Obituaries

Gary Pickering

A photo of Gary Pickering

Gary Pickering of Erieau, much loved husband of Lynda (Graham) Pickering passed away at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance on Monday April 4, 2022.  He was the proud father of Brad & Rachel Pickering and Bob & Carrie Pickering and even prouder grandfather of Blaine, Quinn, Elizabeth and Madison.

Gary was born to the late Harvey & Catherine (Hebblethwaite) Pickering on July 5, 1943 and was raised with seven brothers and sisters.  He is survived by Joanne Drury (late Leonard), Pauline DeVries (late Ben) and Brian & Linda Pickering.  Predeceased by Harvey & Elda Pickering, Eileen & Hank Srigley, Louise & Don Sutherland and Percy Pickering (survived by Betty Ann).  He was also predecessors by brother-in-laws James Graham (late Maxine), Robert Graham and sister-in-law Mary Anne Johnston (late John).

Gary was an avid hunter & fisherman with a passion for the outdoors.  His collection of fishing lures would rival any charter boat on Lake Erie!

Gary’s family will be remembering him privately.  The interment of his urn will take place in Evergreen Cemetery at a later date.

In keeping with support of Erieau his love of animals, those wishing to remember Gary are asked to consider the Erieau Firefighters Association or the Chatham-Kent Animal Rescue.

Bill Bentley

A photo of Bill Bentley

Service:

Moose Lodge,
110 Duke Street, Wallaceburg
Friday May 20, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.

Visitation:

Private

William (Bill) Bentley, at the age of 88, passed away on Sunday, April 3rd, 2022, at the Chatham Kent Health Alliance with his family by his side. Bill was the loving partner for 39 years of Tilly Plat. He was from a family of 11 children and raised 8 children of his own – Stephen (Vickie), Barbara, Dan (Jane), Pam (Jim), Shirley (Chris), Hettie, Tim (Coleen), and Sarah.  Bill was a hard working man who loved the simple life. He always made time for his family, friends, and running his beagles.  What   mattered most to him was being with family and friends watching a game of hockey or baseball, or being outdoors enjoying some fishing or hunting.  His fun loving pranks and friendship will be sadly missed by all who had the good fortune to know and love him. 

A private family gathering will be held Tuesday, April 5th, 2022 at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home. 

A Celebration of Bill’s Life will take place Friday, May 20th, 2022, in Wallaceburg at the Moose Lodge, 110 Duke Street, beginning at 3pm. All are welcome to attend. 

Friends wishing to remember Bill with a memorial donation are asked to consider Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Mary Ellen Siddall (McBrien)

A photo of Mary Ellen Siddall (McBrien)

Mary Ellen Siddall (McBrien)

December 7, 1944 – March 22, 2022

Mary Ellen passed away peacefully at the Chatham-Kent Hospice on Tuesday March 22, 2022 at the age of 77.

Mary Ellen was the daughter of the late Harry & Violet (nee Mills) McBrien of Thamesville.  Sister-in-law to Beth McBrien and Marjorie McBrien, both of Ridgetown.  Sister to the late Bill McBrien and Tom McBrien.

Aunt to Mary Margaret (Bill), Lori (Ray), Karen (Tom) and Sean (Deena).

As per Mary Ellen’s wishes, cremation has taken place.  Those wishing to honour her life can make donations in her name to the Chatham-Kent Hospice or Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario.

 

May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

The sun shine warm upon your face,

The rain fall soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Julianna Osborne

A photo of Julianna Osborne

Service:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Monday March 21, 2022
11:00 a.m.

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Sunday March 20, 2022
2:00 - 4:00 & 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

It is with great sadness that we share the sudden passing of Julianna Michelle Osborne on March 17th.  She was a loving Mother, Daughter, Sister, Aunt and friend.  Julie leaves behind her daughter Brooklyn Eva Osborne, her parents Mike and Michelle (Vaughan) Osborne of Chatham, her brother Jeff (Shalynn) Osborne of Chatham, her sister Jessica (Josh) Rudofer of Duart, a niece and 2 nephews Jordyn, Benjamin and Colton Rudorfer and a loving lifelong friend Chantelle (Rick) Bernicky of Chatham with their 2 children.  Julie also leaves behind many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that loved her very much and will all miss her dearly.

