Walter Conrad Termeer, age 54 of Brookfield, NS
It is with deep sadness that we share the news that Walter passed away unexpectedly on May 2, 2020.
Walter was born in Markenesse, Holland and attended high school in Kensington, PEI before studying at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College where he earned a BSc in Agriculture, majoring in soil science. In 1995, he founded Fundy Compost on some 110 acres in Brookfield where he made his mark in the composting industry across Canada. In fact, he was planning a 25th anniversary celebration for the company this summer; and he will definitely be there in spirit, watching with pride as his son, Alex, leads Fundy Compost into the future.
Walter had a ferocious appetite for learning and reading and discussing and debating; and his greatest passion was for growing things. One of his favourite sayings was “be the change you want to see in the world,” and he lived that belief in everything he thought and said and did. Walter believed in the need to move organics recycling and compost use forward and was deeply committed to protecting the environment. He was driven to encourage others to adopt his “slow composting” practices, which Walter knew were the most effective and responsible way to optimize the nourishment of our soil and, therefore, the food we grow and the quality of the nutrition we put into our bodies. Nothing excited him more than to witness others planting their own vegetable gardens and doing so in an environmentally responsible way.
Walter was seen as a pioneer and advocate in his industry, known as someone who was always willing to hear others’ opinions while being equally comfortable in sharing his own. He had a decades long relationship with the Compost Council of Canada and served on their National Board of Directors representing the Atlantic Canadian region. He had always been available, contributing his insight and time to help the Council shape its direction and focus. He was also a member of the Compost Quality Alliance, the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers, the Grape Growers Association of Nova Scotia, and Landscape Nova Scotia; and he supported the agricultural research efforts of A&L Canada Laboratories. He had a very strong network of colleagues in his industry, earning their respect through his values, determination and hard work.
Walter was predeceased by his father, Wolter ter Meer and his mother, Koendertje Doevendans. He is survived by the love of his life, Jane Mitchell; his son, Alex; his stepsons, Lucas and Dominic Jansen and his beloved dogs, Maggie and Plume. The youngest of seven, he is also survived by his brothers, Jan (Riet), Albert (Dora), and Jakob (Diana) and by his sisters, Vrouwke (Wybren), Janny (Chris) and Margreet (Hans). He also leaves behind an incredible team at Fundy Compost that he thought of as family and a large circle of friends and colleagues locally, provincially, and nationally.
A celebration of his life will take place at a later date. If you would like to do something to honour Walter’s legacy, the Compost Council of Canada have made arrangements with Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Agriculture (formerly the Nova Scotia Agricultural College) to establish an award in Walter’s honour with the help of professors, Gord Price and Lord Abbey, both of whom have been working on projects with Walter. Walter was an NSAC alum, and gifts will provide critical financial support to students in his name. Gifts may be made online at giving.dal.ca/Termeer or by cheque, made out to Dalhousie University and sent to: Office of Advancement, Faculty of Agriculture, P.O. Box 550, Truro, NS B2N 5E3. It is the family’s wish that his legacy be rooted in furthering research, education and awareness around the body of work that defined and shaped Walter’s life.
And as you remember him, you can reflect on another of his favourite quotes:
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao;
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.