Obituaries

Shirley Pepper

A photo of Shirley Pepper

Shirley was born February 12, 1935 to Gilbert and Leah McKay. She was baptized in the Trinity Church of Merlin, on December 1 of that year. She had two sisters Margery McLoed and Nancy (2013), (Bob) Haddock.

Shirley grew up in Merlin and attended Merlin District High where she met many lifelong friends.

In 1952, she went to work at the Merlin Post Office. She was devoted to her work as a Postmaster assistant.

In 1956 she married her sweetheart Beverley Pepper. Two years later in 1958 she resigned from the Post Office so they could start a family. Beverley and Shirley welcomed their first son Jim into the world in 1960. A year later in 1961 they were blessed with another son, Terry. In 1963 they were over the moon with their first daughter, Tracey. A few years later in 1965 another beautiful girl, MaryLynn was born.

With a heavy heart in 1977 Shirley lost her forever sweetheart suddenly when Bev passed away. Her heart was broken but she didn’t give up. She went back to work at the Post Office, retiring 20 years later.

Shirley welcomed Randy Russell into the family the year of 1982 when he married her daughter, Tracey. Later that year Shirley was proud to announce the birth of her first grandchild, Melissa. Three years later her heart filled with joy at the birth of her second grandchild, Michael.

Many years later in 2010 Shirley’s family grew again when her Granddaughter, Melissa married Kellan Zimmer. In 2011 she became a Great-Grandmother to a little girl, Zoey and once again four years later to a little boy, Kelvin.

In 2015 Shirley’s Grandson, Michael married Heidi Chouinard and just when it was thought that her heart couldn’t be any fuller, she was blessed with another Great-Grandson, Jasper in 2019.

Shirley’s son-in-law, David Mifflin, was always near to her heart.

Shirley loved to crochet. She created beautiful blankets for each of her Grandchildren and her Great Grandchildren. She would tell you that she was making something beautiful for someone she loved.

Shirley will be remembered for her strength and determination, her love and compassion, and her beautiful and humorous spirit. As a Grandma and a Gram Gram she will be remembered for her snuggles, she had the best hugs and sneaking treats because one won’t hurt.

Fanny Beckstead, a very dear friend of Shirley’s will remember the long chats and good laughs they shared over the past 40 years.

A special heartfelt Thanks go to Murray Mifflin (late Esther) and their family for helping Shirley and her children after Bev’s passing in 1977-1978.

Thank you to the angels at the Chatham Retirement Resort who helped Shirley through her last years.

Weather it was Shirley, Mom, Grandma, or Gram Gram she was always waiting at the door with a smile and a hug. She lit up from the inside out at the sight of anyone she loved. Shirley has taken her seat once again at the canasta card table with her dear friends Hazel and Bill Gifford.

Friends wishing to remember Shirley with a memorial donation are encouraged to consider either the Alzheimers Society https://alzheimer.ca/chathamkent/en/take-action/donate or the Ronald McDonald House https://www.rmhc-swo.ca/how-you-can-help/online-donation.

 

Elwyn Preston Bliss

A photo of Elwyn Preston Bliss

It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of Elwyn Preston Bliss at Brantford General Hospital on March 13, 2021.  In his 86th year, he fought a short battle of severe diabetic complications.

After 65 years of wedded bliss he leaves his devoted wife Joyce Ellen (nee Drew) of Blenheim, ON.

Also in mourning is his family:

Father to Jeff (Marg), Eric (Kandace) and Sharon (Kim).

Grandfather to Drew, Erica (Mike), Karla (Stu), Dan (Alexandra) and Bianca (Shawn).

Great Grandfather to Atticus, Estelle and Charlotte.

Brother to Leslie (the late Ethel), Barbara (Norman), Linda (Richard).  Predeceased by brother Douglas (the late Evelyn), sister Lois (Stanley) and sister Phyllis (Ernie).

Elwyn will be greatly missed by innumerable nieces, nephews, brothers-  and sisters–in-law, relatives and friends.

A private service will be held with interment at a later date.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Canadian Diabetes Association, The Jack Miner Bird Foundation or the Chatham-Kent VON.

 

Robert Walker

A photo of Robert Walker

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Monday March 15, 2021
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Please call the Funeral Home at 519-676-9200
to schedule a visitation time since numbers are
limited. Everyone will be required to wear a
face mask or covering.

With great sadness we share the passing of our father, Robert Howard Walker on Thursday March 11, 2021.  He was at his home and farm that he has lived at for over 60 years.  He was a very proud yet humble farmer.

