WESTERHOUT: Jason of London

Posted by on April 26, 2016

Westerhout, JasonIt is with great sadness, the family announces the passing of Jason Robert Westerhout of London at the age of 43.  Surrounded by loved ones, Jason passed away in the Intensive Care Unit of the University Hospital in London on Sunday, April 24, 2016.  Reunited with his loving mother and father, Joan Adelle Westerhout (Bosman) and Pieter Westerhout, whom were taken 11 and 12 years ago, respectively. Dear brother and brother-in-law to Cynthia Westerhout (Arnie) of Edmonton, and Kathleen Westerhout of Vancouver.  Proud uncle to Magnus and Freya Klostergaard.  Survived by his grandmother Louise Bosman. Forever held close in the hearts of his housemates, many caregivers, and staff of Community Living London and Sunbeam Centre (Kitchener)

Friends, caregivers and family may call at the Haskett Funeral Home, 370 William Street, Exeter on Tuesday, April 26 between 7-9PM.  A celebration of Jason’s life will also be held at Community Living London, 190 Adelaide St S, London on Wednesday, April 27 at 6PM.   Inurnment at the Exeter Cemetery will be held at a later date.

Jason’s family asks any expressions of sympathy be made to Community Living London in recognition of their outstanding support of people with developmental disabilities.

For more information, please see www. haskettfh.com.

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.haskettfh.com.

D’AOUST: Andre (Andrew, Andy) of Toronto and Calgary Formerly of Ottawa/Carlton County

Posted by on April 22, 2016

images-4February 2, 1939 – April 11, 2016
He is survived by his wife Yvette and by his daughters – Lynn Kitchen (Richard), Karen D’Aoust and Monique D’Aoust (Robert Denzel), his stepdaughters – Martine Nykytyszyn, Jeannine Dos (Chris) and Annick Nykytyszyn,
his grandchildren – Michael and Mark Mahlenbrei, Aidan D’Aoust and Milene Denzel.
He is also survived by step-grandchildren – Tammy and Ryan (Tracy) MacDonald, Karen Shand, Kathleen Pasarello and is predeceased by Michael Shand, step-great-grandchildren – Isabella Blanco, Garrett and Zachary MacDonald and John Jr. Passarello.
He is survived by siblings – Pierrette Guindon, Jacqueline Charbonneau, Normand D’Aoust (Gwen), Claire D’Aoust and Claude D’Aoust (Nancy). He is predeceased by his parents – Frederick and Ida D’Aoust and siblings – June Corbeil, Helen Saumure, Louis, Remi, Adrien (known as Eddie) D’Aoust and Micheline Bradbury.
Andy passed away peacefully at Southwood Hospice in Calgary after his. battle with cancer. A special thank you to his palliative care and home care nurses and to the staff at Southwood Hospice who took such good care of him.
Some will know him as a metal worker and foreman/designer in the commercial furniture industry. It was known to family that he loved to tinker with electronics and he could fix just about anything! He had his own brand of humour and loved music.
Andy was a philosopher, determined and hard working.
Good night, God bless and hope God takes care of you always!

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TICHENOR: H. Duane of Valemount Formerly of Edmonton

Posted by on April 22, 2016

images-4Dr. H. Duane Tichenor, 83, of Valemount, BC went to be with his Lord March 4, 2016 in San Luis Obispo, California due to acute congestive heart failure. Dr. Tichenor’s sister-law-law, Billie Tichenor; niece, Deborah Ramsgard and friend, Jim Stephenson were at his side.
Dr. Tichenor was born September 18,1932 in New Castle, Indiana to Conrad and Thelma (Reeves) Tichenor. After graduating from New Castle High School, he was in the United States Air Force for 4 years. Dr. Tichenor then went on to receive a B.A. from Ball State Teachers College in Muncie, IN; an M.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. from the University of Alberta in Edmonton where he was a Professor and Chairman of the Department of Industrial and Vocational Education. All of his summers were spent in the Canadian Rockies as a horse wrangler.
Dr. Tichenor’s retirement years were spent in Valemount and Penticton, BC, as well as, traveling with his beloved wife, Rita. After Rita’s passing in 2011, he would spent 5 months every year with family in San Luis Obispo, CA, USA.
Dr. Tichenor is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Robert Tichenor and niece, Donna Tichenor. Dr. Tichenor is survived by brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Deanna Tichenor; nieces, Lisa Abrams and Amy Harper of New Castle, Indiana and sister-in-law, Billie (Meadows) Tichenor and niece, Deborah (Tichenor) Ramsgard of San Luis Obispo, CA … And numerous fond friends in Canada.
Dr. Tichenor will be interred with his wife in Valemount at a later date.

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HALSEY: Linda Ann of Calgary

Posted by on April 22, 2016

images-4Linda Ann Halsey, devoted mother, sister, and daughter, passed peacefully, Wednesday, March 23rd, at the Foothills hospital in Calgary, Alberta, at the age of 53, with her loving daughter Megan by her side, after a 10 month battle with brain cancer. She is survived by her children, Megan and Alex Ashby, her father Fred Halsey, her sister Christine Belter, and her brother Brian Halsey. She will be dearly missed by family, friends and colleagues.
Linda was born September 11th, 1962 in Edmonton, Alberta, to Arlene and Fred Halsey.
Linda obtained her undergraduate and masters degrees in Science at the University of Alberta, with a specialization in Geology. Her passion, however, led her into a career in Earth Sciences and Botany, where she published over 20 peer reviewed papers that were cited over 1200 times, and contributed to various projects. Most recently, Linda excelled as a principal at Stantec, where she was the lead for terrestrial ecosystems, with an expertise in northern wetlands.
A Celebration of Linda’s life will be held Saturday April 2nd, at 2:30 PM, at the Calgary Crematorium and Funeral Services, 3219 4 St. NW, Calgary, AB.

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Halsey: Linda Ann of Calgary

Posted by on April 22, 2016

images-4Linda Ann Halsey, devoted mother, sister, and daughter, passed peacefully, Wednesday, March 23rd, at the Foothills hospital in Calgary, Alberta, at the age of 53, with her loving daughter Megan by her side, after a 10 month battle with brain cancer. She is survived by her children, Megan and Alex Ashby, her father Fred Halsey, her sister Christine Belter, and her brother Brian Halsey.
Linda was born September 11th, 1962 in Edmonton, Alberta, to Arlene and Fred Halsey.
Linda obtained her undergraduate and masters degrees in Science at the University of Alberta, with a specialization in Geology. Her passion, however, led her into a career in Botany, where she published over 20 peer reviewed papers that were cited over 1200 times, and contributed to various projects. Most recently, Linda excelled as a principal at Stantec, where she was the lead for terrestrial ecosystems, with an expertise in northern wetlands.
A Celebration of Linda’s life will be held Saturday April 2nd, at 2:30 PM, at the Calgary Crematorium and Funeral Services, 3219 4 St. NW, Calgary, AB.

For more information about this obituary visit http://canadaobits.ca/unverified-user/.

SPEARMAN: Stephen “Wonder” of Sarnia

“WONDER”

 

Our family is saddened by the peaceful passing of our beloved brother Stephen in his 65th. year, on Thursday, March 31, 2016. He is predeceased by his parents Grace and Alton and his sister and brother in-law Sandra and Len Higgins.  Beloved brother of Susan Ward (Dan), Michael (Janine), Scott (Jackie), Shelley Keller (Morgan) and David (Angie). Loved by many nieces and nephews; Kevin and Shawn Spearman, Jean and Andrew Barber, Daniel Keller, Jeff and Eric Spearman. Great Uncle of Alexander and Emily. Our family would like to extend a special thanks to both Carl Hardwick and Bill Jeffrey for their longtime friendship with “Wonder”.  Also we would like to extend our warm thanks to the staff of Palliative Care. “Wonder” was an inspiration to all of us as he fought a long battle with kidney disease. Our treasured and loving memories will last forever in our hearts. Cremation has taken place. At “Wonder’s” request there will be a private family graveside service at a later date. Sympathy may be expressed through memorial donations to Bluewater Health Palliative Care or the Sarnia Kidney Foundation would be appreciated by the family. Arrangements entrusted to the D.J. Robb Funeral Home & Cremation Centre. Memories and messages of condolence may be sent through www.djrobb.on.ca.

                                                                       

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BEND: Kay of London

Posted by on March 30, 2016

BEND, Kay….. Peacefully with family by her side at Highview Residence, London, on Wednesday, March 30, 2016, Kay (Fisher) Bend in her 103rd year. Beloved wife of the late Robert Bend. Loving mother of Jack Bend and his wife Jane Rylett of London, Jim Bend of Cochrane, Alberta and Rob Bend and his wife Narisa Somapa of Winnipeg. Dear grandmother of Ryan and his wife Jennifer, Allison and her husband Andy, Bonnie and her husband Edgar, Becky and her husband Mike and Brandy and her partner Sylvie and missed by 7 great-grandchildren. Predeceased by her sisters Mary, Emma, Dorothy and Zella and her brother Ed. Also missed by numerous nieces and nephews. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at Stonewall Anglican Church, Stonewall MB, details to follow. As an expression of sympathy, donations may be made to Alzheimer Society of Ontario, 20 Eglinton Ave. W., 16th floor, Toronto, ON M4R 1K8   http://www.alzheimer.ca/ or Heart and Stroke Foundation – Ontario, 2300 Yonge Street, Suite 1300, Box 2414, Toronto, ON M4P 1E4   http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/  A. Millard George Funeral Home entrusted with arrangements 519-433-5184. Online condolences, memories and photographs shared at www.amgfh.com The family will be forever grateful for the loving care provided by the staff at Highview Residences – Capulet Walk, London.

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LATTIMER, George Edwin “Ed”, of Grand Bend, formerly of Woodstock, age 78

Posted by on March 24, 2016

LATTIMER, EdLATTIMER:  Suddenly and unexpectedly at South Huron Hospital, Exeter on Thursday, March 24, 2016, George Edwin “Ed” Lattimer, of Grand Cove Estates, Grand Bend, formerly of Woodstock, age 78.  Beloved husband of Elizabeth “Betty” Anne (Hansbury) Lattimer.  Loved father and father-in-law of Keith and Kim Lattimer of London, Brenda and Kees Louws of Sparta.  Cherished grandpa of Mitchel Lattimer, Krista Lattimer, Thomas Louws and Marika Louws.  Dear brother and brother-in-law of Elva Henderson, Lois Rogers, Jack and Iris Lattimer, Gwen and Don Parkinson, Sandra Lattimer, Colleen and Alan Catling, Josie and Ron Prentice, Pearl and Vic Arbour, Mark and Rhea Lattimer, Catherine and John Grava.  Ed will be remembered by his many nieces, nephews and their families.  Predeceased by his parents Beverly Lattimer and Doris (Hutchinson) Brown, brothers Grant and Tom Lattimer.  At Ed’s request, cremation has taken place and no services will be held.  Ed was a long time employee working as a printer for the Woodstock Sentinel Review.  Arrangements entrusted to T. Harry Hoffman & Sons Funeral Home, Dashwood.  If desired, memorial donations (payable by cheque) may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society or a charity choice would be appreciated by the family.  Condolences at www.hoffmanfuneralhome.com

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.hoffmanfuneralhome.com.

WOOD: Mr. Thomas Gordon of Wasaga Beach

Posted by on March 22, 2016

Wood (2)Veteran – Second World War – RCAF

Died peacefully on Saturday March 19, 2016 at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, Barrie at the age of 90.  Tom (Tommy) of Wasaga Beach, beloved husband of the late Joan.  Loving father of Lesley (Bob Owen), Corinne Hagerman (Ken Bodnar), Nancy (Gary Wanless), Scott (Debbie), Sharon (Byron Henderson), Ian (Leslie Maher) and Heather Wood.  Cherished Grandpa Tommy to Sarah, Kara, Darcy, Geordie, Leissa, Cory, Ethan, Anna Lee, Callie, Brandon, Carlie, Alecia, Quinn, Audrey, Tom, Katie, Maggie and Eira and to 24 great grandchildren.  Dear brother of Mervyn (Marilyn) and the late Beverly (the late Don Dixon).  Dear brother-in-law of Mavis (Bobby LaForest) and the late Ross (the late Evie) McDonald.  Predeceased by his son-in-law Douglas Hagerman. Tom will also be missed by his many nieces, nephews and friends.  Following a lengthy and accomplished career, Tom and Joan settled in Wasaga Beach for their retirement.  They were committed to their new community, involved with the Friends of Nancy Island, the Wasaga Beach Public Library, Probus, the Wasaga Beach Provincial Park Piping Plovers Project, a volunteer at the General & Marine Hospital and fostering many friendships but Tom was first and foremost committed to his family.  He will be missed.  Friends will be received at the Carruthers & Davidson Funeral Home – Wasaga Beach Chapel on Wednesday March 23, 2016 from 1 p.m. for the Funeral Service in the Chapel at 2 p.m.  Reception to follow at Waterside Retirement Lodge.  If desired, donations to Lupus Ontario or The Friends’ of Nancy Island would be appreciated by Tommy’s family.  For further information and to sign the Book of Memories, log on to www.carruthersdavidson.com

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EDE: Sheila of Sidney

Posted by on March 22, 2016

images-4**this isn’t so much obituary as a remembrance of my mom, my dad, and my step-dad, a glimpse into their lives as viewed through my own. the photo’s with sheila, bill, ted, and his girlfriend rose at a restaurant i worked at, circa 1991**

It was a beautiful sunny March 5th morning and a lovely day to bring my mom to, as they say, her final resting place.

