Death Notices – October 2019



Published October 30, 2019

Betty Biddle
BIDDLE, Betty Joan (nee Lamb) passed away on October 22, 2019 in her 78th year at Stedman Community Hospice Hankinson House. Loving and cherished mother of Vicki Sitko, Darren Smith and wife Lynn. Grandmother of Raelyn and Reid Smith. Survived by her brother Larry Lamb and his wife Joyce. Niece Linda and her husband Les. Predeceased by her husband Gerry (2003). Betty enjoyed working in the nursing department at St. Williams Nursing Home for many years. In 1989 she graduated from Fanshawe College with a degree in Multidisciplinary Gerontology. In 1991 she graduated with a certificate in Activation Techniques in Gerontology from Mohawk College. Betty was director of activations at Cedarwood Village in Simcoe for many years until her retirement in 2001. Betty loved and lived for her family and cared deeply for her pets. The family would like to send a heartfelt thank you to the staff and volunteers at the Stedman Community Hospice/Hankinson House. The love and caring you showed our Mom was appreciated more than words can say. Also, a big thank you to Elana for the loving care you gave to Mom while she was home. She looked forward to your visit. In keeping with Betty’s wishes cremation has taken place with all services being private. Arrangements entrusted to Thompson Waters Funeral Home, 102 First Ave., Port Dover 519-583-1530. For those wishing, donations to the Simcoe and District Humane Society or Stedman Community Hospice Hankinson House would be greatly appreciated. Online donations and or condolences can be made at

Miles Blackhurst
BLACKHURST, Miles Owen – Passed away peacefully in Midland with his family by his side on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at the age of 86. Miles served as a member of Midland Town Council and his extensive community service included Chair of the Midland Parks Board, the Midland Harbour Board and Vice Chair of the Midland Public Utilities Commission. His community volunteer work included Director of St Andrew’s and Huronia District Hospital Boards. In later years he continued his service as Chair of the Huronia Museum Board. In 2010 Miles was recognized by the Town of Midland and was presented the Award of Merit. In 2012 Miles was the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for significant contributions of Canadians in their communities. Miles was a member of the Midland Rotary Club and a 58-year member of the Midland Golf and Country Club. First and foremost Miles was a devoted family man. He was the beloved husband of the late Grace (nee Edgar). Dear father of Liz Gravelle and Alison Blackhurst (Marc Plourde). Loving grandfather of Brittany (Andy), Daniel and Robbie. Great-grandfather of Hunter and Harry. Predeceased by his parents Arthur and Dorothy Blackhurst. Miles was the last remaining sibling to 4 sisters and 1 brother. He will be sadly missed by his extended family and friends. A celebration of life will be held at the Midland Golf and Country Club, 9536 Highway 93 North, Midland on Friday, November 1, 2019 from 2 – 5 p.m. If desired, memorial donations to the Huronia Museum or Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation would be appreciated. Messages of condolence will be received by
“Love you more”

Joan Brett
BRETT, Joan Edith (nee Walker) passed away peacefully at Norfolk General Hospital on Wednesday, October 23, 2019 in her 90th year. Predeceased by her husband Raymond William Brett. Cherished mother and mother-in-law of Michael and Tracy of Marmora and Keith and Michelle of Hamilton. Dearly loved grandmother of Alex, Andrea, Sarah, Jonathan, Andrew, Elizabeth and great-grandmother to many. Joan was predeceased by her brother George Walker and his wife Irene and her sister Alice. When Joan lived in England she belonged to the Social Clubs and loved participating in the luncheons and dances. She was now living in Hamilton, but loved spending time at the cottage on Lake Erie. In keeping with Joan’s wishes, her funeral and interment will take place in England, but for family and friends here a visitation was held at Thompson Waters Funeral Home, 102 First Ave., Port Dover, ON 519-583-1530 on Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For those wishing, donations to the MS Society would be greatly appreciated. On-line donations and/or condolences can be made at

