Colin VanDelft is remembered as a warm-hearted coach and teacher with a big smile who left a legacy of athletic excellence at Langley’s Credo Christian High School.
As Credo athletic director, VanDelft, who passed away at the age of 53 on Friday, Jan. 7, in Smithers, spent a lot of time in track and field coaching Credo students but also actively helping at the combined schools track and field practices at MacLeod Park, recalled current Credo athletic director Shauna Stam.
”Colin was very well loved by the students at Credo,” Stam told the Langley Advance Times.
“He dedicated many, many, hours to organizing and officiating athletics. The teams that we run at Credo are a legacy of his work here.”
VanDelft, who is survived by his wife, Alice, and their 13 children, five in-laws and 10 grandchildren, was at Credo from 1992 to 2018, when he became a teacher at Ebenezer Canadian Reformed School in Smithers.
He was an active member of the Langley District Secondary Schools Association, where he served in the combined role as treasurer and secretary for many years until he moved to Smithers.
A memorial service for VanDelft was held in Smithers on Wednesday, Jan 12, and another, by invitation only, was planned for Tuesday, Jan 18 in Langley.
Credo principal Kent Dykstra said those who knew him will greatly miss VanDelft, who had “a big smile, a big heart and a love for the Lord.”
“Colin was the type of guy who showed that he cared about everyone he came in contact with,” Dykstra commented.
“He spent time on people, not tasks.”
Credo assistant principal Derek Hoogerdijk, who worked with VanDelft for 17 years, recalled “mentoring moments,” in the form of quiet conversations with VanDelft.
“If I had to describe him, the first word that would come to my mind would be heart,” Hoogerdijk observed, adding “his faith is what led him.”
The news has hit those who knew VanDelft hard, Hoogerdijk stated.
“There’s a sorrow, and joy [that he has gone on to a better place] and that’s how Colin would see it,” said Hoogerdijk.
Stam said the school works hard to host athletics games with the same professional standard that Van Delft “role-modeled.”
“He is someone I truly admired and looked up to,” Stam shared.
“It was a blessing to be his colleague and friend.”
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