Back in the late 80s she and my step-dad bought a piece of land (it was actually possible to do that in those days) and built their retirement home near a lovely little public beach. They later pragmatically downsized into a condo, and while I was visiting that condo one weekend (as I did over several years) they discussed where they would like their ashes to be distributed. Dad’s navy days, plus our time as a family living in the Bahamas, plus living on an island, all inspired ideas for offshore distribution. From a boat out at sea, perhaps? I forget the other ideas, but they finally settled on “our little beach.”

It wasn’t really “their” little beach, near the retirement home they built, it was a public beach. But they had moved from Alberta, and there was hardly ever anyone at that little beach, so it was particularly special. Later in life they weren’t able to traverse the rocky trail and the steep steps, or clamber over the misplaced logs – former living trees that fall off the barges taking them (and local jobs) to distant sawmills in foreign lands – but, it remained forever “our little beach.”

Sadly, as the years progressed, my mother distanced herself from me. A couple of years before she died she’d fallen and broken her jaw, and her personality changed noticeably after that. She went from being friendly and extroverted, to somewhat surly and quite antisocial, even denying her closest friend visits. I’m not sure what she saw, or didn’t see, in me that threatened or hurt her. I wasn’t able to be there for her at the end of her life because she specifically told me she didn’t appreciate my visits. It hurt, but I honoured her request and let her go as graciously as I could.

I was definitely there for my dad in his final year though. I helped him move into a small, friendly seniors’ facility and visited him every week with flowers. A special bond evolved between us, even through his dementia. By some miracle I was able to be at his bedside through his final hours, holding his hand and wondering if he could hear, in his semi-coma state, the lovely voice of my friend Pashta singing his spirit to freedom. I’ve written about that experience elsewhere … today I’d like to offer a little obituary for my mom, and my step-dad, and my birth father too, as I say another final goodbye to their bodies while holding onto the happy memories we’ve shared.

Sheila Kitching was born on May 1st, 1926 in Darlington, England. Sheila’s mother, my grandmother Mary, I’ve learned, worked setting tables in one of the big Downton Abbey-like mansions in Northern England. I recall also learning that Mary’s family had a post office of some sort and Mary would hike through the fields in her long dress and petticoats to deliver parcels and letters and in the process she met Bert Kitching, my grandpa. Bert worked on the trains. He and Mary eventually married, and raised Sheila plus her four brothers – Norman, Dennis, Raymond, and Stanley – in a small row house, kind of like a townhouse. They’re all deceased now, Sheila was the last to go.

Many years ago mom told me she forged my granddad’s signature so she could join the war effort when she was still slightly underage. She later denied that, so I don’t really know what the truth is. She was in the Royal British Air Force, though, and claims she was an airplane mechanic. I began to wonder about that when I was old enough to really think about what that would involve, and we got a flat tire and called Dad for help. But mom insisted she helped the mechanics fix the airplanes, for the war effort.

In her younger years Mom was a very beautiful, social, out-going, fun spirited and musical person. She told me stories about sneaking out of the camps when she was younger, with a girlfriend of hers, to go to the dances. Certainly the war, for women of that era (and for men too), was one of the only places they could find any freedom. Their other choices were to work in the factories (which mom did not want to do), or have babies.

Mom eventually did have babies, obviously … she met Ted Bandcroft in London after the war. Ted was a bus driver on the double deckers and mom’s job was to collect tickets from the passengers. The funny story is that Sheila suffered motion sickness so she’d signal to Ted whenever she needed to stop and deal with that particular challenge. I guess that experienced contributed to a bond between them.

The emigrated to Canada with my brother Maurice when he was about 8 years old, sometime in the late 1950s. Ted came first and travelled on the train across Canada. He decided to stop in Edmonton because he’d heard there was work there, and got a job driving a bakery truck. He later drove city bus, until he retired from that job later in life.

I was born in 1961, obviously it wasn’t a planned birth. My mom told me she’d been told she’d never have any more children after my brother was born, 12 years prior to me. So, I was a bit of a surprise. Maybe this unresolved disappointment (or however you want to describe what it would be like to be a 35 year old woman with an unexpected pregnancy) is what rose to the surface in those final years, who knows.

I remember riding on the city bus with dad in Edmonton now and then, but I especially enjoyed the mornings on the “Winnifred Stewart” bus, picking up the special needs kids and taking them to their school.

Mom and my Ted dad split up when I was about 6 or 7. I don’t really remember any details, just that dad didn’t come home anymore. Ted was very kind to me throughout my life, even though I didn’t often live in the same city as him. He always wrote to me, and telephoned when that became more accessible. I still have some of the postcards he sent to me when I was living in Manitoba, in Puerto Rico, and in the Bahamas.

My mom met Bill Ede at a dance and I was happy with my “Uncle Bill” too. One day early in their relationship, I remember, we were in Edmonton driving to go visit friends of Bill’s and mom said “what would you think if I married your Uncle Bill.” I said that sounded ok, and then she said that would mean we’d be moving. I didn’t really understand what that meant, I was only 8 or so, but I trusted them.

They were married on July 25th 1970 and I was there, in a little purple dress with white gloves and a hat. I inherited two more big brothers, John and Raymond, and their families which included, eventually, nieces and nephews.

Mom and Bill dad and I lived in Brandon Manitoba for about 2 years, the boys didn’t travel with us because they were all old enough to be living on their own. I made some really great friends in grade 4 in Brandon, so when it was time for the next move I was a little more hesitant because I knew it meant leaving those friends. But, we were going to Puerto Rico, and that sounded pretty cool. My friend Christine and I wrote letters to each other for many years, and later found each other on facebook. And, when we met up again in 2012 we discovered that we’re still really good friends, which is also pretty cool.

So my new dad, Bill, worked in the oil industry as a contractor. His work in Brandon, then Ponce, and then in Freeport (where we lived for 2.5 years) was about opening and closing “plants.” In those days the oil and gas industry was more a means to an end than an end in itself. It wasn’t until years later that I began to understand the extent of the environmental damage that oil and gas creates, it’s so much more now than it was in back then. Even way back in the mid 70s I remember we would have to scrub patches of oil off our feet after visiting beautiful and otherwise pristine beaches in Freeport, because of the spillage from the offshore oil rigs.

There were definitely some challenging times and difficult conversations, as I was growing as an activist for peace and environment. My birth dad, Ted, was very supportive of that work. He drove me to the Clayoquot Sound action camp in the early 90s, and spent time walking around the camp talking to people. He loved going to pow-wows, as did I, and we would talk about the plight of native people and the challenges ahead of us trying to keep the air and water clean, working for peace in world where war is waged for profit and oil.

With Bill, I learned to respect the work that he did in the “plants,” or factories as I later learned is a more accurate description of them. And I think Bill learned to understand my concerns, later in life. In his day they were providing energy to local communities across Canada in ways the world had never seen before. To people living in a cold nation, many of whom had grown up without electricity or central heating systems, this was nothing short of miraculous. During one of our conversations he agreed that what’s going on now, in the northern tarsands, where infrastructure is being massively expanded for the purpose of exporting bitumen offshore (for profit), is radically different than what he was working on. I recall him saying “it’s gone too far.” We agreed to meet there, and didn’t talk about it anymore.

