Obituaries

Ruth Ann Pickle

A photo of Ruth Ann Pickle

Service:

Glad Tidings Community Church
Thursday September 1, 2016
11:00 a.m.

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Wednesday August 31, 2016
2:00 - 4:00 & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Glad Tidings Community Church
Thursday September 1, 2016
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Ruth Ann Pickle of Blenheim passed away with her family by her side on Monday August 29, 2016. Ruth Ann was born August 4, 1948 in Chatham to the late Clarence (2012) and Margaret (Tunks) Pfaff. She married the love of her life, Rev. Patrick Shawn Pickle on June 8, 1974 beginning a journey that would span over 42 years. Ruth Ann and Pat are the proud parents of Jennifer (Daryl) Atkinson of Kitchener, Rachel (Jason) Apthorp of Blenheim and Jeffrey Pickle of Blenheim and the very proud grandparents of Simon Atkinson and Cameron Atkinson. Ruth Ann was one of seven siblings and is survived by her sisters Marg (Rod) Miller of Port Parry, Mary (Dale) D’Clute of Strathmore AB and Penny Pfaff (Darryl Throsel) of Blenheim and by her brothers Harold (Sharon) Pfaff of Blenheim, John Pfaff of Calgary and Robert “Bob” Pfaff of St. Thomas. Also surviving her are 7 nieces, 4 nephews, 7 great-nieces and 5 great-nephews.

Ruth will be remembered as an accomplished pianist who shared her gift with a number of churches. She especially loved Christmas music…actually she loved the whole Christmas season and while the house would be decorated a month ahead, there were some decorations that would remain out for the entire year. She loved sitting on the patio with her family enjoying an evening barbeque. She loved people, she shared the gifts that were bestowed to her in life and she cared for all of God’s creatures. She was a Christian.

Family and friends are invited to the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Wednesday for visitation from 2 – 4 & 7 – 9 p.m. and again at Glad Tidings Community Church on Thursday from 10 – 11 a.m.

A Funeral Service for Ruth Ann, conducted by Pastor Eric Revie will take place at Glad Tidings Community Church on Thursday September 1, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Interment in Evergreen Cemetery. Acting as pallbearers will be Jeff Pickle, Jason Apthorp, Daryl Atkinson, Darryl Throsel, Jeremy Pfaff and Rod Miller. Flower bearers will include Simon Atkinson, Cameron Atkinson, Aidan Throsel and Kailyn Throsel.

Friends wishing to remember Ruth Ann with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Diabetes Association, the Heart & Stroke Foundation or Group Hug Apparel, a charity near and dear to Ruth Ann’s heart.

Frank Fiala

A photo of Frank Fiala

Service:

Private

Visitation:

Private

Frank Joseph Fiala passed away suddenly at his home on August 28th, 2016. He was born March 21st, 1943 in Chatham, Ontario to Joseph Fiala (1956) and Mary (Plyha)(Fiala) Balun (1975). Beloved husband and best friend of Jeannette Marie (Benoit) Fiala. Admired father, advisor & provider of Mary Lynn (Tom) McKillop, Jody Lynn (Dan) Mifflin, Frank Jr. (Pam) Fiala, Joey (Linda) Fiala, Terry (Janice) Fiala & Jackie Lynn (Denis) Lalonde. Caring & cherished pepere of Jolene & Kirk McKillop, Marcie (Matt, Abi & Austin) King, Alena & Jared Fiala, Kayla & Jenna Fiala, Brodie & Madison Lalonde. Baby brother of Edward (Bernice) Fiala (1983), & Vera Engl (2003). Also survived by many nieces & nephews.

 

Frank farmed in Harwich (Township) and worked at Eaton Yale (Oxford Automotive) for 36 yrs. He had a heart bigger than life, always putting others ahead of himself and always there to lend a helping hand. He was mechanically inclined, smart and a handy person to have around when you needed something fixed. He worked hard, played harder, was an avid fisherman and hunter who loved the outdoors. His happiest times were family get togethers and cooking up BIGGGG meals for his family. He’d cook enough for a small army……but that we are!

In keeping with Frank’s wishes, there will be no Funeral Home visitation and a private family service will be held at St. Mary’s Church.

Donations in his memory can be made to the Blenheim Foodbank, Rondeau Rod & Gun club or charity of your choice.

Dan Eskritt

A photo of Dan Eskritt

Service:

Private

Visitation:

Private

Garnet Daniel “Dan” Eskritt of Ridgetown passed away peacefully in Windsor on Tuesday August 24, 2016. Dan was born 75 years ago to his late parents Garnet & Margaret (Carnegie) Eskritt.  While serving as a young Canadian soldier in Germany, he met and married Berta (Lemken) who predeceased him in 2010.  Dan and Berta were the proud parents of Michael Eskritt of Merlin, Erik & Tammy Eskritt of Blenheim and Jason (late Tracey) of Ridgetown.  It was no surprise to anyone that the prides and joys of his life were his grandchildren Kristen Eskritt, Kyle Eskritt, Dawn & Ian Simard (with their children Jacob, Aaron and Anna), Jenny & Justin Thesen with their son Isaiah) and Samantha Eskritt.

Dan is survived by his siblings Wilma Eskritt, Barbara Beisel, Helen Tomkiewych, Pete & Andrea Eskritt and Hugh & Shirley Eskritt. He was predeceased by his siblings Margaret Eskritt, Evelyn Speed, Thomas Eskritt, Stan Eskritt and Harry Eskritt.

Dan retired after 32 years working at Navistar in Chatham. In his retirement he enjoyed working on his old Mustangs, attending car races and spending time with family which is what made him the happiest in life.

A private family service will be held at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home.

Frank DeGelas

A photo of Frank DeGelas

Frank DeGelas passed away peacefully August 22, 2016 in his 81st year at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. Born May 3, 1935 on the family farm at McKay’s Corners to the late Oscar and Alice DeGelas. Much loved father of Dena Anderson and her husband Wayne, David DeGelas and Duncan DeGelas both of Chatham, Jeannie DeGelas and Amy DeGelas of Windsor. Dear brother of Jeannie Vanderviere and her husband Jerry, Maurice DeGelas (late Bonnie) and Mary Vandehogen (late John). Brother in law of Jack King, Bill King and the late Mary Anne King. Best Grandpa to D.J. and Amber DeGelas, Jason and Brooke DeGelas, Kyle Anderson, Kelley and Chris Kirwan, Megan and Daniel DeGelas, Jordan, Janelle and Jalen DeGelas. Frank is also survived by many nieces and nephews. Best Great Grandpa to Brayden, Chloe, Emma, Mya, Ava, Ashton, Isabella and Noah.

Frank Grew up and worked on the family farm in McKay’s Corners. Frank was a loyal employee of W.J. Thompson and Sons for 45 years, driving the bulk feed truck. Frank coached hockey and coached and umpired girls and boys baseball in Blenheim for many years. Frank was coach of the 1967 Blenheim Peewee Baseball team that captured the all Ontario Championship. Frank was honoured with coach of the year award in 1982 by the Blenheim Youth. Frank spent many precious hours travelling to watch his grandsons, granddaughters and great-grandsons play hockey and baseball and loved every minute of it. He loved to stop for hamburgers after the games. Frank enjoyed fishing, cars and all sports.

As per Frank’s wishes, cremation has taken place. There will be no visitation or service. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Blenheim Community Funeral Home.

Rick Johnston

A photo of Rick Johnston

Service:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Thursday August 25, 2016
11:00 a.m.

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Wednesday August 24, 2016
2:00 - 4:00 & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Rick Johnston of Blenheim passed away at home with his family by his side on Sunday August 21, 2016 after a courageous 20 month battle with cancer. Rick was born in Chatham 64 years ago but had many childhood memories of living in Glencoe with his late parents Dorothy & Wilfrid Graham. He is survived by his loving wife Linda (Moody) Johnston with whom he has shared the last 30 years of his life with. He will be missed by, his children Gary & Amy Pook, Randy & Julie Pook with their son Brady (who Rick would have said should have been at the top of the list), his daughter Dana & David Standeven and Jason Johnston as well as his siblings Elaine Blackmore, Nancy & the late Don McKellar, Diane & Allan Patterson and Wayne & Janet Tulloch and Linda’s family Eileen Moody (late Gordon), Cathy & John Mallory, Judy Campbell & Jim Vidler and Patricia & Dan Dauphin.

Rick was a carpet installer by trade who in 1991 became the proud owner of Rick’s Carpet Centre in Chatham. When he wasn’t working, he enjoyed drag races, travelling to Florida with his family, helping to rebuild a ’55 Chevy 210 which was a replica of his first car and spending time reading newspapers in his gazebo. He loved cutting the grass and the Coors Light that went with it. Most of all, he loved the times that he spent with Brady, be it teaching him how to drive the riding lawn mower or being the number one Grandpa at a sporting event.

Family and friends are invited to the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Wednesday for visitation from 2 – 4 & 7 – 9 p.m. A Funeral Service for Rick, conducted by Pastor Tim Joyce will be held at the Funeral Home on Thursday August 25, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. Interment in Evergreen Cemetery.

Friends wishing to remember Rick with a memorial donation are asked to consider the London Regional Cancer Clinic.

Pete Turner

A photo of Pete Turner

Service:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
11:00 a.m.

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
2:00-4:00 & 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Robert Wayne “Pete” Turner of Blenheim passed away with his family by his side on Friday, August 12, 2016. Pete was born in Southampton 61 years ago to his late parents Leslie & Ruth (Warnock) Turner.  He will be missed by wife Michelle (Bilodeau) Turner, by his children Jonathan & Jenn Turner and Jason & Lori Turner and foster son Harvey Potts.  He was a special Papa to Karis, Jayden, Olivia, Taylor and Luke.  He is the brother of Joy (late husband Frank) Caine, the late George Turner, Marvin (Sandi) Turner, the late Larry and Joy Anne Turner, Bryne (late wife Sheree) Turner, Linda (Bill) Peach, Debbie (Ken) Durfy, Rick (Terroleen Argent) Turner and Ronnie (Deb) Turner.  He is also survived by his mother-in-law Antoinette Bilodeau Lauzon, sister-in-law Lisa Bilodeau (Robin Deschênes), brothers-in-law Christian (Sylvie) Bilodeau and Sylvain Bilodeau and many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to the Blenheim Community Funeral Home for visitation on Tuesday, August 16 from 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. A Funeral Service for Pete will be conducted by Pastor Tim Joyce in the funeral home on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at 11 a.m. Cremation will follow.

The family would like to thank the Staff at CCAC and the Staff on Medicine and in the ICU at the CKHA.

Friends wishing to remember Pete with a memorial donation are asked to consider The Covenant House.

The family requests that everyone dress casual.

Richard “Rick” Guyett

A photo of Richard “Rick” Guyett

Service:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Wednesday August 10, 2016
2:00 p.m.

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Wednesday August 10, 2016
12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Richard Albert “Rick” Guyett of Blenheim passed away with his family by his side on Sunday August 7, 2016. Rick was born in Cedar Springs 77 years ago to his late parents Roy & Joan (Holcombe) Guyett.  He will be missed by his longtime companion Margaret Koniger, by his children Debbie & Stan Gammage, Louise Crow, Mark & Vicki Howe, Donald Howe & Betty Anne Osborne, Michael Howe (Laurie), Emily Guyett and Mandy & Frank Mailloux.  He was a special Grandpa and Great-Grandpa to Wendy Patchett (Jared Smith), Dennis Bergsma (Jenny), Mariah Marchand, Brady Marchand, Aiden Mailloux, Quinn Mailloux, Savannah Mailloux, Joan Howe, Bryce Patchett, Brayden Patchett, Gracie Smith, Crystal Smith, Jordan Doig and others.  He is survived by many cousins.  Rick was predeceased by his daughter-in-law Wendy.

Rick will be remembered for his sense of humour and his love of racing stock cars. Family and friends are invited to the Blenheim Community Funeral Home for visitation on Wednesday from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.  followed immediately by a Funeral Service.  In keeping with Rick’s wishes, cremation will take place.  Friends wishing to remember Rick with a memorial donation are asked to consider either the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Diabetes Association.

Bill Wright

A photo of Bill Wright

Service:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Thursday August 4, 2016

Visitation will begin at 3:00 p.m. and will continue until 5;00 p.m. when eulogies will be given by family and friends.

Bill Wright of Blenheim passed away on Tuesday August 2, 2016 at the age of 79 years. Bill was born in Chatham, son of the late Helen & Wilfrid Wright. He lived his life in Blenheim and while going to Blenheim District High School, he met his future wife Mary Ann Russchen with whom he celebrated 58 of marriage. Bill and Mary Ann are the proud parents of Susan Wright, Mike & Krista Wright and Todd & Jody Wright. And just when they thought it was perfect, their family grew to include their grandchildren (who Bill adored) Aiden and Keirin. Bill will be fondly remembered by his sisters Catherine Shaw (Bev) and Patricia Haskell (Doug), his sister in law Dorothy Wright (late Allison) and by his very special nephews and niece Mark, John, Jeff, Stephen and Karen.

