Reuben Amsterdam
(1918 - 2015)

Reuben Amsterdam

October 19, 1918

August 6, 2015

Reuben Cornelius Amsterdam (1918-2015)

Reuben Cornelius Amsterdam was born to Angelina (Gertrude) Corbin on the 19th October, 1918 at the Public Hospital in Georgetown Guyana. However, he was raised by his paternal great aunt who he went to live with in New Amsterdam. It was during that time that his father mysteriously disappeared one Good Friday when he left to go to sea, never to return. Reuben was the eldest of his other siblings, Arabella and Wilfred who preceded him in death, and his surviving sister Daphne.

Reuben always had a knack for carpentry so he followed his dream and eventually became skilled in his trade. At the age of 28 years, he left New Amsterdam to live in Georgetown and was reunited with his mother for a short while. He never returned to New Amsterdam because he had met the love of his life, Ruby Alma Linton –Gordon whom he later got married to on the 24th March, 1956. They were eventually blessed with their only daughter, Helen Ann but Reuben also became a ‘good stepfather’ to Ruby’s three older children David, Pam and Douglas. Reuben and Ruby lived an enjoyable together; they mirrored the true meaning of …. ‘till death do us part,’ when Ruby preceded him in death on the 11th of July, 1978. Reuben mourned the loss of his wife tremendously, but he continued to be a doting father to his only child and worked hard to provide for their needs. He was gainfully employed by Ideal Builders Construction Company and worked on several buildings like The City Hall, National Cultural Center, Georgetown Public Hospital, Woodbine Hotel and State House, until it was time for him to retire.

Helen Ann recalls him taking her to visit with her grandmother every Friday evening. He would also take her and her late nephew Colin, kite flying every Easter Monday. Reuben was also very determined to ensure that his daughter pursue and receive a sound education so in agreement with his wife that, “Ann should always be a page ahead of her teachers,” as soon as school closed for the summer break he would ride around to S.P.C.K, Michael Forde and Argosy Book Stores to quote prices. It is not surprising then that he continued with that same behavior of riding all over town just to get the best prices for kerosene oil, bicycle parts or whatever he needed.

Mr. Amsterdam loved to talk politics and he had a very good memory for historical events and places. He also had a knack for coining his own words. The story has been told that one time when his daughter was away, his oldest grandson Damian had prepared and eaten an enormous meal all by himself. He later scolded Damian in the presence of his friends by saying, “You alone eat 4 eggs with more onion in yours than mine, like you’re the superior and I’m the inferior. You are scravenous, glutenous, agravationous and liquinous. Those four ‘us-ses’ are you!”

Anyone who knew Mr. Amsterdam would recall seeing him riding his bicycle from Festival City to Georgetown and back on a daily basis. Sometimes, he would also ride to as far as UG road on the East Coast or Agricola on the East Bank of Demerara. He also used to pick up his youngest grandson Damani, from daycare and babysit him until Ann returned from work or the University of Guyana. He was also actively involved in the Festival City Community, either working alongside his neighbors helping to clean the drains, the parapet or building something for someone, in his workshop. He also loved to climb on his rooftop to check for leaks and to clean the gutters that were filled with rotting leaves. He was also a very active member of the Full Life Senior Citizen Association in Festival City but quit attending in 2011 shortly after he had eye surgery. In addition, he continued to take care of the house even after his daughter and grandchildren had migrated. He performed his last bike-riding and roof climbing stunt the same year at age 92, after he realized with some reluctance that his sight was too impaired for him to continue these activities.

For thirteen years, Mr. Amsterdam looked forward to the return of his daughter and grandson (s), especially the moments they spent reflecting on past family events and going for walks around the community. However, over the last year, he became less active and would refuse to leave the confines of his home. He would often lament about his presence, and even ask, “Why am I still around when everyone else is dying?” He would also state that he’s struggling between life and death and that he was living on someone else’s time. He lived a good life and was ready to meet his Savior. On Thursday August 6, 2015, nine days after his daughter returned home and after a brief illness he died peacefully at the St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital.

He is survived by his daughter Helen Ann, step children David, Pam and Douglas and thirteen grandchildren; approximately 20 great grandchildren, his only surviving sister Daphne, nephew Michael and many other relatives and friends too numerous to mention. May his soul Rest in Peace.

A Tribute
My Dad

“You’re gone, but you’ll never be forgotten.”
This is what many people say.
There must be some bit of truth in it
Look how your death has impacted us today.

