Goodbye dearest doctor Johan (RIP)

Dr Johan was like an angel sent to us up here in Hogsback. We have been praying for a doctor for so long and when he finally arrived, like a breath of fresh air, we were so utterly delighted. All the “older” folks sighed in relief. We now had an on-demand overseer for all our aches and pains- real or imaginary!

Johan quickly became, not only the doctor, but also a dear friend to everybody. He got stuck in boots and all. He was always paraat and involved. He was always there for everybody, always, even when he knew that he would have to bear the costs. He never hesitated. We loved his energy and when he dragged us all out all over the town, to do the Jerusalema, we could not say no and huffed and puffed our way through it. (Okay some of us).

He looked after us, not just physically, but also emotionally. In a crazy town like Hogsback, which is basically an open-air asylum, this is no easy feat. I am sure that this must have been quite draining on him. We are also so grateful for Magda, his mom, who joined in when he was away and for Ernest, who was by his side in everything that he did. And my heart just breaks for those dear ones left behind. Know this. You are part of our community. We love you and we are there for you, crazy or not!

Johan was an old school doctor with new school meds. He did house visits and stayed for coffee and a chat. I can remember when I got attacked by my bees, he was here in a jiffy. The bees could take a lesson or two on how to do gentle stings from him- his injections were brilliant! He took the time to talk you through your ailments and always had down to earth advice.

So, how are we going to cope without you, Dr Johan? I really don’t know.

Once the numbness and shock have eased a bit, I am sure we will all go into a mad panic and scramble. That is not what you would want, I can hear you say. You would want us to be strong, united, joyful about the precious time that we had with you. You would like us to be healthy and happy. So, I will be starting my diet that you have been nagging about, in the week after next. For now, I need to eat lots of chocolate to get me through this sadness.

May God and all His angels guide your family and friends tightly through this painful journey, knowing that you are doing the Jerusalema in Heaven. Let’s raise a glass to our doctor, who will be missed, but who will be in our hearts forever.

If you would like to leave messages, or watch the live stream /recording of his memorial service, we have created a memorial wall here

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  • Glenn

    What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. We are all going to miss him madly. RIP Dr Johan.

    Reply to Glenn
  • Lyndsay Walker

    Maggie those words are so special. You put it beautifully and this is how we are all feeling. Absolutely broken. Ernest and Magda and the rest of your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers

    Reply to Lyndsay Walker
  • Sonia Willats

    I read your thoughts with tears, Maggie. It still seems to raw and unbelievable to be saying goodbye, or to watch the Jerusalema; maube next year.

    YES Johan was an old-fashioned doctor with fresh knowledge and an ear to listen carefully; then diagnose. A scientist, but also a dreamer – the picture says it all. He dreamed big and CARED and worked so hard. I would imagine him as one of the wise old country doctors you saw movies about in the American outback, after he’d weathered the storms of starting a practice in a country village. It’s too soon to say goodbye, so we’ll keep you in our hearts and thoughts and trust you are with the Father in His house.

    Reply to Sonia Willats
  • Tanya Giesel

    Johan, i have been so sad about this news. He come to me as an client in my hairsalon in port Elizabeth, he then become my friend and i could just share my heart with him. Us at Hair by Tanya will surely miss him deeply…….

    Reply to Tanya Giesel
  • Claudette

    I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting a while only once in person at a Wedding at Hogrock Falls.
    Dr Johan exchanged banter on the group and privately regarding his Practice.
    To me, he was a gentle old soul, yet extremely business savvy, with a wonderful sense of humor.
    He adored Hogsback and was working towards his ultimate goal of only working in Hogsback and not practicing elsewhere.
    Dr Johan, you were taken before reaching your goal, but you certainly achieved so much more, by touching the lives of many, who will never forget the legacy of love you have now left behind.
    Your work on earth is done and God takes His Angels in His time, despite the heartache and pain so many are experiencing.
    May God give Ernest, His Mum, family and friends the strength to walk this journey, filled with loss and pain and comfort throughout the days ahead.
    Your infectious smile and gentle soul will be sorely missed.
    Thank you for being the devoted Dr and friend on the magical mountain of Hogsback.

    Reply to Claudette
  • Megan

    Dr Johan was an amazing human being. We had a privilege to spread time with him. He was so down to earth and helped me through Covid with the help of Ernest. He had a heart of gold and had so much more on earth.

    We are all going to miss you and will be hard to fill the space you have left.
    Rest well Dr Johan.

    Reply to Megan
  • Wayne Kent

    So this afternoon I attended your memorial service.
    I still joked with certain members of the community, a select few, you know how it goes. I was going to wear the pants of the CPF, the shirt of Hogsback Mountain Rescue, the cap of EMS and the BIP of SAP, trying to represent all the crew you and I were involved with.
    I remember 24 hours after the community, as few as they were, elected me as the CPF chair, I called a meeting with you and together we devised a plan for incident response.
    I didn’t really want to go to your memorial service and was so pleased when I saw Tonya and Nell and sidled up to where they were sitting.
    Ek was Frydag daar met jou kagel houd, Ernst het vir my gese Jy was bo die erf en besig om n muur te bou.
    I wanted to come and joke with you,
    “I know a small percentage of the Hogsback community are idiots, but you cant build a wall to keep them out,
    “my fok Jy’s die Doctor”.
    But I knew that loooong walk up, I wouldn’t have the breath to express that joke and you would be kaking me out to stop smoking. Saturday, our crime awareness campaign, I spoke to you and cancelled your talk about drug awareness due to too many delegates and a very badly erected tent. Your enthusiasm about our own drug awareness event we are going to put on, and,
    “No worries Wayne, I will wait till we do our own campaign”
    Boet, I met your family and you then became more than just Doc Johan.
    I know I will miss you,
    Elroy will miss you,
    Tonya will miss,
    when we have another incident even Tirstan will enquire with sorrow, “Where is Doc Johan Now’.
    Rest easy boet, you will not be forgotten soon.

    Reply to Wayne Kent

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