Jan Vermeire passed away suddenly after a short illness on the 30th July 1998. Even though everyone in Poverello knew that this would happen some day, no one expected that it would happen at that time, despite his 78 years of age. He was still fully active, regularily traveling from one Poverello-house to the other or on his way to meetings where he was invited to come and speak about Poverello.
He was the father of the big Poverello-family, many called him 'Papa Jan' or 'Papa Jean'. His greatest aspiration and concern was that everyone, great or small, rich or poor, would feel at home in Poverello.His passing left the community a little dumb-founded, but all of the volunteers realize that Jan's wish is that, what he started 20 years ago, should continue and that continuation is the best way to thank him.