You spent three score and ten, plus twenty six more years with us
You labored very hard from dawn right into dusk
You loved to ride your bike and climb on the roof, not caring if you might fall
Then suddenly, without any warning you responded to THE CALL !

You did not cry out
You didn’t complain
You remained optimistic
Yet, you might have been in pain

Then one day the FATHER above
Looked down on you with love
He whispered and called your name
He said, “Reuben, I know you’re in pain.
Your work on earth is done
Come join me in Heavenly Kingdom.”

You rose to His call last Thursday
When I least expected, your breath gently faded away
You’ve gone on to your well- deserved rest
Goodbye Dad, we will miss you
But God loves you best

Your daughter

(Helen Ann)

Happy 97th Birthday

You’re gone, but you’ll never be forgotten because
I’m celebrating your birthday today.
You had wanted to leave us for some time
Then suddenly you decided to stay.

Just one month before I came home
I called and spoke with you on the phone
You sounded happy and you asked me the usual question
“My loving daughter-when are you coming home?”

You reminded me that you were 96
And you recalled the details of your birth
You surprised me when you stated that you might live to see 100
I believed you, but God took you off this earth

Well dad, it doesn’t matter where you are
You will always be here with me
I feel your presence everyday
And I will feel it until eternity.

So, I’m reminding you now that it’s your birthday today
And you’re not here to pick up the phone
Anyhow, Happy 97th birthday, dad
Enjoy it in your new home.

From me and the boys

Guest Book Wall (What is this?)

Hover your mouse over the wall images to see each guest book entry.

Guest Book (21 entries)
My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Rueben,Amsterdam. May you find comfort in knowing our Heavenly Father holds out the hope of the resurrection for our dead loved ones. His son, Jess, sad "all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out". John 5:28,29. Our dead loved ones are in God's memory and one day he will resurrect them to a paradise earth. Psalms 37:9,10,11,29. Job 15:14,15 says he has a yearning to do so. Revelation 21:3,4 says that one day on this earth, death will be no more, nether will pain or mourning be any more.
Arlene Taylor
December 29th, 2015
My deepest sympathy extends to your family. Know that Jesus sacrifice opened up a beautiful future for those that fall asleep in death. Please see:
John 5:28-29
October 23rd, 2015
Dear Amsterdam Family,
Please accept my deepest condolences. I am so very sorry for your loss. I hope you might find comfort in knowing that our loved ones that have died are safe in Gods memory and we will soon have the opportunity to welcome these ones back to eternal life on a paradise earth. In God's word, the Bible, we find this promise: "The righteous will possess the earth, And they will live forever on it.". (Psalm 37:29)

With Sincerity,
Abby E
September 11th, 2015
Helen I know it will take years to lose the memory of Mr. Amsterdam. But hold on to the good memories. Sorry I couldn't be there but my son represented me, for which I am grateful.
I still have those pelmits in my living room made by Mr. Amsterdam. My dad loved pelmits, and though he didn't get to make them, your dad did the honors. He will be missed.
He was an honorable man
Ingrid Moses (Friend)
September 7th, 2015
My condolences to Ann and family Mr Amsterdam was a good person he shall be miss ...
Jackie Peroune (Friend)
September 6th, 2015
Your Contact Details

Remember to proofread. Once submitted, you will not be able to edit.

Select an icon to go along with your message.
Standard Icon - Default (Free)

Premium Icons - Optional ($5 each)

Adding a premium icon to the memorial helps make your comment standout. You can mark a birthday, leave a flower, or just show the family or friends of the person you are thinking of them. iLasting uses the revenue generated from these icons to continually update the site.



"Life is strange.During your lifetime I tried getting you to be nearer to me but man stopped it. Now that you're 'no more'God has allowed it. I can see your face and feel your presence. Thank you daddy for loving me and my children. Missing you!"
Helen. Amsterdam
September 12th, 2015
"Helen, your father was a great example for all to follow. He carried his candle well. May its light guide you and your children in the way God wants you to go. Keep as strong and positive as you always are."
Venus Wayne
August 27th, 2015
"R.I.P. Mr Amsterdam. We love you well but Jesus loves you best."
Cleveland Bernard
August 27th, 2015


You have 250 characters left.

Share With Family & Friends


to multiple people.

Get Updates

Add your email below to be notified when visitors post to this memorial.

Share this memorial with people by sending them this link: