Obituaries

Joseph Tunks

A photo of Joseph Tunks

Service:

A Celebration in ;memory of Joseph's life
will be held at a future date.

It is with great sadness the family of Joseph Thomas Tunks announces his passing on Wednesday, January 20, in his 89th year. Joe is predeceased by his wife Gloria and is lovingly remembered by his children Tom (Monica), Terry (Ronda), Tammy, Tim (Brenda) and Howard (Christine). Joe will also be fondly remembered by his grandchildren, Leslie (Tom), Seth (Patty), Holly (Jason), Alec (Sheila), Stephen, Shelsie (Nicholas), James, Tamara (Mike), Shasta, Carissa, Maggie, and AJ. Joe is also survived by his sister Margaret and close and special friend Diane Thompson. Joe was predeceased by his infant son and brothers Ernie and Sam, sister Irene, son in law John and grandson Benjamin Joseph.

Joe was born in 1932 in Zone Township to Jack and May Tunks. He left home at the age of 13 hitchhiked to Montreal and joined the Merchant Marines. Joe also eventually enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces. In 1964 he was hired by Ontario Steel and retired after 30 years service.

He will be sadly missed by his two small dogs Callie and Chaz.

The family members would like to express sincere gratitude to Dr. Kate Bailey, Mr. Marc Eskritt and the staff of the Blenheim Community Funeral Home, the members of the CKPS and EMS who attended.

A celebration in memory of Joseph’s life will be held at a future date. Those who would like can make a memorial donation to the Pet and Wildlife Rescue (PAWR).

Glenda Wilson (Wheeler)

A photo of Glenda Wilson (Wheeler)

Service:

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Glenda Wilson (Wheeler) formerly of Cedar Springs, passed away peacefully at her home in Lake Alfred Florida, Wednesday January 13, 2021.  Glenda was born in Chatham, ON.  She was the daughter of the late Glenn & Elizabeth “Honey” (Legue) Wheeler.

She was the beloved wife of Frederick Wilson of Dayton Ohio and dear Mother to Sean Mandeno, Rebecca (Mandeno) Mann & Jeremy, and Erin (Burns) Prangley & Jason. She will be missed by her grandchildren Kristyn and Trevor Clayton, Amber Mandeno, Avery, Alivia and Leah Prangley, her great grandson Allan Cousins and by a dear family friend Steve Baker of Ohio.  Glenda was the sister & sister in law to Cathy Wheeler (late Clayton), Mark & Karen Wheeler, Susan & Craig Attewell, Mary Kay & Brian Major, Terry Wheeler and Barrie Crozier (late Tammy).  She loved and enjoyed her many nieces, nephews and cousins and will be greatly missed by them.

Glenda grew up in Cedar Springs but made Spring Valley, Ohio her home with the love of her life 25 years ago.  There she worked in Dayton at the Marianist Mission performing clerical duties.  Glenda & Fred spent their retirement years travelling in their RV where they made many good friends & memories along the way. They were known to have travelled up & down the US making stops to spend time with their grandchildren, family & friends.

In 2018, Glenda organized the best ever family trip to a beach house in Navarre Beach Florida.  The memories made on this trip will last forever and will be added to the memories made on our annual family camping trips (often in Rondeau) for Thanksgiving with family & friends. This is a tradition we will continue each year, knowing she will be watching over us.

Glenda’s family will make plans for a celebration of life at a later date in Blenheim for friends and loved ones to share memories.

Friends or family wishing to remember Glenda with a memorial donation please consider The Lung Association.

Randy Smith

A photo of Randy Smith

Service:

Randy's family will remember him privately.

Randall James Smith of Blenheim and formerly of Erieau passed away peacefully on January 5, 2021.  Randy was born 67 years ago to his late parents Carmen Stanley Smith and Viola Jean “Tootie” (Fields).  He is survived by his only brother Dana & Sherry Smith and their family.

Randy was a long time resident of Erieau where he made many friends over the years.  Many thanks go out to the staff of the Blenheim Community Village for the care and compassion that was shown to him in the final chapter of his life.

Cremation has taken place.  Randy’s family will remember him privately.

Jeffrey DeBoer

A photo of Jeffrey DeBoer

Service:

Private

Jeffrey DeBoer

If you knew Jeff, you knew he was always open to a reason to have a good party.  So, on July 1, 1990 he decided to arrive early, always giving him that reason to celebrate.  His parents Mario and Lana (Mackelberg) and his brothers, Greg, Brad and Mac were never too far away to help with his celebrations or to create more.

His celebrations continued with MANY family vacations.  Jeff travelled with his family on camping trips, dog sledding and snowmobile adventures, Florida vacations, visiting his cougar Aunt and Uncle out west and then to Holland, England and France for a family reunion. When he finally started getting sister in laws, Tina, Ashley and Ainslie he was more than willing to love and accept them in to our party.

Then in 2013, Destiny brought him Kim (Nash).  And since she was the prettiest girl he had ever seen (or love at first sight), he decided to definitely add her to his party.  Along came niece Morgan (MJ) and nephew Warren to the family party.

Our most recent family vacation party was in Feb. 2020 with the 12 of us in one house. That party grew with 9 more Canadians friends hanging out with us in Florida. That was definitely a great party.  Last June he welcomed Kamryn in as his newest niece.  Uncle Jeffie continued his fun-loving ways with her.

Kim and Jeff continued on a few adventures of their own with vacations to Jamaica, Arizona and back to Holland in 2019. His Holland family of the Ypmas and Vanwoldes showered them with love and experiences never to be forgotten or unappreciated. Jeff and Kim also showed up at Dirks Bently, Zac Brown and others concert with many long-time school friends or hockey buddies. These friends carried him thru the darker parties when he fought his fight against cancer. His community showed him more support and strength than they will ever know with his drive by and his fundraiser attendance.  Jeff’s zest for life, his contagious laughter, his cheesy grin and his one-liners were with him ‘til the end, usually at his mother’s expense.

Jeff left us on Jan 2 2021 after everyone had time to recuperate from, once again, the Celebration of a New Year. Jeff was surrounded by the love of his parents, his brothers and sister in laws and his love Kim as he began his new party with his loved ones that passed before him.  Jeff’s life was shorter than most but the depth of his life was twice as deep as most and for that reason WE ARE grateful. Love you buddy and you will only ever be a 2 x 4 away.

Friends wishing to remember Jeffrey with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.  https://www.braintumour.ca/ways-to-give/donate-now/

Patricia Adams

A photo of Patricia Adams

Patricia Ann Adams of Blenheim passed away peacefully with her family by her side on December 23, 2020 at the age of 74 years.  Patricia was born in Toronto and it was there that she met her husband Danny.  Their 54 years of marriage brought many joys including two children; a son Ian Adams and a daughter Danielle Adams and husband Brent Lane,  as well as three grandchildren.  Patricia will be remembered with great fondness by her grandsons Colter and Dillion.  Her heart was broken when her oldest grandson Austin Adams Lundy predeceased her at the age of 19.

It was Patricia’s wish that cremation take place and that her family remember her privately. For those wishing to do something in remembrance of her, why not give your children and grandchildren an extra hug…it will mean more than you will ever know.

Art Tremblay

A photo of Art Tremblay

Service:

A MASS WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY IN ST. MARY'S CHURCH
DUE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS ON THE LIMITED NUMBER OF
FRIENDS WHO CAN ATTEND, IT WILL BE BY INVITATION ONLY.

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
December 27, 2020
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
DUE TO COVID RESTRICTIONS, WE ARE LIMITED TO
A NUMBER OF VISITORS. PLEASE CALL THE FUNERAL
MAKE A SCHEDULED TIME TO VISIT.
FACE COVERINGS ARE MANDATORY.

Art Tremblay of Blenheim, best friend and husband of Marion passed away on Tuesday December 22, 2020.  Born in Staples 78 years ago to the late Albert & Alma Tremblay, Art was one of 8 siblings and is survived by his sister Helen Blonde (Gregory) and his brother Gilbert Tremblay (Margaret).  He was predeceased by his sister Yvonne O’Toole and his brothers Jules Tremblay (survived by Lucille), Luke Tremblay (survived by Yvonne), Leon Tremblay and Fred Tremblay.  He was also predeceased by Marion’s sister Theresa (survived by Bob Myers) and brother John Homick.

Art was a social man and nothing pleased him more than visits from his nieces and nephews; Michelene & Elliot Blackshaw with their daughters Georgia and Maisie, Derek Myers & Emma Hudson, Jonathan Myers with his son Jacob, and Mark Allen.

He was a man of faith and a life time member of the Catholic Church.  When he lived in Tilbury he sang in the church choir for over 40 years.  Not only did Art enjoy the outdoors but he appreciated all of the things that God provided and he tried to leave the world a better place.  Following his retirement from Chryslers, he and Marion moved to Blenheim.  He spent many hours manicuring the perfect lawn and he carried on the Tremblay tradition of making long treks to pick wild blueberries.  He was blessed with a great team of oncology nurses at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and later the nurses and caregivers on the 3rd floor stroke unit.  Your kindness will be long remembered.

Visitation will be held at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Sunday afternoon.  Due to COVID restrictions, friends wishing to attend the visitation must register by calling 519-676-9200.  A Mass for Art will be held in St. Mary’s Church on Monday.  Due to the limited number of friends who can attend, it will be by invitation only.

Donations to the Cancer Society or Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated.

Debbie Stapleton

A photo of Debbie Stapleton

Debra “Debbie” Marie Stapleton of Blenheim and formerly of Wingham passed away peacefully on Friday December 11, 2020 at the age of 63 years.  Debbie is survived by her husband of 40 years, Jamie Stapleton. She was the proud Mom of Denis (Erica) and Greg (Tara) and adoring grandmother of Audrey, Blake and Tyler.

Debbie was born in Hamilton to the late Pat and Norma (Smith) Brenzil.  She will be remembered fondly by siblings Sue (Ron) Doyle, Randy (Nancy) Brenzil, Patty (Dave) Robson and Sandy (Tom) MacLean, and the late Gary and wife Debbie Brenzil. She will be remembered also by Jamie’s brothers Rick (Margaret) Stapleton and Brian Stapleton.

Debbie enjoyed traveling, especially someplace warm, and spending time with her family.  In her spare time, she loved to cook, read and walk her dog or grand-dog.  Those who knew Debbie best will remember her for her strength, generosity, thoughtfulness and calming presence.

Thank you to everyone for the kindness shown to Debbie over her eight year journey with cancer.  It was her wish that this part of her life be shared quietly with her family.  A private interment will be held in Wingham.

Friends wishing to remember her with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Chatham-Kent Hospice where she spent her final days or the Canadian Cancer Society.

Cameron Askew

A photo of Cameron Askew

Service:

Private

Askew, Cameron Todd -son of Keith and Lois (nee Skrinar) Askew (pre-deceased), passed away suddenly at home in his 59th year. Survived by his brother Thomas (Michelle Askew) and dear brother to Nancy (Steffen Jensen), Mary (Dave Taylor) and Tamara (Mike Lahey). He will be sadly missed by many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.

Cameron worked as a mechanic for Ryder Company for many years before retiring early to the family farm. There was nothing he valued more than time spent with family and his great sense of humour will be missed.

Private internment at Shank’s Cemetery. As per his wishes, a celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Reverend David Fuller

A photo of Reverend David Fuller

Service:

Private
St. Paul's Cathedral, London
December 15, 2020
2:00 p.m.
Friends are welcome to join via Zoom

Reverend David Arthur Traies Fuller of Blenheim lost his battle with ongoing health concerns on November 21, 2020 at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.  Following in the footsteps of his father, David was ordained as an Anglican Priest and was the Rector of Trinity Anglican Church in Blenheim and St. Paul’s Church in Erieau.

David was one of four sons born to Douglas and the late Phyllis Fuller.  He is survived by his brothers Terry and Keith and was predeceased by his brother John.  He leaves behind two adoring children, Sarah and Matthew Fuller, their mother Deborah and the many friends that he made along the way.

Due to COVID restrictions, a private service will be held at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London on December 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.  Friends wishing to view the service via Zoom may join us that day at:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87966948302?pwd=cGlsTWtmSnlicVNIVCtBN3IxT2dTUT09
Meeting ID: 879 6694 8302
Passcode: 147647

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Diabetes Association https://www.diabetes.ca/get-involved/donate-clothing—more or the Canadian Mental Health Association https://ontario.cmha.ca/get-involved/donate/

Martin VanHeesch

A photo of Martin VanHeesch

Service:

Private

Martin VanHeesch

Today on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, we celebrate the reunion of our Dad, Father-in-law, Opa and Great Opa with his beloved wife Diny, in heaven.  He leaves behind 87 years of very fond memories.

Dad was born St. Oedenrode, “The Vogelzang”, Netherlands on September 17th, 1933, to Johannes and Marie (van der Heijden).  He was part of a large, loving and boisterous family; Toon (Betsie), Bert (Truus), Jan (Mien), Ben (Annie), Leo (Betsie), Rikie (Wim), Laura (Ad), Mia (Ben).  Seeking new adventures and opportunities, Dad and his best friend Harry Bongers immigrated to Canada in 1958.

Few years later, while dancing up a storm at the Dutch Social Hall one day, Dad met his one and only true love, Diny Nooyen.  It was the start of an unequalled love story and they were married on May 5, 1962.  Dad was always at Mom’s side; whether dancing at a wedding, playing cards with his family and friends, working in the barns and fields, or planting a vegetable or flower garden.  Even after Mom passed away in 1998, his devotion continued as strong as ever.  Family was everything to Dad, and being part of Diny’s family, Harry (Christine), Wim (Monique), Pete (Toos), Arnold (Rikie), Marius (Mary), Jo (Chris) was integral to Mom and Dad’s everyday life.

Dad was not given an opportunity for a formal education, his work ethic and interest in world events made him wise beyond his years.  He loved debating issues of the day and cheering on his beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.  He was industrious, moving from numerous odd-jobs to building a successful farm.  He continued to farm with Ronny in his later years, until his dementia made it difficult to continue.  Slowly and progressively forgetting essential details, Ronny took on the responsibility to tending to Dad’s every need; answering the phone at all hours of the day.  Elly and Brian are eternally grateful to Ronny for his tireless devotion to Dad.

Dad was a devout Catholic, the epitome of kindness and generosity and doing what was right, even when it was the harder path to follow.  He was a true gentleman and role model, emphasizing education, hard work, sports and respect for each other.  These values live on in his children Elly (Chris) Ronny (Kelly), Brian (Manju), his grandchildren Jessica (Jordan), Joy (Lucas), Justin (Silvana), Jordan, Brianne (Darren), Bryn (Niki), Kourtlan, Konnor (Samantha) and Sasha and his great-grandchildren Skyler, Pearce, Mia and Ella.  Dad loved nothing more than having children around, to spoil them with treats and gifts.

It is so hard to say goodbye to someone who leaves us with so many fond memories and an example to live by. Dad, we hope to make you proud! And we know we will hear your words of wisdom, if we falter.

It gives us all comfort, peace and joy to know that you are reunited with Mom to continue your love story.

Love ya, love ya love ya.

A private funeral for Martin will be held on Saturday.  Family and friends wishing to remember him with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Alzheimer Society  https://alzheimer.ca/chathamkent/en/take-action/donate or the Chatham-Kent Hospice https://www.chathamkenthospice.com/donate/.