Julie graduated from UCC and went to college to become a P.S.W.  She loved working with the elderly and later returned to school to become an E.C.E. where she found much happiness and a rewarding career impacting the lives of many children, families and staff that she worked with.

Julie was passionate about the Toronto Maple Leafs and her love for animals.  Julie was a single mother who dedicated her life to her daughter and her family.  She enjoyed crocheting and baking her Christmas treats for everyone in the family.

Julie is predeceased by her grandparents George and Helen Osborne, Garry Vaughan and Pat Vaughan who she shared a very loving ad special relationship with.

Visitation will take place at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Sunday from 2 – 4 & 7 – 9 p.m.  A Funeral Service will take place at the Funeral Home on Monday March 21, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.

Friends and family wishing to remember Julie are asked to consider making a donation to the Mental Health Network of Chatham-Kent https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/mental-health-network-of-chatham-kent/ or donate to a fund that will help her daughter Brooklyn at  https://www.gofundme.com/f/s92gf-for-funeral-costs

Patricia Wardle

A photo of Patricia Wardle

Service:

Private

Patricia Wardle of Rondeau Park passed away at the Chatham-Kent Hospice on Monday March 14, 2022.  Born in England 81 years ago, Pat was the proud mother of Sheri & Richard Peltier and Rodney Phillips.  She was predeceased by her husband Art Wardle this past December and will be remembered by his children Diane Mazan (John), Lynda Quick and John Wardle as well as a long-time friend Cindy Phillips.

Grandma will be missed by Shaylene Greevink (Peter), Curtis Peltier (Malerie), Kayla Micallef (Matt), Ryan Phillips (Miranda Gray) and Alyssa Phillips, Justin Brideau (Erica), Jeremy Brideau (Vicky), Janine Ferguson (Steve), Richard Reeves (Tonya), Arthur Reeves (Catherine), Victoria Morton (Chris) and Johnathan Wardle.  She was delighted when she became a great-grandmother to Everett, Emberly and Georgia.

Pat will also be remembered by her sister Ann Beatty (Ernie), her brother Frank Pullen (Heather) and by Art’s siblings Hildred Hillman, Nancy Crow, Brenda Ritchie, Beck Brideau (Romeo), Wanda Chesney-Travis, Gary Wardle (Carolyn) and Harold Wardle.

Throughout her working life Pat was employed as a cook at the Southwestern Regional Centre, the Blenheim Community Village and Ridge Kids where she shared lots of her tasty meals.  After several years at Ridge Kids, she became known as “Grandma Pat”.  At the end of her work day, she could be found baking and decorating special occasion cakes. In her retirement, she developed a love of hand-making greeting cards that she would send out with pride and sell at the farmer’s market in Ridgetown and the odd craft show.

Pat enjoyed making goodies for her family and friends, especially her homemade jam.  She especially looked forward to making meals and treats for Rick and Ryan and the rest of the group for their hunting and fishing trips.

You could always count on Pat to make you laugh with her funny sayings and sassy attitude.  She enjoyed country music and attending numerous concerts and events.   Everyone knew not to call or visit when the NASCAR race was on especially when Jeff Gordon was behind the wheel of car 24.  She truly made an impact on every one she met and will be missed by all.

A private family service will be held at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home.  Friends wishing to remember Pat with a memorial donation are asked to consider the Canadian Cancer Society https://cancer.ca/en/ or the Chatham-Kent Hospice https://chathamkenthospicefoundation.com/donations/ .