Bill and Sheila and I moved from Freeport back to Edmonton in 1975 and again I had to say goodbye to friends and this time go back to a very cold snowy environment, quite different than the pre-teen years we’d spent in the sun and on the beaches! Bill had 40 acres near Fort Saskatchewan so, after a year in Edmonton living in the Dovercourt house of mom’s (at 12423-135 St, an address that has stuck in my brain since I was encouraged to memorize it as a kid), we moved out to the farm. I thought this was pretty cool because it meant I could have a horse, a love affair I’d begun while volunteering at a riding stable in Freeport. We lived in a little trailer while building a house on dad’s property, and eventually built a barn for the horses too. My brothers all helped build that house, and Mom and I did too.

I lived on the acreage until after high school, and then left for Vancouver in 1983. I made sure to bring the horses with me, it was a huge amount of work to care for them in the winter and I wouldn’t have left that with my mom and dad. I had acquired enough office and computer skills to land me a good job in Vancouver which, in retrospect, is darned lucky considering I had my two dependents with me! Ah, the impetuous confidence of youth ….

But this isn’t about me, except in the context of viewing my parents’ life through these eyes (which is really the only option we all have), so, back to their story. My dad Ted continued to communicate regularly with me, now we had better phone access and he enjoyed visiting me and my brother in Vancouver about annually. Mom and Bill built a machine shop on the back-40, they could see that the industry was growing all around them and it was a smart business decision to service some of that equipment. They sold the business and retired in the late 80s and moved to Vancouver Island, to build another beautiful home. They travelled quite a bit in those years, too. My dad Ted also enjoyed travelling.

It was an interesting time to be alive on the planet, for that generation. So many big changes … radio, tv, internet! They became devout patriots at a young age, fought in the big war, and ventured overseas without really understanding what they were coming to or whose land they were taking. For the most part, at least for my parents, they worked hard, earned their pensions, enjoyed socialized health care, and they all had a comfortable retirement.

As happens, they all also got older and older and older. I watched, as compassionately as I could, as their brains began to abandon them and their memories began to fade. I wasn’t able to be with my Ted dad as much as I would have liked to have been in his final years because I was a rather impoverished student and then working to establish a non-profit street newspaper (which ALL my parents contributed to, by the way, bless them). I also didn’t really understand the process of aging and dying. I did travel to see my dad about once a year, I was there for his 80th birthday party, and I was lucky to see him in the home his brother and my aunt, and Dad’s lady partner friend, had chosen for him and helped move him into. It took him a minute to recognize me, but when he did a big smile emerged. “Is that Janine?” he said. It was a precious moment and I began to realize this would likely be the last time I’d see him.

And it was. Mom broke the news a couple of weeks later that he had died. I’m so glad to have had that last visit with him, and I learned a big lesson. When it was time to care for Mom and Dad, I wanted to be there.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, Mom decided she didn’t want me there. I fought that at first, sincerely believing (as I do to this day) that she was confused and misguided and that the efforts to estrange me were unfounded. But eventually I had to give up, and just let her go the way she wanted. She had been such a social butterfly, and in the end she was quite reclusive. Who knows what happens, right?

I was delighted, however, to see my Bill dad every week while he was in his final home. Dad seemed quite content … he had his own room, and I made sure he was comfortable there. I got permission from mom to bring a couple of beautiful paintings, got him a TV and the most comfortable chair imaginable. For his 90th birthday I contacted as many family and friends as I could and encouraged them to send cards or telephone. Of course many of them would have done that anyways, but I wanted to be sure Dad knew how much he was loved. I figured it was probably his last birthday, though I did encourage him to start thinking about his 91st!
It wasn’t long after his 90th birthday that Bill dad began to visibly decline. He no longer wanted to leave his room for the music sessions, whereas previously he’d absolutely loved those! He couldn’t remember what he’d had for breakfast, but he could reach for song lyrics he’d known since he was a boy in Croydon. He was an inspiration, for sure, and they loved him and his enthusiastic singing. That singing, by the way, was definitely a big part of my life growing up with he and mom. They sang all-the-time! It was usually mom who would instigate it, whatever tune came into her head, or she heard on the tv or radio, or saw something that triggered a memory, and next thing I knew the two of them would be singing up a storm. Many years ago they bought me a piano book with a bunch of their old songs, and I’d do my best to keep up with them as they sang ahead of my efforts to play them!

One day, a couple of weeks before he died, Bill dad asked me about Jesus. He said some people believe they’ll see him when they die, don’t they? We were never a family for regular churchgoing, but I have found spiritual strength and understanding through yoga and wiccan and buddhist teachings, so I told him that yes, some people believe that and if he wants to believe it too, he sure can. I assured him that, as I believe, wherever he’s going it’s a place full of music and love. I told him he’ll be able to see his family and friends there too, he’ll be surrounded by lots of love and warmth, and whatever he imagines, that’s where he’ll end up. That seemed to comfort him somewhat, and he began the slow march towards death. I’m really really glad I was there to help him cross over on his final day.

I remember reading somewhere that there’s the year we’re born and the year we die, but all of our life is contained within that little dash between those years. These are the dominant memories emerging as I say goodbye to my last parent, of course there is so much more. As my dad Ted said, though, “all we have, in the end, are our memories.” He’s right! So to make happy ones, to live a life truthfully and not to fear the darkness.

Lionel Philip (Ted) Bandcroft: April 21st 1924 – August 20th 2007
William John (Bill) Ede: February 15th 1925 – May 6th 2015
Sheila Kitching (Bandcroft) (Ede): May 1st 1926 – January 31st 2016

It feels different, now having parents. And especially, I think, because I don’t have children. Suddenly I feel “grown up” in a way I haven’t previously, even though the final years are so much different than the younger years when we can still call our parents to chat, and share our concerns, and seek guidance. Eventually, I suppose, we all learn to look within.

The morning I took mom’s ashes to the ocean I also sprinkled some wildflower seeds into pots on my balcony, those seeds will grow into flowers that will feed hummingbirds. Mom and Bill dad both loved birds, every house we lived in had several bird feeders. Mom made sure I knew that if you start to feed them through the winter, you must continue because the birds become dependent on the supply. She taught me a lot of good things, they all did.

Rest in peace, guys, I’ll be there too someday. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying life in the dash lane.

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FLETCHER: LUCY REBECCA (nee Taker) of Ottawa

Posted by on March 22, 2016

images-4Dec. 5, 1926 — March 17, 2016

The effervescent and restless spirit of Lucy Fletcher (nee Taker), Ottawa, left this world on St. Patrick’s Day, 2016, at age 89 — no doubt in search of new adventures!

Born in Timmins, Ont., she grew up in New Glasgow, N.S., and remained a Maritimer at heart. She was predeceased by parents Percy and Bertie (nee Keating) Taker, brothers Laurence [“Tiny”] and Roy Taker and sister Greta (Don) Macdonald. She is survived by sons Don (Mary Jo), Paul (Annie), daughters Marla and Becky (Ken) and sister Blanche (Reg) Kendall, former partner Donald Fletcher and grandchildren Chelsey, Dana, Ian, Jacob, Kevin, Leo and Meghan.
Lucy was a determined, proud woman who gave her all raising four children to each become strong, creative and independent individuals. Her secretarial work served her well in educational, banking, real estate, military, legal and government settings over the years. She valued education highly, and constantly encouraged those around her to continue learning and seize every opportunity to better themselves. She loved music – especially jazz – as well as reading, gardening, travel and being in the company of family and friends. She had a wicked sense of humour, always ready to share a laugh or an adventure.

A compassionate and loyal friend, Lucy was also an unforgettable daughter, sister, mother, aunt and grandmother who will be sadly missed.

Visitation will be at the Westboro Chapel of Tubman Funeral Homes, 403 Richmond Rd., Ottawa, on Wed. March 23, 2016, 1-2 pm followed by service in the chapel at 2 pm. Burial to follow at Pinecrest Cemetery. If you’d like to make a charitable donation in Lucy’s name to the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, that would be very much appreciated.

For more information about this obituary visit http://canadaobits.ca/unverified-user/.

MUNROE: DAVID BRUCE of NANAIMO

Posted by on March 22, 2016

images-4It is with great sadness we announce the passing of David Bruce Munroe. David was born in Calgary, Alberta on January 6, 1967 and passed away peacefully in his sleep on February 17, 2016.
David is survived by his wife Nicole Munroe, his four children Amanda, Cailey(11), Kaylynn(9) and Kaden(6), his parents Bruce and Donna Munroe, and sister Melanie , son Jake Graham (Mitch Barisoff )
David died suddenly at the age of 49, he was a man with a big heart, who lived his life on his own terms. David had many friends who he was always willing to lend a hand when needed. David’s biggest pride and joy were his children, and he could always be seen on a sports field with them, watching movies, going for walks, reading bedtime stories, or just sitting and talking. His kids were his whole world. When David wasn’t working he would be at home with his family. He is loved and will be missed by many.

There will be a celebration of life which will be held Saturday April 2nd from 1pm to 4pm. Please pm Amanda Munroe or Nikki Olshanoski for directions.
To help his children in the future In lieu of flowers the family has set up a fundraising page
https://www.gofundme.com/7grdrndw

For more information about this obituary visit http://canadaobits.ca/unverified-user/.

Ameen: Parvaiz M of Prince Albert

Posted by on March 22, 2016

images-4Passed away unexpectedly in his home town, Haripur, on February 8th, 2016 in his 68th year. Beloved husband and best friend of Mamoona (Khan) for 39 years. Dearly loved father of Farsa Imran of Red Deer, Alberta, Sarah Iqbal (Waqas) of Sialkot, Hafsa Jatt (Talha) of Lahore, and Dilawar Aziz (Anna) of Flin Flon, BC. Dear brother of Aziz of Karachi, Ameen of Red Deer, Alberta and the late Sheena Ifthikar (Hassan). Also survived by several grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Parvaiz will be sadly missed, he is an immense loss for family and friends but a priceless gain for heaven.

A private family funeral will be held in Haripur on a later date. A memorial will be held in Red Deer, AB in June 2016.

For those who wish, donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated by the family.

For more information about this obituary visit http://canadaobits.ca/unverified-user/.

SCOTT: Helen G. – of Medicine Hat, Alberta, formerly of Bobcaygeon, Ontario

Posted by on March 19, 2016

Scan0001Helen G. Scott (nee Taylor)

Born April 5th, 1920 in Toronto, Mom lived a long and fulfilling life filled with love. 96 Years…of which the last 6 although horrific, she suffered with dignity and humour.

Mom the story of your life is not written in a book. It is written in your children’s happiness, in their sense of self-worth and in the knowledge that we were loved. It will always be a part of us and it will make a difference. When people see our happiness in life they are reading the story of your love.

You have started the next chapter in your exceptional life. For those of us who are left behind it is hard to accept that you are gone but for everyone who ever knew you it was an amazing gift that you were here. You were not just my mother but my best friend and I will miss you every day of my life until we meet again. I don’t see you as gone but as having become a part of us all in this amazing universe. You felt each of us is connected to every person and every thing on this Earth, that we are in fact one divine organism having an infinite spiritual existence, striving for harmony. I feel the days will be a little less bright but the nights will be brighter by a star.

You always told me you were coming back as a duck because as a child not able to go to school you spent many hours at the Riverdale Zoo you appreciated how much freedom they had to come and go.   Recently I discussed with you that you might want to change to another species as I would be upset every hunting season. We laughed and you decided that the protected Loon that you always loved at Pigeon Lake Bobcaygeon would be a better choice.

Left to carry on your extraordinary spirit are your two children you were not supposed to have. Daughter HEATHER (DAVID PETRIE) Seven Persons, AB., Son BRADLEY (AGNES MENCZEL) Edmonton, AB. and most loved granddaughter MEREDITH PETRIE (MICHAEL PAGET) Calgary, AB.

Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa in the 1920’s, forced to quit school at an early age because of blindness you became a strong, independent and courageous woman who defied the doctors when they told you “No Children”. While managing the Ryrie Birke’s Cafeteria in the 40’s even though your sight was severely limited, you watched a handsome young man come down the escalator for lunch every day. Your girls laughingly kept telling you to come out of the fog for the next half hour. When the fog lifted you were married to him June 24th 1950. A year later I hit the pavement and 3 and a half years later came my brother. A “Norman Rockwell” type of existence, East York in the 50’s was a wonderful community to grow up in and we had our cottage at Wasaga Beach every summer. The courage it took to handle us kids while blind and alone all week while Dad worked in the city was inspirational. An outside pump, no running water, an outhouse, a wood/coal stove was what you originally had to deal with along with kids who thought nothing of coming home dead late from a day long bicycle trip wondering why you were hysterical. THANK YOU MOM

Your sense of humour, laughter, love of family and music saw you through 96 years.

In 2003 at age 83 you were RUNNING up and down 3 flights of stairs in your 4 level split in Victoria Place Bobcaygeon. Due to circumstances and your blindness you decided to swallow your fear of “alien territory“ and move West to be close to your kids. You enjoyed Chinook Village and the great friends you made there including the staff.

Walking a mile a day unaided except for a guiding arm, at the age of 89 in 2009, life was good until your stroke while in Medicine Hat Regional Hospital in January 2010. Unable to see, walk, swallow without thickener, moved by machine, spoon fed mush, this has been your plight for the past 6 years. In spite of the horrific situation you had to endure you never lost the essence of that which was Helen Scott. Serving your time with dignity, a sense of humour and Hugs `n` Smooches, I selfishly enjoyed every minute I was able to spend with you but it broke my heart to see you have to endure that indignity for so long at the end of your days.

