It is with broken hearts that the family of Jakob “Jake” van Ringen announce his peaceful passing on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at the age of 77 years.
Jake was a man of strength, great courage, integrity. He was hardworking, honest, so knowing, and he was also the kind of man who would give you the shirt off his back. He always had a twinkle in his eye and a story to tell.
Jake was a true Dutch cowboy, born in Groningen, Netherlands. His family immigrated to Canada in 1952 when Jake was 8 years old, settling in the Beiseker area. He was always a farm boy, helping his dad run their dairy farm until he was an adult. He married his first wife, Linda Loretta Morgan, and together they farmed and raised their children Lee and Tara-Gay.
In the mid-70s Jake’s life was forever changed when he held the lines of his first chariot. He never looked back. Jake could drive his chuckwagon, turn the barrels and train his horses like nobody else. Many of his horses are still running on the track today, which made him extremely proud.
It was with his racing family on the track where Jake truly came alive. Talking to his buddies around camp with a coffee in his hand was as good as if got for Jake. He was so knowledgeable about horses that he was known as “Dr. Jake” on the track. Jake’s children also raced and he was so very proud of them.
Jake could be tough, gruff and loud, but it was all an act. He was totally a softy at heart and would help anyone. If you needed something, most likely it was in Jake’s toolbox.
After Linda’s passing, Jake met his second wife, Nancy, and they continued racing and travelling all over Alberta on the circuit in the summer. The rest of the year they lived quietly in Alix where Jake’ hauled cattle and farmed a bit. He was a self-taught welder and built panels and gates for farmers. Jake was a big man in every sense of the word and his loss leaves a huge hole in the hearts of his family and friends.
Jake was predeceased by his parents, Elsje and Gerardus van Ringen; and his first wife, Linda. Jake was also predeceased by his devoted companion, his dog Ace.
He leaves to mourn: his second wife, Nancy; son, Lee (Rachelle); daughter, Tara-Gay (Darryl); his precious grandchildren, Alexander (Alex), Nickolas (Shannon), Jakob, Jonah, Keanu, Rio, Cole, and Lauren; great grandchildren, Kaidyn and Laken; sisters, Bieny (Robin), Riena (Chuck), Shirley (Val), and Joyce. Jake leaves a world full of nieces and nephews who adore their Uncle Jake (or Shorty as he was known by one). He also will be deeply missed by all his many friends and colleagues both on and off the circuit.
We’ve lost one of the best. Fly free, Jake - tight lines!
A Celebration of Jake's Life will be held on Tuesday, August 17, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at the Alix Community Hall.
Memorial Donations in honour of Jake may be directed to the Central Alberta Cancer Centre, 3942 - 50A Avenue, Red Deer, AB T4N 4E7
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jake van Ringen, please visit our floral store.