Dad was born in 1937 to Ernest & Gertrude (Small) Walker.  Being a farmer was something that always seemed natural to him.  It was a love of labour and he was good at it.  The knowledge he has passed down will forever be remembered.  He also appreciated the history of farming and acquired an impressive collection of antique equipment over the years.

His legacy will be carried on by his children Robert Scott Walker & wife Alicia, and Cheryl & husband Joe Lariviere as well as his grandchildren Kolten & Maddison.  Being the oldest of his siblings he was always looked up to and is survived by Murray Walker, Don Walker and Marg Chaput.  He will also be remembered by his children from a previous marriage which includes Kenneth, Janice and Jill with their children and grandchildren.  He will also be missed by many neighbours and camping friends who he has come to love over the years.

Times with family and friends were meaningful to him, even if they were spent in the field.  He always wanted us to know that he loved us and he was proud of us.

His company for a morning coffee before starting the work day will forever be missed by his son Robert.

If you wish to make a memorial donation, Dad would have asked you to consider the Foundation of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance https://www.classy.org/give/214048/#!/donation/checkout.

Love you Dad,

Cheryl & Joseph Lariviere and Robert & Alicia Walker

Mary McIntyre

A photo of Mary McIntyre

Mary McIntyre of Chatham passed away peacefully with her family by her side on Sunday March 7, 2021.  She was 85 years old.  Mary was born to the late Marinus and Jean (Simpelaar) DeBeck. Beloved wife of Donald McIntyre.  Loving mother of Gary (Debbie) McIntyre, Donald (Tammy) McIntyre, Suzanne (Fred) Cowlan and Joanne (Larry) Grube.  Dearest grandmother of 9 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

She is also survived by her brother Abe DeBeck, sisters Jane Bailey, Annie Bischop and several nieces and nephews.  Predeceased by her brothers John, Mike, Morris, Pete and Jack DeBeck, sisters Letty Varga, Jennie Martin, Cory Cook and Suzie DeBeck.

As per Mary’s wishes, cremation has taken place.  Interment of ashes will take place at a later date.

Friends wishing to remember Mary with a memorial donation are asked to consider LHSC-Oncology Department.

Janet Haverty

A photo of Janet Haverty

Service:

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date

Janet Elizabeth Haverty of Morpeth passed away with her family by her side on Sunday March 7, 2021 at the age of 87 years.  She will be missed by her sons Thomas Lee Vellinga and Sean Wade Haverty as well as her grandchildren Katie and Shane.  She was predeceased by her son David Jan Vellinga in 2014 and her husband John Haverty in 2017.

Janet was one of two children born to the late Tom & Bertha (Giffin) Nicol and was predeceased by her brother Robert Nichol and his wife Eugenia in 2016.

Trained as a Registered Nurse, Janet worked for 38 years before her retirement in Chatham, Guelph, Toronto, Windsor and Detroit before she and John retired in Morpeth.

In keeping with her wishes, cremation will take place and a memorial service will take place at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to remember Janet are asked to consider a memorial donation to the Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Audrey Dupuis

A photo of Audrey Dupuis

Service:

Private

It is with such heartfelt sadness we share that our mom, Audrey Jean Dupuis passed away on Tuesday March 2, 2021.  She was born 81 years ago to the late Harry & Eva (Slade) Lowe. Her elder sister Mary Rehner predeceased her in 2016. She is survived by her in-laws John Rehner, Marilyn Britt, Allan & Anita Dupuis, Larry & Ann Dupuis, Kathy Dupuis, Gayle & Tom May. She is predeceased by brother in-law Rod Britt and infant grandson Ray MacKinnon Dupuis.

 

Mom met the love of her life, our Dad, Donald at a date set up by two friends.  On November 21, 1959 they married and their marriage prospered until Dad’s death in 2007. Our parents were great role models who exemplified gratitude, kindness and service to others. Their example is what we carry within us when teaching their grandchildren Nicholas, Natalie, Paige, Kaylee and Jacob to be loving, caring and responsible people.

 

Our mom valued her family above all else. She taught us the importance of caring for each other. She was our biggest cheerleader. She would drive all over southern Ontario to cheer us on in baseball games, swim meets or anything we were involved in. Her knitting projects would supply blankets and scarves to various charities. Our Mom was a very humble person and there are numerous acts of kindness that she has performed without any fanfare, because it was the right thing to do. She never shied away from doing the right thing and we will always admire and will continue to cherish her integrity.