Now you are no longer walking in darkness. You can greet your multitude of friends and family in the light for the first time. Not to say that you haven’t always looked at everyone you met directly in the eye. Inspiring them to be a better person just by observing the bravery and humour with which you faced life’s trials thrown at you. The Duke of Bedford Ian Russell (Woburn Abby, UK) shared this sentiment in one of his personal tapes to you as did your friend Florence McEachern, Lady Eaton’s daughter in their visits and letters.

Preceded in death by just about everyone you ever knew the transition party your lifelong girlfriends will throw you should be amazing. Dad, the love of your life (Winston J.I. Scott 1915-1995) won’t know how to handle you sighted as he had a hard time handling your energy when you were blind. You can imagine how I would like to hear the conversations you have with your Mom, Frankie Viola (Smith) and Dad, Percival Donald Taylor “Pops”, Platoon/District Chief, Toronto Fire Dept. and older brother Wm. Harper Taylor, sister in law Helen Lee(Hutchinson) and your companion after Dad passed Alfred M. Simpson (2009 age 91).

I would like to thank you Mom for the invaluable lessons you taught us over our lifetimes. “WASH YOUR HANDS” is the first that comes to mind. “Make the best with what you’ve got but don’t accept the status quo” is another. Always “LISTEN intently”, “Giving is infinitely better than getting”, “Mind your manners”, “Use common sense”, “Never let wealth and status impress you as actions speak louder than words”, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts”. (Find and encourage those gifts that make each of us special: not star power, not intellectual prowess but the ineffable mystery and beauty of the heart.)

Practical with an abundance of common sense, a love of life, family and friends and the energy to put it to good use, you made a difference in the lives of many. Counsellor extraordinaire.

While at Chinook Village you told us not to mourn as you were ready to go. You had enjoyed an amazing life. Well I am afraid we will not be able to comply with that request as the world is a lesser place without you in it.

A memorial with friends and family will be held in Medicine Hat at a date to be announced. Mom is on her way home to Bobcaygeon. Memorial service will take place at THE HENDREN FUNERAL HOMES – MONK CHAPEL, Bobcaygeon on Wednesday March 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm, and interment in Verulam Cemetery starting at 2:00 PM. Please no flowers. If you wish to honor my mother’s memory she would be so pleased if you could make a donation to the David Sheldrick Foundation, an elephant orphanage doing amazing work in Kenya with orphaned baby elephants and black rhinos or Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay Ontario.

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.hendrenfuneralhome.com.

COULTER: Marlene of Foxboro

Posted by on March 17, 2016

Coulter, Marlene (nee Briscoe) – suddenly at home on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 in her 82nd year. Beloved wife of the late Raymond Coulter. Loving mother of Stephen (Melanie) of Calgary, Suzanne (Russell) Doxtator of Frankford and Nancy Coulter (Peter Wilson) of Campbellford. Cherished grandmother of Aaron (Elyse), Adam, Matthew, Liam, Nicole (Jesse), George, Henry and David. Marlene is survived by her sisters, Beverley (Robert) Topping, Brenda Larsen and Cheryl Rendell. She is fondly remembered by her sisters-in-law, June Sine and Thelma Coulter and by several nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents, Amos & Ilene Briscoe.

A Memorial Service celebrating Marlene’s life will be held at Emmanuel United Church, 458 Ashley Street, Foxboro on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. with the family receiving friends from 1:00 until the time of service and again following the service, during a reception in the church hall. Private inurnment at Victoria Cemetery at a later date.

If desired, Memorial Donations to Emmanuel United Church or to the charity or your choice would be appreciated by the family.

Arrangements entrusted to Steele Funeral Home, Moira Street Chapel (613-968-2273).

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.steelefuneralhome.ca.

HERMESTON, Thomas of Teeswater

Posted by on March 15, 2016

Hermeston, TomThomas Humphrey Hermeston of Teeswater, passed away at Wingham & District Hospital on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016, at the age of 85.

Beloved husband of Joyce (nee Thornton) Hermeston of Teeswater.

Missed by his daughter-in-law Karen Hermeston and grandson Nathan Hermeston both of Calgary.

Survived by his sisters Edna Rivers and Lorna Freudeman, brothers Neale Hermeston (Wilma) and Wallace Hermeston (June) and several nieces and nephews.

Predeceased by his parents, Mervin and Ivy (Humphrey) Hermeston, sons Jeffrey Hermeston and Matthew Hermeston, daughter Tamara Hermeston, sisters Lily and Alice, brothers Robert, France, William and James and brothers-in-law Ray Rivers and Doug Freudeman.

Tom was a retired employee of over thirty years with Ontario Hydro.

Private family arrangements entrusted to the Tiffin Funeral Home, Teeswater.

Memorial donations to the charity of your choice would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Portrait and memorial online at www.tiffinfuneralhome.ca.

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.tiffinfuneralhome.ca.

MUMMERY, Robert “Bob” Chinnick of Grand Bend, formerly of Port Lambton and Blenheim, age 95

Posted by on March 11, 2016

MUMMERY, RobertMUMMERY:  Peacefully, after a long fought battle with congestive heart failure, at his residence, surrounded by the love of his family, on Thursday, March 10, 2016, Robert “Bob” Chinnick Mummery, of Grand Coves Estates, Grand Bend, formerly of Port Lambton and Blenheim, age 95.  Beloved husband of Marion Ilene (Craig) Mummery.  Loved father and father-in-law of Virginia and Paul Werstine of London, Robert and Janis Mummery of Calgary, AB., Victoria Mummery and Brian Davis of Guelph and the late Jonathan Craig Mummery (2008).  Cherished granddad of 9 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.  Dear brother-in-law of Joanne Brown of London.  Remembered by his nieces, nephews and their families.  Predeceased by his parents Percy and Genevieve (Chinnick) Mummery and 2 great-granddaughters.  Resting at the T. Harry Hoffman & Sons Funeral Home, Dashwood on Sunday, March 13, 2016 from 7 to 9 p.m. Cremation to follow.  A Memorial Service for the family will be held at a later date.  Interment Pinery Cemetery, Grand Bend at a later date.  Bob was a long time teacher in the Kent County School Board,  he began his teaching career in a one room school in Tilbury East and finished his career teaching Secondary School in Wallaceburg.  If desired, memorial donations, payable by cheque to a charity of choice would be appreciated by the family.  Condolences at www.hoffmanfuneralhome.com

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.hoffmanfuneralhome.com.

