Dedication to family and community; love for the outdoors and the simple pleasure of a garden grown in dark, rich soil; hard work and integrity. Peter Verschuuren is remembered by loved ones for these and so many other wonderful traits.
Mary and Joe Verschuuren passed this sense of being onto Peter and his three sisters, Marie, Ginny and Joany, and they grew into the world with a keen sense of responsibility to care for others around them. Peter passed away in the spring of 2022, leaving a large extended network of family and friends grappling with the hole cancer can leave in the hearts of so many.
His legacy of kindness lives on, however, and it shone brightly as his mother and sister stood in the gazebo outside Mary’s home in The Village of Taunton Mills to offer a $50,000 donation to Feed the Need Durham in Peter’s honour.
The donation “was prompted by Peter’s concern for food scarcity, especially among children,” Peter’s sister Marie says. “Given the opportunity and resources, Peter would have stocked every child’s fridge and cupboard weekly. As it was, he was a regular contributor to food banks.”
The $50,000 donation was made by The Pottruff Family Foundation, which was established by Gary Pottruff and his wife, Marie Verschuuren, when Gary retired after an entrepreneurial career. The Pottruff Family Foundation was created to help support small-sized Canadian charities that resonate with its trustees.
Thinking of her brother, Marie says he will also be remembered for his “devout sense of right and wrong and his commitment to values and fairness, especially as it related to the less fortunate.” His family will also remember how he cared so deeply for his mother’s well-being; Peter’s was a regular face at Taunton Mills, always eager to offer a grocery delivery or tend to whatever Mary might need.
He is missed by the Village community just as he is missed elsewhere.
“They truly are an amazing family,” says Noella Black, General Manager at The Village of Taunton Mills. “I know for September all Villages are asked to do food drive as the food banks are in need and running low, and I hope this generous donation prompts us all to consider how we can help others in need in our community.”
"The Pottruff Family Foundation’s donation will directly impact Feed the Need in Durham’s front-line services by supporting the expansion of our new on-site food bank, The Market, which is currently supporting the displaced Ukrainian Refugee Community in the Durham Region. This initiative has seen a 20% increase every week since its opening five weeks ago. The incredible generosity of the Pottruff Family Foundation will allow us to further expand our services and open The Market’s doors to the larger community. We are truly grateful to Mary, Marie and Gary for their support.” - LeeAnne Rorabeck, Director of Development and Communications.
Please visit these sites to learn more about two wonderful organizations: