Obituaries

Peter Foxcroft

A photo of Peter Foxcroft

Peter James Foxcroft in his 85th year, dearest husband of Laurene (Shute) Foxcroft after 63 years together passed away peacefully at Blenheim Community Village on Saturday August 7, 2021. Peter will be remembered by his children Craig (Lisa) Foxcroft and Brent (Sherry) Foxcroft, his grandchildren Lisanne, Alex, and Ryan Foxcroft, plus many nieces and nephews. He is also predeceased by brothers Richard and Robert Foxcroft.

Born in London, ON to the late Robert and Mary (Jeffries) Foxcroft. Peter worked for Ex-Cello Corp and then General Motors Diesel Division until he retired. As per his wishes, cremation has taken place and the family will remember him at a later celebration. Many, many thanks go out to the community village for their wonderful care.

Friends wishing to remember him with a memorable donation are asked to consider Salvation Army.

 

Catherine Verbeek

A photo of Catherine Verbeek

Service:

Blenheim Christian Reformed Church
286 Chatham Street South
Wednesday August 11, 2021 at 11am

Catherine Verbeek (nee Nauta) was received into the loving arms of Jesus on Saturday August 7, 2021 at the Chatham-Kent Hospice.  Catherine was born in Surhuizum, the Netherlands on April 9,1941 to the late Jacob and Wietske (Houwink) Nauta.

Loving and faithful wife for over 48 years to the late Marius Verbeek (2012) and adored and respected mother to Ralph (Donna) Verbeek, Ridgetown; Jennifer (Larry) Depooter, Chatham;   Melissa (Chad) Boonstra, Simcoe. Dear Grandmother to Christopher (Katie), Patricia (Mark), Kaitlyn, Kimberly (Austin), Andrew (2016), Valerie (Jacob), Joshua, Aaron, Justin, Arie and Jessica as well as her nine Great Grandchildren Auburi, Kylie, Liam, Carmandie, Jade, Jacob, Zara, Lucy and Lila.  Catherine will be also sadly missed by many relatives, friends and her church family.

A Funeral Service will be held at Blenheim Christian Reformed Church on Wednesday August 11, 2021 at 11 am.  Pastor Tim Luimes officiating.

A private family burial will take place in Greenwood Cemetery, Ridgetown.

In lieu of flowers donations to Chatham Christian Schools or Chatham Kent Hospice would be appreciated.

 

Allan Smith

A photo of Allan Smith

Service:

Private

Allan Clifford Smith

1934 – 2021

It is with broken hearts we announce the passing of our father, brother and grandpa in his 88th year.  He passed quietly with his family by his side.

Born and raised in Morpeth Ontario, Allan was the son of the late Stanley (Stub) and Irene (Makey) Smith.

Beloved husband of the love of his life, the late Mary Ellen (Hall) Smith.  Loving father of LaVera (Thomas) of Toronto, Lillian (Greg) of Chatham and Carmen (Tawnya) of Ridgetown.  Much loved Grandpa to Amber, Brennon and Carly.

Survived by his dear sister Rose Marie Smith of Morpeth and predeceased by his brothers Carmen and Donald Smith and by his sister Verda Holdaway.

Allan was a master story teller who enjoyed nothing better than sharing his stories with friends and family.  He loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter.  His love for the Toronto Blue Jays will always be remembered and he was often found cheering on his own family at the ball diamond.  He never shied away from hard work and took pride in running his backhoe and trenching business.  Foremost was his passion for family and he would never hesitate to offer a helping hand when asked.

We are smiling through our tears as we remember all the good and wonderful things Allan, Dad and Grandpa gave to all of us.  We will miss his boyish smile and his amazing love for us all.  It was Dad’s wish for our family to remember him privately at a graveside service in Morpeth Cemetery.

Our family wishes to extend our gratitude to the staff of the Village on the Ridge in Ridgetown and the staff of Medicine A, 4th floor at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance for the kindness that you showed to Dad.

Friends wishing to remember Allan with a memorial donation are asked to consider the P.A.W.R. or the War Amps.

Barbara Reycraft

A photo of Barbara Reycraft

It is with deep sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Barbara Reycraft of Merlin on August 5, 2021.  She leaves behind her only daughter Leanne Hunter.

Barb was the daughter of the late Irene & Harold McCracken and sister of the late Raymond Tasker.  She is survived by her brother Harold McCracken Jr and sisters-in-law Ruth Tasker, Kristina Ritchie and Margaret Blair.  She will also be missed by many nieces and nephews.

Barb’s loves in life were crocheting and going to Lodge meetings with her close friend Helen Coatsworth.  She was a member of the Comet Rebekah Lodge for 42 years where she held the office of Noble Grand and District Deputy President.  Over the past few years she enjoyed spending time with her cousin Linda Weaver reminiscing over the good old days.  She was happy just to stay at home and care for her fur grandbabies.

Our family is devastated by her loss but will continue to keep her in our hearts and memories forever.  She will be remembered privately by her family at this time.

For friends and family who wish to honour her life with a memorial donation, we kindly ask that you consider the O.S.P.C.A. or the Pet & Wildlife Rescue.

Dennis Clarke

A photo of Dennis Clarke

Service:

Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life
on Saturday, August 28th from 2pm – 5pm
at Clarke’s Point in Erieau.

The family of Dennis McAlpine Clarke is saddened to announce his passing at the age of 82 on August 3rd at the Chatham-Kent Hospice. Survived by his beloved wife of 53 years Patricia Jean Clarke (Hammond), children Rob Clarke (Katie), Meghan Roulston (Tim), Brandi Clarke (Chris Gebal), and grandchildren Jacob, Carly and Karys Roulston, Vaughn and Holden Clarke. He will be surely missed by his East-Coast cousins Margie Ann Nelson and Fred Lewis, whom he held very dear. Den is pre-deceased by his mother Margaret Catherine Clarke.

Born on December 26, 1938 in Saint John, New Brunswick, Denny was an inquisitive young boy and thoroughly enjoyed all life has to offer – venturing off frequently to explore his home town, including near daily visits to the Saint John Wharf (maybe during school hours), traipsing the Saint John City Market so regularly that all the vendors knew him by name, and losing himself in the works of the world’s greatest authors in his Grandparents home. He was a busy young boy!

Den’s passion for life and exploration never ceased – from his childhood years a call from a friend saw him take off to Maine and enroll in Ricker College where he studied Marketing and Communications, and bore a lifelong passion for people and ideas, and the eventual creation of Clarke Communications. Highlights from his career saw him take on major accounts such as Ford Motor Company, Toyota and Honda and act as consultant to many different organizations and groups. He truly loved his work and spent the remainder of his years engulfed in it – always wanting to help others build vision and better their organizations.

In 1967 Den found himself venturing off to Ontario in search of opportunity, and with that, found the love of his life, Patricia. It was a whirlwind romance, one where they both knew they had found their person and they married shortly thereafter. Family was always very important to Den and the two of them enjoyed building their family with the births of Rob, Meghan and Brandi.  Den was very active with the kids, frequently having them visit him in the office, encouraging them in their extra-curriculars, welcoming as his own their many different friends and getting them involved in Junior Achievement, an organization with which Den was heavily involved and very passionate about. To Den, it was important to teach his children that at the end of the day, you always end your conversation with ‘I love you’ and for that, they are forever grateful.