ROY, Linda Ann (Troubridge) of Grand Bend formerly of Goderich, age 63

Posted by on March 10, 2016

ROY, LindaROY:  Linda Ann (Troubridge) Roy, age 63, of Grand Bend, Ontario, passed away peacefully surrounded by the love of her family on Thursday, March 10, 2016 in Exeter Hospital.  Linda is survived by her loving husband, children, and grandchildren: Husband Darcy Roy of Grand Bend, daughters Kimberley Christensen (husband Paul), Shawna Harkes (husband Jason), grandchildren Hillary, Kelden, Sophia, Hayden and Everett, brother Peter Troubridge (wife Barbara) and nieces Lauren and Erin. She is predeceased by her parents Stanley and Irene Troubridge as well as her brother David Troubridge.  Linda was born in Brantford, Ontario to Stanley and Irene Troubridge on December 10, 1952. She graduated from Ancaster High and Vocational School and later completed post-secondary studies in business. For the past 18 years, Linda was employed by Heubner-Ridder Veterinary Hospital of Goderich, Ontario, as a Veterinary Receptionist. She enjoyed spending time with her family and her well-loved English bulldog companion, Georgia. Linda loved to travel, whether it be to sunny destinations or out West to visit family.  She will be forever missed and remembered as being a wonderful and loving wife, mother and ‘nan’ whose witty humour, warmth and compassion touched the lives of all those who knew her. A Celebration of Life reception will be held in honour of Linda at a later date. At the request of her family, donations can be made to the London Health Sciences Centre Regional Cancer Program or the South Huron Hospital Foundation. Arrangements entrusted to the T. Harry Hoffman & Sons Funeral Home, Dashwood. Condolences at www.hoffmanfuneralhome.com

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.hoffmanfuneralhome.com.

ASMAN, Doris “Dodie” Jane of Brockville, Ontario

Posted by on March 7, 2016

Doris AsmanASMAN, Doris “Dodie” Jane

Suddenly entered into rest at Kingston General Hospital, on Friday March 4th, 2016, Dodie (Henderson) Asman of Brockville aged 69 years.  Beloved wife of the late Richard Asman  Loving mother of Michelle Asman of British Columbia and Michael Asman of Brockville. Cherished grandmother of Mandy Nyberg (Trevor), Brandon Papineau, Stephanie Papineau (Justin) and Lakeisha Asman all of Alberta. Dear daughter of the late Albert and Helen (Burtch) Henderson and sister of the late Abbie Henderson. Also missed by her nieces and nephews.

Family will receive friends at the Barclay Funeral Home, 137 Pearl St. E., Brockville on Thursday March 10th, 2016 from 2 to 3:45 pm followed by the Service which will be held in the Chapel at 4 p.m. In memory of Dodie donations to the Brockville District Hospital Foundation Palliative Care would be gratefully acknowledged by the family.Messages of condolence may be sent on line at www.barclayfuneralhome.com

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.barclayfuneralhome.com.

GAUTHIER: Rhejane Juliette of Belleville

Posted by on March 2, 2016

Gauthier, Rhejane Juliette – peacefully at QHC, Belleville General Hospital on Sunday February 28th, 2016 in her 77th year. Cherished Mother of; Catherine Empey of Kingston, Sue (Scott) Guthrie of Red Deer, AB, Howard Graham, Hugh Graham both of Tweed and Lynda Rogers of Belleville. Predeceased by son, Harold Graham. Rhejane will be missed by her eight grandchildren; Mitchell, Alanna, Jennifer, Janlyn, James, Jordan, Rachyl and Austin and also by great grandchildren, Dylan and Maisie. Dear sister of Loraine (Jerry) Struth of Brampton, Sergine Gauthier of Orleans and Manon (Michel) Myre of Hawkesbury. Predeceased by her brother, Jean-Guy Gauthier and her sister, Claudette Gauthier.

Cremation arrangements entrusted to Steele Funeral Home, Moira Street Chapel (613-968-2273). A Celebration of life will be held at the Steele Family Centre, 20 Moira Street West on Saturday, March 19th, 2016 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.

If desired, Memorial Donations to the Ontario Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated by the family.

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.steelefuneralhome.ca.

GEDDY: Donald “Don” of Strathroy

Posted by on February 29, 2016

Pic-Gedddy

 

 

 

Peacefully at Strathroy Middlesex General Hospital on Sunday, February 28, 2016 Donald Orval Geddy of Strathroy passed away at the age of 73. Loving husband of Connie Geddy for 51 years. Beloved father of Kim Geddy (Mike Seman) and Diane Geddy. Dear grandfather of Aaron Kampers (Terri), Joseph Disepolo, Keith Seman and Jacq Seman and great grandfather of Christopher, Coby, Marleen, Mikyla and Marliah. Brother in law of Karl Coopman and Hilary Geddy. Forever remembered by many nieces, nephews and extended family. Cremation has taken place. Friends will be received at DENNING’S OF STRATHROY 519-245-1023 on Thursday, March 3rd from 11:00 am until the time of the funeral and Lions Memorial Service at 1:00 pm. Interment will take place in Strathroy Cemetery at a later date. As expressions of sympathy donations may be made to Lions Eyes Right or Diabetes Association. Online condolences accepted at www.dennings.ca.

 

 

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.denning.ca.

Atkinson, Wilda Victoria (nee Bell)

Posted by on February 20, 2016

Web Photo Atkinson, WildaAtkinson, Wilda Victoria (nee Bell)

October 15, 1920 – February 19, 2016

95 years, passed away quietly at Chartwell Royal Oak Long Term Care Kingsville. Beloved wife of the late Reid Atkinson (2015) for 73 years. Devoted mother of Carolyn Burn (David), Doug Atkinson (Susan), daughters-in-law Debbie Poole Lester, and Kay Atkinson. Adored grandmother of Jason Atkinson (Kristina), Jeremy Atkinson (Nadja). Proud great grandmother of Amber (Michael) and Nolia, and great great grandmother of Sophia, step grandmother of Steve (Ellen), Sandy (Barry), Alison (Alan), Amanda (Dave), Charlene, and step great grandmother of Taylor, Max, Danny, Jude, Avery, Brandy, and Armando. Sister in law of Jean Bell. Predeceased by brothers Elison, Edison, Orville, Ivan, Ernest, Warden, Donald, and sisters Leita Brown, Alta Brown, Evedyne Brown and Eva Cascadden. Wilda will also be missed by her numerous loving nieces and nephews. Wilda was raised in the small community of Oakland, Mersea Township and farmed with her husband Reid and his brother Albert and wife Doris until they retired in 1972 when they spent their summers in Rice Lake and their winters in Winterhaven, Florida. Wilda will be greatly missed. Visiting at the Reid Funeral Home & Reception Centre, 14 Russell Street, Leamington (519-326-2631) on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 from 1 p.m. until time of the funeral service to celebrate Wilda’s life at 2 p.m. Marion Smith officiating. Interment Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial donations, made by cheque, to the Alzheimer Society or to a charity of your choice, would be appreciated. Family & friends may share their memories or make an online contribution at www.reidfuneralhome.ca

 

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.reidfuneralhome.ca.

STEWARD: Wilhelamine Evelyn formerly of London

Posted by on February 18, 2016

Steward, Willie-W300At Huronview Home for the Aged, Clinton on Tuesday, February 16, 2016, formerly of London in her 87thyear. Dear mother of Sandra and Stan Jemec of Bayfield, Heather Gillan of Lucan, Bonnie and Kevin Collins of Perth Road, Pat Elliott and her friend Ken of Lethbridge and Jim and Sylvia Steward of Toronto. Also survived by 16 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren. Dear sister of Lillian, Shirley, Marion, Gerald and Linda. Predeceased by 2 brothers Donald and Leland.

