Alan Varney

A photo of Alan Varney


Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Saturday November 4, 2017
2:30 p.m.


A time of visitation and sharing of memories will take place following the Funeral Service.

Charles Alan Varney

(1938 – 2017)

It is with great sadness that our sharing the news of the passing of Alan will touch so many hearts of those who he came in contact with during his journey through life. His passing leaves behind the love of his life Audrey, his wife of 53 years, his beloved sons Kyle (Tammy) and Dale Varney and the second love of his life, his granddaughter Samantha.

Alan was born in Duart, the only son of Charles and Jean Varney. His remaining siblings are Jessie Welch Cutler, Shirley Kennedy and Mary Helen Wilson (Bill). His extended family includes his sister-in-law Kathyrn Young, brother-in-law Rev. Roger Millar (Nancy) and brother-in-law Bob Wilson (Lynn). His nieces and nephews are Mary Jean Hornick (Stu), Paul Welch (Laurie), Mark Welch (Michele), Tim Welch (Karen), Anne Darby, Jim Kennedy, Peter Jon Wilson, Graham and Christopher Millar and Laura Van Berkum (Ryan).  He was predeceased by three brother-in-laws; Dr. Walter Welch, Bill Cutler and Kyle Kennedy, his nephew Richard Young and two very dear friends Keith Sambell and Vic Knight.

Alan was born to be a teacher. He ruled with a strict hand but with a compassionate heart. His teaching began in a one room country school in Sombra and ended at Blenheim District High School. As he aged and many of his students hair began to turn grey, that warm teacher/student relationship was always reaffirmed when they met one another.

Alan’s greatest success was just being a good human being. For those who knew him, his love and his great pride of family was evident in his every word and action. His love was unconditional. Alan looked after all of his family and tried to protect each of them from the storms in life. His strong work ethics were undeniable and his steadfast belief in honesty awarded him integrity. There was one thing that Alan despised and that was injustice. While others whispered their thoughts behind the scenes, Alan stood up and used his voice for justice. Often his voice was the only one heard in the room.

Alan did not define gifts wrapped up with big bows as acts of generosity but rather the gifts people gave of themselves. He admired that trait in others and he himself bestowed that generosity to so many in his lifetime. He cherished his friends and he proved to them throughout his life that he would be a presence in their lives when they needed someone the most. What a wonderful legacy Alan leaves behind. Hopefully, we, his beneficiaries, will be able to follow in the footprints he so skillfully carved out for each of us.

This beautiful, Irish life-affirming poem tells us where our dearest love Alan is now:

He is not lost our dearest love,

Nor has he travelled far,

Just stepped inside home’s loveliest room,

And left the door ajar.


Please join us at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Saturday November 4, 2017 as we celebrate Alan’s life. A formal service will begin at 2:30 p.m. and will be followed by a time of visiting and sharing memories.  Friends wishing to remember Alan with a memorial donation are encouraged to consider Prostate Cancer Canada or Movemeber Canada.


Terrence Bird

A photo of Terrence Bird


Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Saturday November 4, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.


Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Saturday November 4, 2017
9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Terrence Glen Bird of Shrewsbury passed away with his family by his side on Monday October 30, 2017.  Terry was one of 8 children born to the late James & Marie (Pilot) Bird and is survived by his siblings Sylvia, Roberta, Rosemary, Nichole, Alan and Dwight.

On July 27, 1968 Terry married the love of his life Maria (Proestos) and spent many years living by the water in Shrewsbury which was a dream come true since his favourite past time was fishing.  Terry will be remembered by his children Michelle & Kenneth Annis, Christopher & Linda Bird, Vandy Neaves and Leonard Byrd as well as his grandchildren Katie, Lindsay, Liam, Mitchell and Jennifer.  He was predeceased by his daughter Deborah and by his sister Diane.

In their 49 years together, Terry and Maria shared many happy memories including travelling, fishing and spending time with friends.  Terry was a great musician who passed his talents on to his children.  He will be missed.