Jacklynn Susan Bourdeau

A photo of Jacklynn Susan Bourdeau

Visitation:

Wednesday March 16, 2022
3:00pm - 5:00pm, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Jacklynn Susan Bourdeau who passed at the London Health Science Centre Victoria Hospital in London on Saturday March 12, 2022. Jacklynn is the daughter of June and the late Donald Hedrick of Blenheim. Dearly loved mother of Luke Bourdeau (Stacy Melrose) of Blenheim and Donald (Sondra) Bourdeau of St Thomas. Loving grandmother to Cameron, Thaydan, Chace, Kolson, Devin and Ana. Sister to Jane (George) Vandersluis, Terri-Dawne McMillan, Lee (Anne-Marie) Hedrick, Steve Hedrick(MF Kluka), and predeceased by Ted Hedrick. Sadly missed by many nieces, nephews, and friends. Jacklynn will be remembered for the 23 years that she served her country in the Royal Canadian Air Force, retiring with the rank of sergeant. After her retirement, Jacklynn spent the next 20 years working at the Riverview Gaming Centre. Visitation will take place at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home, 60 Stanley St. in Blenheim on Wednesday March 16 from 3:00pm – 5:00pm and 7:00pm – 9:00pm. As per her wishes, cremation will take place. Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Ronald McDonald House would be appreciated. Online condolences may be left at www.blenheimcommunityfuneralhome.com

Audrey Varney

A photo of Audrey Varney

Service:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Saturday March 12, 2022
2:00 p.m.

Visitation:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Saturday March 12, 2022
12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

AUDREY DENISE GRAHAM VARNEY (née Millar)
Born: Killead, County Antrim, Ireland May 18, 1943
Died: Ridgetown, Ontario, Canada March 4, 2022

 

To capture in a few words the essence of a beautiful human being is not an easy task. And that was who Audrey Denise Graham Varney was – a beautiful human being.

Audrey was introduced to her Christian faith at a young age. It guided her throughout her life, giving her strength when she needed it most. She was a loving and faithful servant to all. This was defined through her actions, in recognizing and giving to those in need:  whether those she knew or those she didn’t.

She never wanted recognition for her gifts of Self, which is the best gift anyone can give. She gave them all with a loving heart and a silent grace. She was like the good Samaritan seeking out those who needed help and doing her best to fulfil that need. Though a ‘giver’ in every sense of the word, she never saw herself as such and we can only assume this is why she found it so very difficult to receive in kind.

Her generosity to others throughout her life would be a mystery to the selfish, to those who don’t care about others’ woes unless it affects them and to those who feel that the greatest legacy in life is measured through monetary value.

Audrey loved her family as she loved her God. They were her blessings and she cherished them like the treasures they are. She adopted her in-laws and the friends of her children and grandchild and treated them like they were her own. She opened her home for joyous occasions to others and as a refuge when people needed a helping hand. She was a true and loving friend to many.

Audrey loved life and valued each moment of the days she was given. Her zest for life was witnessed in the way she lived it. She was always on the move, enjoying each day to its fullest. As she reminded us in the end, the only day you have is today and you should make sure you live it to the fullest.

She was fiercely independent in speech and in her actions. She was also very private.  But as the Irish lass she was, she never backed down from a good debate and was always generous in her opinions.

Audrey said that the greatest gift her husband Alan gave her was her two sons Kyle and Dale. They lived up to her belief in, and love for them. The endless support they gave their mother was noted by many. Their answer when praised was, ‘We learned by example.’ What a beautiful gift to a mother’s ear.

Audrey departed her earthly home on Friday, March 4th 2022. Despite her illness, she fought valiantly and with laughter, making the most of each day she was given.

Now she has travelled to that beautiful Garden of Eden in the sky and is reunited with her beloved husband Alan and all those she loved and lost through the years. What a celebration that must have been! God is smiling that Audrey has come home.

Audrey leaves behind her son Kyle and his loving wife Tammy, and her granddaughter Samantha, her son Dale, sister Kathryn Young and family, and her brother Rev. Roger Millar, his wife Nancy and family plus so many more family and friends who loved her so very dearly.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home located at 60 Stanley Street, Blenheim, Ontario (www.blenheimcommunityfuneralhome.com) from 12:00 to 2:00 with the funeral service immediately following at 2:00.

The family would request that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to the ALS Society of Windsor-Essex County http://www.alswindsor.ca.

Do not weep for me for I have not gone.
I am the memory that dwells in the heart of those that knew me.

Junne Jenkins

A photo of Junne Jenkins

Junne was the beloved wife of William (Bill) Jenkins, and devoted and loving mother to Sandy (Richard Gilbert), all of whom cherished her and will miss her dearly.

Junne was one of ten children born to the late Bert and Lillian Graves on December 31, 1936.  They all lived on the family farm just outside of Ridgetown.