Private family arrangements. Cremation.

Donations to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated by the family. Haskett Funeral Home, Lucan (519-227-4211) entrusted with arrangements. Condolences forwarded through www.haskettfh.com

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.haskettfh.com.

MacKay: James of Paisley

Posted by on February 15, 2016

TriFold 4On Saturday, February 13, 2016 Jim MacKay of Paisley passed away after a brave battle with aplastic anemia (which simply means his bone marrow was not making enough blood to keep him going at the speed he wanted to go). He would have been 82 in April. He was a quiet-spoken man of few words, hardworking and determined action. He was known all over southern Ontario and in many parts of the United States for the fine Commercial Horses he bred, trained and exhibited for over fifty years. His horses have been sold all over North America, not only for driving, but excelling in English tack for jumping, dressage, eventing, field hunting, and as Police mounts. When visiting Bermuda, it will likely be Jim’s teams pulling the carriages. They can also be seen today being driven as a four-in-hand pulling beautiful coaches in many states in the U.S.

George James MacKay was born to George and Florence (Lewis) MacKay in Walkerton hospital on April 27, 1934. He was the oldest of three children with Andy and Florence completing the family. Together with their parents, the MacKay family worked hard and created a living on their family farm. Jim attended S.S. #11 in Salem and then Paisley Continuation School. Unable to finish school due to his father’s poor heath, Jim took over the majority of farming duties.

June 1, 1957 Jim married Mary McCurdy and together they farmed on Concession 10, Elderslie for over 50 years before moving to Paisley. Jim continued to return to the farm every day to help his son, Steven, and tend his beloved horses.

As a young man Jim played ball for the Dobbinton Pontiacs, competing in playoff and championship games all over Southern Ontario. Then his interest turned to horses and he began exhibiting at the CNE in Toronto in 1964. This began the passion that grew and drew many of his friends into the showring. His competitive nature spurred him to win thousands of ribbons and trophies which overflowed his farm home. His three children, Steve, Neil and Shelley continue to share his interest in showing horses.

Jim greatly anticipated the arrival of new foals every spring – some years as many as 25, but more often 10-12. He was always on the lookout for his next “rising star” and had many favourites over the years. He enjoyed the challenge of finding two to make a well-matched team.  His capable driving skills gave him the confidence to take a barely broke team to the fairs and still excel.  He took great pride in showing a championship six-horse-hitch under the Shady Maple Farm name. He loved the bright bay colour, with four-white socks, high-stepping action and right up on the bit.

For the last 32 years a highlight of Jim’s year was serving as ringmaster at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. Dressed in a suit, tie and fedora for daytime classes or tuxedo and top hat for the evening. He was a welcome sight to exhibitors who could rely on a safe drive if Jim MacKay was directing “traffic” in the ring. Although in failing health and moving a bit slower than usual he pushed himself to carry out his duties for the last time last November (2015). He was also sometimes called on to be ringmaster or judge at other fairs.

Although quiet, by nature he always enjoyed the companionship that came with working with friends and family and sometimes liked to play practical jokes on his friends. Not only did Jim influence others, and the horse world, he was a great inspiration to his friends and family. He wouldn’t hesitate to pass on advice, or act as a mentor to new competitors or sell them his winning team. Despite his competitiveness, Jim would always congratulate those who beat him in the show ring and then resolve to have a better team next year. He constantly aspired to be a leader and innovator in the horse world and held many positions to better the profession as a whole. He served two terms as president of the Ontario Commercial Horse Association, as well as being president of the Ontario Clydesdale Association for one term. He served as Chair of the Bruce County Plowman’s Association and chaired the Horse Show Committee for the two plowing matches held in Bruce County.

Jim received blood transfusions every two weeks for the last 7 months of his life. It gave him the fuel to carry on. The family would like to encourage those who are able to consider donating blood so that others can be helped as well.

His legacy will live on through his beautiful horses.

He leaves behind to mourn his loss Mary, his beloved wife of nearly 59 years and his family. Steve (Brenda) of Elderslie, Neil (Marti) of Barrie, Shelley (Dan) Scepanovic of Mississauga and special father of Gerald and Deb Thomas of Paisley. He will be sadly missed by his grandsons, Robert MacKay and his fiancée, Becky, of Calgary, Brian MacKay of Queen’s University, Kingston, Michael MacKay of Barrie and special grandson Ryan Thomas of Elderslie. He will be forever held in the hearts of his three granddaughters, Katrina, Mya and Monica Scepanovic of Mississauga. Jim is survived by his only sister, Florence (Don) Leatham of Walkerton, sister-in-law Merle MacKay of Paisley, and Mary’s sister June (Bruce) Martin of Sauble Beach and Florida. He was predeceased by his brother Andy MacKay, an infant daughter and his parents, George and Florence (Lewis) MacKay.

Visitation will be held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Paisley (260 Queen St. S.) on Tuesday from 2 – 4 and 7 – 9 p.m. where a funeral service celebrating Jim’s life will be held on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 2 p.m. with visiting an hour before the service.

Spring interment in Salem Presbyterian Cemetery, Elderslie Township.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating your blood with Canadian Blood Services, in memory of Jim. Memorial donations may also be made to the Ontario Commercial Horse Association or a charity of your choice.

Funeral arrangements entrusted to Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley.

www.rhodyfamily.com

 

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.rhodyfamily.com.

KOZDRAS: Zdzislaw “Jess” of West Lorne

Posted by on February 14, 2016

Kozdras Cover Photo CROPPEDPeacefully at London Health Sciences Centre-Victoria Campus on Thursday, February 11, 2016, Zdzislaw “Jess” Wladyslaw Kozdras of Bobier Villa, Dutton and formerly of West Lorne, passed away at the age of 83.  He will be missed by his loving wife Eileen Loretta Kozdras (nee Ross).  Survived by children Michael (Deborah) Kozdras, Mark (Karen) Kozdras, Richard (Frances) Kozdras, Jess Kozdras and Michele Kozdras.  Loving grandfather of Matthew, Stephanie, Madison, Christa, Katelyn, Michelle, Tyler and Michael.  Missed by his siblings Emilia, Marian and Bronia and many nieces and nephews.  Predeceased by his parents Wladyslaw and Julia Kozdras (nee Pszybos) and sister Wanda Zekelman.  Relatives and friends will be received at DENNING’S OF WEST LORNE, 202 Main Street, West Lorne (519-785-0810) on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.  Vigil prayers at 1:45 p.m.  Funeral Mass will take place at St. Mary’s Catholic Parish, 128 Main Street, West Lorne on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at 10 a.m.  Interment to follow in Rodney Cemetery.  A reception will be held at St. Mary’s Parish Hall following the Funeral Mass. Donations in memory of Zdzislaw may be made to the Bobier Villa  or London Health Sciences Foundation.  Share a memory at denning.ca

For more information about this obituary visit http://www.denning.ca.