 

Our mom is a giant in our eyes and she has accomplished great things and will be missed.  Many special memories and the lessons learned will continue in us and in our families.  Like our mom, we have a mission – to make this world a better place. We were so very blessed to have you as our Mom.

 

We love you so very much Mom,

Paul, Lori & Mark, Joy & Dave, Josh & Melissa

 

Family and friends wishing to remember Mom with a memorial donation are asked to consider

L’Arche London, 4448 Colonel Talbot Road, London, ON, N6P 1B6  

Rose Ann Dagenais

A photo of Rose Ann Dagenais

Service:

Private

Rose Ann Dagenais passed away at Riverview Gardens in Chatham on Monday March 1, 2021.  She was born 78 years ago to her late parents Cecil & Irene (Johnson) Vidler and always cherished the memories of her childhood days in Erieau.  Friends will remember her as a hairdresser and  the manager of St. Vincent de Paul’s in Blenheim.

In 1962, Rose Ann married her husband Alex who predeceased her in 2010.  She was very proud of their son and daughter-in-law Tim & Kim Dagenais of Melbourne. She will be remembered with great fondness by her grandsons Michael Steward (Darlene) and Daniel Dagenais (Samantha) as well as her great-grandchildren Carter Michael Steward, Aubree Leona Rose Steward, Darson Alan Steward and Alexandra Kimberly-Anne Dagenais.

Rose Ann’s family will remember her at a private family service.  Interment will take place in Evergreen Cemetery.

Friends wishing to remember Rose Ann are asked to consider donating to the Word of Life Church in Blenheim.

Jeremy Wightman

A photo of Jeremy Wightman

It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Jeremy Wightman, of Victoria, B.C. on February 26, 2021 at the age of 43 years.

He will be lovingly remembered by his son, Tyler Tasker; his parents Johanna & Rick Wightman and Alex & Lorrie Gold; his sister Tawnya (Branden); nephew Caleb and niece Brooke; several aunts, uncles and cousins; and by his numerous friends.

Jeremy was born and raised in Blenheim, Ontario and later in life travelled across Canada and resided in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.

Jeremy was a business man in his own form. He studied Tool and Die, and went on to help with the construction of many homes. He was a man of many talents. He lived life in the fast lane even at times when most would have kicked it down a gear. He was playful in nature and had a love of children and animals. He will be fondly remembered for his smile and infectious laugh. He was loved by all who knew him.

Memorial Donations may be made to the charity of your choice.

Linda Burk

A photo of Linda Burk

Service:

Private

November 13, 1952 – February 27, 2021

Linda Marie Burk, loving wife of Don Burk, dedicated mother of Tara (Jason) McKinnon and Niki Burk (Bryn Pearce), cherished nana of Lucas and Lincoln McKinnon passed away at home on February 27, 2021.

Loving daughter of Jean Connolly and Allan Connolly (predeceased in 2015), born in Fergus, Ontario, and devoted sister of Judy Sibinski, Charlotte Rose (predeceased in 1986) and Max (Debbie) Connolly.

Linda was devoted to God, her parish and her beloved family.  She enjoyed 35 years of country living on a small farm with her husband, family and friends, making years of fond memories.  In 2016 they moved into Blenheim to begin retirement living.

Thank you to Dr. Elashaal and all of the wonderful nursing staff at Windsor Regional Ouellette Campus.

Thank you to Dr. Kay, Dr. Schneider and all of the supportive staff at the Windsor Regional Cancer Clinic.

Thank you to Erie St. Clair LHIN support staff and to Care Partners.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Cancer Society and Chatham Hospice would be appreciated.

A private family Mass will be held in St. Mary’s Church.

Barbara VanGassen

A photo of Barbara VanGassen

Service:

Private

Barbara Ann VanGassen , much loved wife of Maurice passed away on February 22, 2021 at the age of 77 years.  She was the proud mother of Michael VanGassen (Kim Bell), Greg VanGassen (Tracey Want) and Jason & Christina VanGassen.  She will be fondly remembered by nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren as well as her sisters Frances Bilton and Linda & Dennis Hunter.  She was predeceased by her parents Elmer & Dorothy (Lyons) Moore.

Barb and Maurice would have been married for 60 years on March 3rd  of this year.  Together they worked hard over the years farming and raising their children.  In their retirement years they enjoyed travelling to many places.

Barb’s family will remember her privately at this time followed by a graveside service at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial donations to the Alzheimer’s Society of Chatham.  https://alzheimer.ca/chathamkent/en/take-action/donate