Family and friends are invited to the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Saturday November 4, 2017 where visitation will be held from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.  A Funeral Service for Terry will begin at 11:00 and will be conducted by Rev. Mike Maroney of the First Presbyterian Church in Chatham.   Friends wishing to remember Terry with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Chatham-Kent Hospice or the Salvation Army.

Donald Ross Giffin

A photo of Donald Ross Giffin


Glad Tidings Community Church
Friday October 27, 2017
10:30 a.m.


Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Thursday October 26, 2017
2:00 - 4:00 & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Glad Tidings Community Church
Friday October 27, 2017
9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

The Giffin family are sad to announce the passing of Donald Ross Giffin, who passed away peacefully at home on the family farm in Blenheim, Ontario, on October 23, 2017.

He was born on May 28, 1950, in Chatham, Ontario, to the late Gerald and Marion (Jackson) Giffin. Beloved husband of Jean (Holland) Giffin for 44 years, loving father of Sheila Giffin and Jason Yee of Blenheim, Janice Giffin of London, Dr. Jennifer Giffin of Halifax, and Diane and Adrian Rivard of St. Adolphe d’Howard, Quebec. Predeceased by his infant daughter Michelle. Proud grandfather of Chesney and Jolyon Giffin Yee, and Nicolas Rivard. Brother to Ruth Anne and Burton McClelland of Peterborough, and uncle to their children David and Beth.

Don graduated from Ridgetown College in the class of 1970 with a diploma in Agricultural Technology. He farmed all his life in Harwich Township and was actively involved in the local community with agriculture, church, and heritage concerns. Don was a member of Blenheim United Church where he sang in the choir for many years. Don has won numerous awards and recognitions for his maple syrup products. He was a World Champion Maple Syrup Producer and judge at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. He loved collecting antique cars and tractors, fishing in Port Loring, and travelling around rural Ontario.

Visitation will be at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Thursday, October 26 from 2-4 and 7-9pm. Visitation will also be on Friday, October 27 from 9:30-10:30 at Glad Tidings Community Church. Funeral service to follow. Donations can be made to Chatham-Kent Hospice, the Canadian Diabetes Association, or Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation.


Jeanne DeSchryver

A photo of Jeanne DeSchryver


A Private Funeral Service will take place at a later date.

Jeanne Amanda DeSchryver died peacefully on October 22, 2017 at Blenheim Community Village at the age of 93. Born in Denderhoutem, Belgium on April 5, 1924 to the late Denis and Pauline Verlinden.  She immigrated with her late husband Cyriel DeSchryver (1996) and young family to Blenheim where they worked in the vegetable fields, eventually buying their own farm in the Erieau area.  Surviving are her children Agnes (Rick) Soulard of Sarnia, Gilbert (Linda) DeSchryver and Willy (Mary) DeSchryver, both of Blenheim.  She will be missed by 8 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 5 great great grandchildren.

She is predeceased by her brother Jeff Verlinden and great grandson Evan DeSchryver.

A Private Funeral Service will be held at a later date.

Friends wishing to remember Jeanne with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance CT Scan Campaign or the charity of your choice.

Roger Heatherington

A photo of Roger Heatherington



Roger Mac Heatherington, of Cedar Springs passed away at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance on Sunday October 15, 2017 at the age of 73 years. For many years Roger drove truck and was fortunate to see a lot of Canada and the United States on his long hauls.  He enjoyed telling a good joke as much as he liked hearing one.  Giving up his truck driving career gave him the opportunity to spend the last ten years with the love of his life Winnifred Kunzler.  He also started his own business called “Rogers Action Pest Management” which earned him the nickname of “Debugger”.  His standard answer when someone asked how he was doing was “better than I deserve”!  In his spare time, he and Winnifred enjoyed time at the Blenheim Legion where he was a member and singing karaoke in a number of area venues.  In keeping with his wishes, Winnifred along with Roger’s siblings and children will remember him privately.  Friends wishing to remember him with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Tom Attewell Jr

A photo of Tom Attewell Jr


Pardoville Union Cemetery
Thursday October 19, 2017
11:00 a.m.