In the later years, Den and Pat relocated to Erieau after many summers spent there with the kids, and Den found himself thoroughly enjoying the comradery of the Erieau Yacht Club, Friday ‘Prayer Meetings’ with the boys, and drinks and ideas on the deck overlooking the bay. Sunday’s were busy days for Den, racing day on Rondeau Bay! As the self-proclaimed ‘Bargist’, Den’s major responsibilities included the signal flag, documenting results, and of course the weekly write up in the Blenheim News Tribute. He truly enjoyed this role. Always an ‘ideas man’ you would never find him without a pad and paper, as he never wanted to forget a conversation, an idea or an important date, and that was evident to all who knew him. It was an idyllic time in his life, one in which he was surrounded by friends and family (especially grandchildren!) in a place that he truly loved

Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life on Saturday, August 28th from 2pm – 5pm at Clarke’s Point in Erieau. In lieu of flowers, donations in Den’s name can be made to the Erieau Yacht Club or the Chatham-Kent Hospice for whose care of Den the family is forever grateful for. We will always remember Den for his stories, his sense of humour, his love of life and family and his quest for knowledge. We’re forever grateful for our time with him, and we promise, we’ll always end the day with ‘I love you’.

Dwight Harding

A photo of Dwight Harding

It is with great sadness that our family announces the passing of Dwight Harding on August 1st, 2021.  Taken from this world much too early by natural causes.

Dwight (James) Harding was the partner of Irene (Kathleen) Casey for 48 years and father to their three children and spouses; Jessika and Clinton Dorssers; and Kelsie and Stacie Harding. Son of Ernestine Harding (Shreves) and predeceased by his father, Medesta Harding.  Brother to Debra and Keith Brown and Maureen and Glen Freeman.  He will also be missed by his many nieces and nephews.

Dwight’s life centered around this family and extended family (friends), always willing to go the extra mile to ensure everyone was well taken care of.  He could often be found out in North Buxton playing cards with his mother, hanging out with his daughters and spouse or testing his luck fishing.

Our family is devastated by his loss, but will continue to keep him in our hearts and memories forever.

Dwight will be remembered privately by his family at this time.  Friends and family wishing to honour his life with a memorial donation, we kindly ask that you consider the Heart and Stoke Foundation.

Joy Sebben

A photo of Joy Sebben

On the evening of July 26th, 2021, Joy Sebben passed away at the Chatham – Kent Health Alliance at the age of 86.

Joy was predeceased by her Father Frederick and Mother Dorothy  Threlfall and by her husband George Sebben.

Remembered by her loving brother Barry Threlfall.

Loving Mother to Mark Sebben (Bernice), Sherry Sebben (Tony), and Scott Sebben(Cheryl).

Loving Grandmother to Matt Pepper (Michelle), Danielle Sebben (DJ), Alex Wightman, Jessey Wightman (Tracy) and Great Grandmother (GG) to Noah, Kane, Teneisha, Damien, Destiny, Sylus, and Zoey.

She will also be remembered fondly by Joan Empey and her children Eljay and Jelara (Josh) and their children.

Dearly missed by long time friend Marie and her husband Bob Grant, as well as her oldest childhood friend Joan Matthews.

Fondly remembered by her cousins Velma Ferguson, Lyle and Donna Harris, as well as Debbie Harris.

She will also be remembered by many other cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Joy was a lifetime animal lover and grew up riding horseback in Western, Canada.  Her love of animals carried into later life with several animals, and we would be remised to not mention her favourite Dog in Simon, whom she lost several years ago.

She enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a young woman and worked in dispatch.  It was during her service time that she met her future husband George in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  They married on June 6th, 1955 and then settled in Blenheim, Ontario.  It was there that they started their family.  They remained together for 38 years until George’s passing on June 11th, 1993.

She will be remembered for her sense of humour and unique wit.  Joy was a very giving and loyal person with all her loved ones.

Her wish was for family and friends to remember her quietly in their thoughts.  We ask that any flowers or gifts be donated in lieu to a charity of your choice.

Brian Cundle

A photo of Brian Cundle

Brian Leslie Cundle of Aylmer passed away at the St. Thomas General Hospital on Sunday July 25, 2021. Brian was born 75 years ago to the late Arthur & Kathleen (Welch) Cundle and grew up here in Blenheim alongside of his younger brother Paul and his sister who predeceased him, Charlene (Cundle) Terpstra.

Brian was recognized as a highly skilled graphic designer and illustrator. After high school he worked as a pressman for the Blenheim News-Tribune while he completed correspondence courses in graphic design. Eventually life would take him to London where he was an advertising layout artist for Eatons. Moving on, he worked for several ad agencies as an art director-designer. He always kept current with the changes in the industry, eventually trading his brushes for a computer and embracing digital technology. In later years, his freelance business presented rewarding challenges, consistently exceeding the expectations of his many clients.

Through his life, Brian diligently maintained his notable physique with regular workouts, a healthy diet and exploring the great outdoors. His monthly visits to Blenheim for dinners with Paul were something they both eagerly anticipated.

Brian will be remembered privately at a graveside service in Evergreen Cemetery and will be laid to rest with his family. Friends wishing to remember him with a memorial donation are asked to consider Heart & Stroke.

Mary Conner

A photo of Mary Conner

Mary Elizabeth Conner, loved wife of Ed Conner passed away at the Chatham-Kent Hospice on Monday July 26, 2021.  She will be missed by her son Christopher Munro of Victoria B.C, daughter Leslie Munro of Mount Molloy, Queensland, step-daughter Kim Fishleigh of Chatham, step-son Kevin Conner (Sandra) of Merlin, grandchildren Stacie Formosa (Ian), Laura Walker (Steve), Josh Conner, Alex Sharp (Sasha), 8 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandson.  She will also be missed by her best friend Beth among others.

Mary lived her life to the fullest.  She was raised in Toronto where she began her career as a teacher but enjoyed her move to Blenheim when she married Ed.  She was an avid gardener who would sit quietly with a glass of wine and admire each flower.

She loved spending time at the trailer in Erieau where she made many friends.  Her Tuesday night gathering with friends was something she looked forward to every week and other times she could be found sharing a laugh with friends at the Sandbar.

It was Mary’s wish that her family would remember her privately.  Those wishing to remember her with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Chatham-Kent Hospice https://www.chathamkenthospice.com/donate/.

Jean (Sparks) Crackel

A photo of Jean (Sparks) Crackel

Service:

Emmanuel Baptist Church
100 McNaughton Ave West, Chatham
Friday July 30, 2021
Visitation from 12:30 - 1:00 p.m.
Service at 1:00 p.m.

To join the livestream of the service
on Friday, go to www.ebcc.ca and click
on "watch now".

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Thursday July 29, 2021
3:00 - 5:00 & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Jean (Sparks) Crackel went home to be with her Lord and Saviour on Sunday July 25, 2021.  She was predeceased by her husband Jack Sparks and will be missed by their sons Greg Sparks (Chris) and Brad Sparks (Phyllis), her grandchildren and their families Lauren Sparks, Ian & Kim Sparks (Claire and Nora), Sherry & David Buck (Jack and Myles), and Jessica & Brian Patterson.  Jean remarried Ken Crackel who also predeceased her and will be remembered by his son Gary Crackel (Joyce), their sons Stephen and Kyle and grandchildren Maebella and Danica.

Jean was one of 7 children born to Margaret & Raymond Holdaway.  She is survived by her sister Margery Roe and was predeceased by her sister Barbara McMillan as well as her brothers Keith, Kenneth, Douglas and Donald Holdaway.

Jean was very much a people person.  She managed Young’s Jewellers in Chatham for many years.  She was a faithful member of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Chatham where she donated her talents singing in the Choir and helping with the Children’s Programs.  In her spare time she enjoyed travelling, spending time with family, cooking, baking and entertaining.

Friends and family are invited to the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Thursday for visitation from 3 – 5 & 7 – 9 p.m.  A Funeral Service will be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Friday July 30, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.  Interment will follow in Evergreen Cemetery where Jean will be laid to rest with Jack.   Those wishing to attend the visitation or Funeral Service must register by calling the Blenheim Community Funeral Home at 519-676-9200.  Those attending either the visitation or the Funeral Service must wear a face covering.

Friends wishing to remember Jean with a memorial donation are asked to consider Emmanuel Baptist Church, the Diabetes Association or the Heart & Stroke Foundation.