She is survived by and will be remembered with love by her sisters Joyce Campbell and Madeline Bateman, her brother Ron Graves, her sisters-in-law Nora Graves and Ruth Graves and many nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her sisters Gladys Shoemaker, Dorothy Graves and Audrey Smith as well as her brothers George, Kenneth and Fred Graves.

Junne believed strongly in fellowship and service to her community.  She was an active member of the United Church Women’s League and the choir at the Morpeth United Church.  Following the closure of that church, she became involved with several activities at the Erie Street United Church in Ridgetown.

She remained active, playing shuffleboard at the Morpeth Community Centre in the winter, lawn bowling at Ridgetown in the summer months, and having lunch with the “girls” after church on Sundays.  In her earlier years, she was an avid curler who participated in may jitneys and bonspiels with her husband Bill at the Ridgetown Golf and Country Club.

Junne spent the last week of her life in the amazing care of the staff and volunteers at the Chatham Kent Hospice.  The family cannot say enough about the kindness and love this organization offers to their residents, as well as to their families, as they travel through this difficult final journey.  If you wish to honour Junne in some way, please think about contributing to this wonderful organization at https://chathamkenthospicefoundation.com/donations/.

Junne’s wishes were that cremation take place, followed by a simple graveside service at a later date in the spring at the Morpeth Cemetery.

Kathryn Pye

A photo of Kathryn Pye

Service:

Blenheim Community Funeral Home
Monday March 7, 2022
11:00 a.m.

A reception will be held following the
service at the Kent-Belgian-Dutch-
Canadian Club, 34 Byng Ave, Chatham

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our mother Kathryn Pye on Monday February 28, 2022.  Mom was born on June 11, 1954 to Eva (Ellis) Behnke and the late Gerald Behnke who she missed very much.  She was a proud mother to the two of us; Jen Cowan and Chris Behnke but an even prouder grandmother to our children Kayla Allossery, Breanna Allossery, Sierra Allossery, Paislee Cowan, and Kaemen Behnke.  She adored her grandchildren and always wished the best for them in life.

She will be remembered with fondness by her sisters Ann Behnke (Jim Joyce) and Lynn Behnke, by her brothers Mike Behnke and John Behnke (Deb) as well as her brother-in-law Carl Carlogridis and their families.

Mom lived life with fierce determination.  Although she could be stubborn at times, she loved just as hard.  She was an avid card player and loved to read in her spare time.  She loved doing puzzles with Grandma and was a member of the LaSertoma Club because it was important to her to help others who were less fortunate.

Mom’s wishes for this stage of her life were simple.  Cremation has taken place.  If you want to remember her with a memorial donation, please consider the Sertoma Foundation of Canada https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/the-sertoma-foundation-of-canada/, the Lung Association https://www.lung.ca/get-involved/donate/make-general-donation/online-donate-form or a charity of your choice.  She would have liked that.

A Funeral Service will be held at the Blenheim Community Funeral Home on Monday March 7, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.  A reception will follow at the Kent-Belgian-Dutch-Canadian Club, 34 Byng Ave, Chatham.

John Phillip Schneider

A photo of John Phillip Schneider

A resident of Blenheim, John Phillip Schneider peacefully passed away at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance on Monday February 21, 2022 at the age of 80. John was the son of the late Phillip and Mary (nee Chandler) Schneider. Beloved husband to Margaret (nee Carron) Schneider. Loving father to Kristine (Robin) Chapman of Kitchener, Phillip (Pam) Schneider of Blenheim, step father to Barbara Powers, Margaret LeBlanc, and John Beaumont. Grandfather to Jordan, Emily, Dustin, Robbie, Christian, Tiffany, and 14 great grandchildren. Brother to the late Walter Schneider of Cambridge. John will be remembered for his years working at Bonnie Stewart’s Shoe Factory in Kitchener, coaching baseball, watching the Red Wings hockey games, and spending time outdoors fishing. As per John’s wishes Cremation has taken place. Donations made in memory of John to the Canadian Cancer Society or the Kidney Foundation would be appreciated. Online condolences may be left at www.blenheimcommunityfuneralhome.com