FB puzzle posts and book reviews among so many of her family posts.

Michelle and Stevan Savic - March 21, 2023

My heart goes out to you for the loss of your extraordinary mom. Neno would share stories of what she was up to or what she accomplished and we would smile in amazement and awe. I hope your happy memories will help you through this difficult time. With hugs, Michelle and Stevan

Anneke Russell - March 21, 2023

I wanted to express condolences on behalf of myself and my husband, Andrew, as we have known Lenie through the Grace Christian Reformed Church, but mostly on behalf of my mother, Margaret Newman (nee DeJong), who was saddened when I informed her of Lenie's passing. My mother recalls that Lenie was a great friend of her own mother (Ytje ake Edith DeJong). My my mother has memories of being sent over to the Rhebergen home to pick beans or babysit. Lenie will be truly missed.

Marj Vander Schaaf - March 21, 2023

My condolences on the loss of this special woman. I was blessed to meet and work with Lenie in the Neighbourlink years. She was a true example of a humble servant of the Lord.

Mark Rupke - March 21, 2023

When I first moved to Cobourg, I needed a place to live for 10 weeks since I had a 10 week contract. I put a notice in Grace Churches bulletin and heard from Henry and Lenie the next day. When I arrived to see their place I remember commenting if they really had space for me as they had a lot of daughters and foster children already in their home. Henry commented that this wasn't as full as usual and I would fit easily. I did, and remember Lenie as generous and kind. She always had room for whoever needed one.

Janet MacNeil - March 21, 2023

My deepest condolences to the family. I knew from the time I spent in Cobourg . Lenie was a vibrant and caring woman who was very giving, kind and caring. She will be greatly missed by this community. Lenie well done.

Hermina Somerville - March 21, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Deacon's Fund - Grace CRC

Patty Borger - March 21, 2023

To the family, We grieve the loss of a much loved member here on earth because we can't talk to them anymore, or feel their hugs, or hear their laughter. However, we can hold on to the assurance that Lenie is with the Lord and dancing with Jesus. She is probably singing at the top of her lungs, and "I Can Only Imagine" is no longer imagined but is fully known to her! We hold you in our hearts and prayers during this time of grieving. In Christ, Patty Borger

Jacquie Maatman - March 21, 2023

My sincere condolences to the family of Lenie Rhebergen. She definitely lived life to the fullest and lived to serve. She will be dearly missed I'm sure.

Gerald and Cathy DenOuden - March 21, 2023

Our deepest condolences of the loss of your mom, sister, grandmother. She was a wonderful friend to our mom Diane DeJong at Grace CRC. She will be fondly remembered by us with many memories of our times together. Well done, good and faithful servant. With love from Gerald and Cathy.

Henry Lise - March 21, 2023

So sorry for your/our loss. Lenie was always a great example to me about what it means to be a follower of Christ. Her inspiring support very encouraging for many others as well! Thanks, Lenie.

Dawn Davis - March 20, 2023

I’m so sorry to hear of Mrs Rhebergen’s passing. I work at RBC Royal Bank and knew your parents for years. I was just chatting with your Mom not too long ago. They were lovely people. Sending my deepest condolences to the family Dawn Davis Community Manager RBC

Theresa Visser - March 20, 2023 DONATION

A Memorial Donation has been made to the following charity:

Deacon's Fund - Grace CRC

Ab Boschman - March 20, 2023

Gecondoleerd met het verlies van jullie geweldige moeder. Wij Magda en ik wensen jullie veel sterkte met het verwerken van dit grote verlies. Magda en Ab Boschman.

Deanna Taylor - March 20, 2023

Bonnie and family, our deepest sympathies on the loss of your mom. Deanna and Andy Taylor amd boys

Jodey Hutchings - March 20, 2023

On behalf of World Renew, we wish to extend our sincerest condolences to the family. Lenie was a faithful supporter of World Renew, bringing hope and love to many around the world.

Tammy Elder - March 20, 2023

Bonnie and sorry to hear about the passing of your Mom....keep all those wonderful memories alive within your heart. Tammy Elder

Jodi - March 19, 2023

What a wonderful summary of who Lenie was. Some of that I didn’t know. She was an amazing woman and a role model for me. When I told her how much I admired her and that I aspired to be like her she said “well, I don’t know about that”. She was humble and just did what needed to be done. I will miss her. 😢

Ehab and Rachel Hanna - March 19, 2023

She was the greatest example of Jesus service. she was always supported us, visited us, and was ready to provide any help. We will miss her.