Thomas Attewell Jr of Charing Cross passed away on Saturday October 14, 2017. He walked these parts for 78 years; 56 of them with his best friend and wife Gail (Grey) Attewell.  Tom and Gail raised two daughters; Pamela Attewell and Carrie Stobbs (Mark) who they have always been very proud of.  And then there is Sebastian, the one and only grandson who made Tom’s eyes light up whenever he walked into the room…

Her husband.  Our dad. His grandpa. Your uncle.  Best friend. Tom touched many of our lives in many different ways. If you were around him for any length of time you were soon graced with his sharp wit and sarcasm. You always left with a smile and catch ya on the flip side kind of warmth. He was a hard working man his entire life and was always willing to help out whenever asked. Dad fought off cancer 4 times without any conventional treatment.  Last year he went through 4 major surgeries on his face and surprisingly died cancer free! A lover of animals and of his gardens he could be found outside with his cats, in his workshop with his grand puppy or on his porch with a rum and crossword.  And all the while he had his tunes going in the back ground. Usually Elvis. So friends and family the next time you go by a garden with zinnias or hear Elvis singing How Great Thou Art think of Tom. Rest in peace Tommy 2 Tone You are forever loved and greatly missed.

Tom will be forever remembered by his sisters Beverly O’Phee (Ron), Sandy Gardiner and Nancy McCorkell and by his in-laws Jan (Hurrell) Attewell and Brock Robinson. He was predeceased by his parents Helen (Huffman) & Thomas Attewell Sr, his sisters Sharon Faflak and Rosemary Robinson, his brother Bud Attewell and by his brothers in law George Faflak, Bob Gardiner and Bruce McCorkell.

He will also be remembered by Gail’s family Betty (Grey) McKillop, Wayne & Beryl (Carr) Grey and Betty (Momette) Grey.  Predeceased by William Grey and Donald McKillop.

Uncle Tom will be remembered by his many treasured nieces and nephews.

In keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place. Friends and family are invited to gather at Pardoville Cemetery on Thursday October 19, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. where Tom will be remembered at a graveside service.  Friends wishing to remember Tom with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Chatham-Kent Hospice or P.A.W.R.

Irene Wildgen

A photo of Irene Wildgen


St. Ursula's Roman Catholic Church, Chatham
Wednesday October 18, 2017
11:00 a.m.


Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Tuesday October 17, 2017
2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Parish Prayers will take place prior to the visitation at 1:45

Irene Wildgen of Blenheim passed away at the Blenheim Community Village on Thursday October 12, 2017. Irene was born 94 years ago to Walter & Catherine (McGugan) Knott. She was one of four children and is survived by her brother and sister in law Raymond & Pat Knott of Pickering. She was predeceased by her sister Marie and her husband Jack Hebblethwaite and her brother Maurice Knott and his wife Florence. She is survived by her sister in law Jane Everitt and by her nieces and nephews who she thought of as her own children.

Irene was born in London. At the age of 6 her family moved to a house on Jane Street in Blenheim and her dad took a job as a butter maker at the Blenheim Dairy. Irene followed her father’s footsteps in the dairy business, working for 30 years in a clerical position at the Kent Dairy and Purity Dairy. She also worked for a time at Zellers in Chatham.

Irene met a young man named Bob Wildgen and in 1951 they began a journey as husband and wife that would span over 59 years before Bob’s death in 2010. In their semi-retirement years, from 1975 – 1981 Irene and Bob ran the store inside the gates at Rondeau Park. During that time, they lived in a trailer at Wildwood Park during the summer months and spent their winters in Florida. Irene was a hard working, organized and determined lady who lived life to the fullest and believed in God.

Family and friends are invited to gather at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Tuesday afternoon where visitation will take place from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Parish Prayers will take place at 1:45 p.m. A Funeral Mass for Irene will be celebrated in St. Ursula’s Church, Chatham where Irene was a member, on Wednesday October 18, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Cremation will follow with a private family interment in St. Anthony’s Cemetery at a later date.

The family would to thank the staff at Blenheim Community Village for the care and compassion that they showed to Irene over the last four years. We especially want to thank you for going above and beyond taking care of her in her final days.

Friends wishing to remember Irene with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Arthritis Society or the CNIB.

Jeanann Sheeler

A photo of Jeanann Sheeler


A private family interment will take place.

Jeanann Sheeler died on Tuesday October 10, 2017. Jeanann is the loving daughter of Betty & Phil Sheeler of Chatham.  She is survived by her brother Jeff, her husband Chris Bonnici and her daughter Megan St. Amour.  Cremation has taken place and a private family interment will take place.

Friends wishing to remember Jeanann with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Windsor Hospice, the Canadian Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.

Ross Hoffman

A photo of Ross Hoffman


Graveside Service at Evergreen Cemetery
Saturday October 21, 2017
2:00 p.m.

Ross Hoffman of Blenheim passed away on Tuesday October 10, 2017. Born in Howard Township on the family farm 78 years ago, Ross was one of six children born to George & Berniece (Osborne) Hoffman. He is survived by his sister Hazel Tysick (Wayne) and his brothers Murray Hoffman (Bonnie) and Max Hoffman (Theresa) as well as his sisters in law Violet and Pat Hoffman. He was predeceased by his brothers Fred and Gary Hoffman and his sister in law Susan Hoffman.

Ross will be missed by his wife of 45 years Eleanor Malm and their children including Rosemarie Hamilton (Greg), Lorrie-Lynn Osmond (Martin), Carla-Jean Malm (Roy) and Cheryl-Leann Pardo, their grandchildren Amanda, Tara, Michelle, Amanda, Starla, Ginette (Henry) and Dayna as well as 7 great-grandchildren. He will also be missed by several nieces and nephews.

Ross worked for many years and retired from Thompsons in Blenheim. In his retirement years he drove cars between dealerships for Terry Linton.

Cremation has taken place. Family and friends are invited to a graveside service at Evergreen Cemetery on Saturday October 21, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Friends wishing to remember Ross with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Frank Talbourdet

A photo of Frank Talbourdet


A Private Ceremony for family will be held in Toronto.

In his 101st year of life, Francis (Frank) Talbourdet passed away, with family by his side, on October 10th, 2017, at Fairfield Park in Wallaceburg, Ontario.

Frank celebrated his 100th birthday on March 1, 2017. It was a privilege for family to share this milestone, as it has been to experience a century of history through the stories of this articulate and insightful gentleman.

Raised on the hardscrabble prairies of the early 1900’s, Frank endured the hardships of the Great Depression, riding the rails in pursuit of work, and later served his country in the Second World War.

An electrician by trade, Frank was also a teacher of many life lessons. He demonstrated the importance of living in the present and keeping your world large. He taught the value of education, lifelong learning, and civic engagement. Frank audited courses at the University of Toronto and Ryerson after retirement, and regularly attended sessions at the legislature.

Frank settled in Toronto after the war and married Una Fletcher (1992) in 1946. Together, they had two children, Joseph (1997) and Jane Ablett, wife of Dr. Gary Ablett (2010). He is also predeceased by his second wife Shirley Kayes (1999) whom he married in 1995, and his brothers Peter (2008) and Guy (2008). Frank was the proud grandfather of Jeff (Kerri) of Vancouver and Greg (Anna Krangle-Long) of Edmonton, and four great grandchildren, Oliver, Oscar, Seth and Nina.

A private ceremony for family will be held in Toronto. Donations can be made to the charity of your choice.