Henry Dirks

Obituary of Henry Dirks

Henry Dirks was born on July 6, 1929 in Gretna, Manitoba to Peter and Katarina Dirks. He was the youngest of 5 children; Mary and Tina, his older sisters, died in Mexico in 1924, while the family was on their way to Canada from Ukraine. Henry is also predeceased by his older sister, Erna Dirks-Rowe, who died in 1989. Henry's older brother, Peter, is living in St. Catharines, Ontario.


Henry spent his childhood in Manitoba where his father was a minister, teacher, farmer and bee-keeper. The family moved to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 1941.


Henry and Tina met at the Niagara United Mennonite Church, dated for two years and were married on May 10, 1952. Henry worked with his father at Niagara Press in Virgil for a number of years before Henry and Tina left for the mission field in the Congo in August of 1963 with their five children.


Henry served and helped to develop a printing and publishing centre called LECO for the Protestant missions in the Congo. Their 6th child was born in the Congo.


In the early 1970's, Henry established a printing and photography centre at a government run hospital in Kinshasa, Zaire (Congo). 


In 1976, Henry and Tina returned to their home in Virgil. Henry taught Graphic Arts at Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology in Welland until 1982, when they returned to Zaire, where he began serving as the Director of IMPROKA, a printing and publishing centre in Kananga, Zaire. 


In 1985,Henry and Tina, once again returned to their home in Virgil, where he began his own printing operation, called Niagara Graphics. However, they were once again called back to Kinshasa, Zaire in 1986, where he again served as Director of LECO (now called CEDI), until they retired.


Henry and Tina retired from their work in Zaire in 1993 and returned to their home in Virgil. They lived on Henry Street in Virgil until they moved to Radiant Care Pleasant Manor in 2015.


Henry died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on May 11, 2024, one day after their 72nd Wedding Anniversary!


Henry will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Tina; children Mary (Tibor, deceased), Dave (Jan), Fred (Gwen), Rudy (Sharon), Ruth (Rick), Joel (Dennis); Grandchildren Ryan, Leigha, Jillian, Megan, Kevin, Steve, Dana, Julie, Andrew, Matthew, Nathan, Shawna, Stephanie, Ian, Brian and Elise; and 44 Great Grand-children.


A private funeral was held.

A Memorial Tree was planted for Henry
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Tallman Funeral Homes - Vineland
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