Monique - March 19, 2023

It seems like just a few weeks ago I saw her at the mission store. Mrs Lenie Rhebergen is a true example of serve to others all the way to the end. Many Condolences.

Corrie De Jong - March 19, 2023

To Lenie’s family: We extend our deepest, heartfelt, and sincere condolences on the loss of Lenie. She was a GREAT lady, a true servant of her God. She will truly be missed. She touched the lives of countless, countless people. Her heart was bigger than big. May the grace of Christ our Saviour, and the Father’s boundless love, with the Holy Spirit’s favour, rest upon you all from above. From James & Corrie De Jong

Karen Haveman - March 19, 2023

May you be comforted knowing that Lenie is now in glory. My prayers are with all of you at this time. Lenie was such a caring, energetic, compassionate, loving woman of faith! Remember all the joy she brought to all!! God bless! Love, Karen, Frank and family

Sarah (Nieuwsma) Schemper - March 19, 2023

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss Rhebergens! I have the best memories of both of your parents--they were so welcoming, kind, giving, and of your home always being full of people and open to all. Such beautiful people!

Brooke, Brett + Briah - March 19, 2023

Condolences to your family at this time, Grandma Lenie will always hold a special place in all our hearts. Xoxo

Nellie Vanderlaan - March 19, 2023

My deepest condolences to the family of Lenie Rhebergen. May you all find your comfort, peace & strength as you grieve your loss of your loved one in the difficult times ahead.

Marion Tozer - March 19, 2023

My condolences to the family, I did not know her, but I knew her son and he always had wonderful things to say about her. She will be dearly missed.

Rodger Cooper - March 19, 2023

Grace CRC always had “powerful women” - “matriarchs”. Leni’s practical wisdom and service served up with a smile are etched in my brain - she was a matriarch powerhouse. One of my special memories is that of a prospective pastor for Grace CRC declining involvement as the women (Leni included of course) were too powerful and had too much to say. Leni was/is a saint - her tarnished wings were cleansed by her Saviour. The Bergen’s — May you go forward with peace. Rodger and Margaret Cooper

Kelly Chernuck Keruzore - March 19, 2023

Very sad to hear of this great loss. Lenie was a strong beautiful lady. Condolences to the entire family.

Mary Jane Sunday Baron - March 19, 2023

An extraordinary legacy indeed. Their "Dozens" sure were blessed and forever grateful for their love, cultivation and continued guidance, dedication and support. My thoughts are with all who knew her, because if you knew her, you loved her.

Sharon Wildeboer - March 19, 2023

What a beautiful write up of a life well lived. Peace and strength to you all in the days ahead. Sharon

Eric Lammers - March 18, 2023

So sorry for this massive loss. What a beautiful tribute to a life well lived. I am so thankful for the role your Mom played in my life, the love she showed and the joy she shared. Peace and love at this time.

Travis Hoover - March 18, 2023

To the Rhebergen families: May you be blessed with love and strength during this difficult time.

Sherrie Brown - March 18, 2023

Dear Patricia And Family Sending my condolences for the loss of your amazing Mom. Such an incredible women May her strength and kindness to all and all the memories comfort you all. Love and prayers Sherrie Brown

Marta Cooper - March 18, 2023

The last time I saw your mom, she was helping a young woman learn how to grocery shop. To me, that was quintessential Lenie Rhebergen. She will be missed by so many. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Wendy Heimrich - March 18, 2023

Our sincere condolences to you with the passing of a special lady. Aunt Lenie was there when we needed her and we didn’t even ask. We will always remember her laugh and her caring soul. She will be sadly missed. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Treasure the memories and keep them close and that will help You through the difficult times.

Patricia Calder - March 18, 2023

Dear Bonnie, Judi, Christina, Kim, and Patricia, plus all the families, I am so sorry for the loss of dear Leni. She was loved and admired and respected by many, including myself. She was a role model for me. I learned from her about community and loyalty and faithfulness. While the angels are celebrating, we are bereft.