Bill was just an all-round nice guy. He worked hard, he built his family a home and he loved his community. He was the “go to guy” of the neighbourhood if your lawnmower was broken….he could fix anything. After he retired from Navistar, he took up repairing clocks, big or small. He was the man behind the ongoing maintenance of the Town of Blenheim clock.

In his life, Bill wore many hats and he accomplished many things. He was an accomplished carpenter, he appreciated nature, he loved animals, he enjoyed a good game of cards and he could polka with the best of them.

But most of all, Bill Wright loved his family.

In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place. Family and friends are invited to the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Thursday August 4, 2016 where visitation will begin at 3:00 and continue until 5:00 p.m. when eulogies will be given by family and friends.

Those wishing to remember Bill with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

James VanNeck

A photo of James VanNeck

Service:

Private

Visitation:

Private

James Leon VanNeck, born June 21,1935 passed away peacefully on July 27, 2016. He was predeceased by his parents Leon VanNeck (2001) and Irene VanNeck (nee Nourse)(2000). He is survived by his brother Gary (Charlotte) VanNeck and sister Barb (Duncan) O’Brien, his wife Joan VanNeck (nee St. Peter), his two sons Chris (Jennifer) VanNeck and Darren (Cathy) VanNeck and many nieces and nephews. But who he will miss the most are his grandchildren, his pride and joys, Ryleigh, Hayden, Quin, Kees, Noah and Blake.

Jim (aka Diamond Jim) started working on the Dyke Road family farm and then with his Dad, started Leon VanNeck and Son Ltd, a small construction company to keep them busy in the wintertime. With a strong work ethic and a golden rule business practice, before they knew it, they went from building barns to custom homes to multimillion dollar commercial jobs. Including such local structures as the Chatham Women’s Center (also sat on the board), Residence on the Thames (where he ultimately spent the last five years of his life), the Blenheim Fire Hall, Blenheim Retirement Village and one of his favourites, the Blenheim Memorial Arena.

Family was most important with Jim, but when not with them, his community was next. He was a long time member of the Shriners, the Golden Acres Curling Club (past president), Blades Executive member and also a founding member of the Morpeth Oldtimers. When not supporting his two sons many endeavours he enjoyed many years of sailing.

The family cannot thank the staff of Riverview Gardens and Residence on the Thames enough for their above and beyond the call of duty care for Dad.

As per his wishes, there will a private family service in Blenheim on Saturday. We ask that if you wish to make a donation in his honour, that you support his favourite charity, the Shriners Children’s Hospital.

Ray Gardiner

A photo of Ray Gardiner

Service:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Wednesday July 20, 2016
11:00 a.m.

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Tuesday July 19, 2016
2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Ray Gardiner of Blenheim passed away on Saturday July 16, 2016 at the age of 50 years. Much loved husband of Kim Gardiner, son of Sue & Charlie Gardiner, brother & brother-in-law of Annette & Mark Lucio, Bill & Jen Gardiner and Stephen & Paula Campbell. He will be missed by his nieces and nephews Vanessa Lucio and her daughter Tegan, Bill Gardiner Jr and his children Pheobe and Owen, Kate Gardiner, Aiden Campbell and Erin McDonald as well as his mother-in-law Reta Campbell & Don Markwick.

To know Ray meant that you knew he loved his family and his close circle of friends. He would do anything for them and was always there if they needed assistance with anything. Ray’s true love, besides his wife Kim, was his love and passion for his fur babies. He would act sometimes gruff with them but the next minute he was petting and sharing his love with them. He will be missed by Mocha, Curly, Shemp & Joe.

Ray’s other passion was watching and cheering the Toronto Blue Jays, he had a wonderful time this spring when he and Kim attended a Jays game and cheered on the boys in blue. He also loved the Toronto Maple Leafs and was always hopeful of a playoff run and a Stanley Cup. He was always boastful that he was alive when they last won the cup. Ray attended Fanshawe College to take the photography course and you could always see Ray with a camera in his hand. While he never got rich doing it, he was very happy to take any family or friend’s wedding or special occasions photos.

Ray will be missed. The world has lost a great person with a huge heart and a warm smile.  The Lord has now welcomed him into His house.

Friends are invited to the Blenheim Community Funeral Home where visitation will take place on Tuesday from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. A Funeral Service for Ray will be held on Wednesday July 20, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor Bill Terris officiating.  Cremation to follow.  Friends wishing to remember Ray with a memorial donation are asked to consider either the Diabetes Association or the Kidney Foundation.