Ora MacKenzie
MacKENZIE, Ora Edmon of Port Dover, passed away unexpectedly at Norfolk General Hospital, Friday, October 25, 2019 in his 79th year, surrounded by the love of his family. Cherished husband of Carolyn for 49 years. Loving father of Alison and Peter, and his wife Christie, all of Port Dover. Proud grandfather of Jesse and Charlie. Dear brother of Bertha Church of Simcoe and Alan (and Cathy) MacKenzie of Selkirk. Dear brother-in-law of Bevan and Sheila Smith of Simcoe and Joan MacKenzie of Avonmore. Predeceased by his parents John and Bernice, his brother Alex and his brother-in-law Ivan Church. Ora grew up on Mud Street, east of the Dog’s Nest, and lived his married life on the farm on Concession 5, Woodhouse. He was a lifelong farmer, and enjoyed nothing more than being on his “Mighty Oliver” tractor. He was a jack-of-all trades, always prepared with a tape measure, jack knife and lighter in his pocket. Ora was always ready for a visit and friends and family will greatly miss the stories he told. He was actively involved with the Marburg Community Association and served as President for 26 years. Friends were invited to share their memories of Ora at visitation on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Thompson Waters Funeral Home, 102 First Ave., Port Dover (519-583-1530). A Service to celebrate Ora’s life will be held at Thompson Waters Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 11 a.m., Peggy Guiler officiating. Interment Port Dover Cemetery. For those wishing, donations to the Marburg Community Association or the Walpole Antique Farm Machinery Association would be greatly appreciated. On-line donations and/or condolences can be made at


Published October 23, 2019

Don McCague
McCAGUE, Don James – passed away peacefully at his home in Port Dover on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 in his 83rd year. Loving husband of Julie Ann (Weber) McCague for 52 years. Dear dad of David (Fay), Tillsonburg and Michael (Lesley), St. Thomas. Cherished grandpa of Aidan and Brianna. Sadly missed by brother Michael (Donna) McCague, Coldwater, sister Mary (Dave) Horner, Kelowna, B.C., sister-in-law Lynda McCague, Orillia. Predeceased by his parents, George and Olive McCague and brother Doug McCague. Dear brother-in-law to Betty Brush, Eldon Weber, Margaret Taylor, Lorna Collins, Lynda Bramhill and Margaret E. Weber. Predeceased by brother-in-law Dale Brush, Russell Weber and sister-in-law Agnes Weber. Don was a much loved uncle to his many nieces and nephews. Don had two careers, dedicated teacher and coach for 23 years and successful sales person in the home renovation business. Teaching was his passion and privilege, teaching History, English, Physical Education and coaching several sports including cross country and wrestling. In the words from a former principal “Don never expected less of himself than his students which was 100% at all times.” He also served successfully in the home renovation business for 20 years and most recently with Centennial Home Renovations and Simcoe Clean Air Services. Don was a fitness buff in his leisure time, actively cycling, kayaking and working out in the gym. As a sports enthusiast, he enjoyed following all the major sports, football, basketball and baseball. He was a voracious reader on every subject. In keeping with Don’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private service for the immediate family only will be held. Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Burial & Cremation Services Inc., 361 Main St., Port Dover (226-290-9093). Those wishing to make a memorial donation in Don’s memory are asked to consider St. Cecilia’s Church, 17 Lynn Park Ave, Port Dover, Ontario N0A 1N5. Online condolences can be made at



Published October 16 2019

Jake Weaver
WEAVER, Glen Harold “Jake”, of Port Stanley, passed away on October 11, 2019 at the age of 94. Beloved husband of the late Anna Martha Weaver (nee Vokes) (2012). Jake is survived by his loving children Sonya (Marvin) Marks of Waterford, Glenda Jones of Woodstock, James Weaver of Port Stanley, Mark (Dolores) Weaver of Port Stanley, and Ross (Laura) Weaver of Port Stanley; by his ten grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren; by his brother Don (Jaqueline) Weaver of BC; by his brother-in-law Doug (late Darlene) Vokes of Bachawana Bay; by his sister-in-law Joyce (late Victor) Vokes of Simcoe; and by his many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his seven brothers and three sisters; his brother and sister-in-law Bob and Betty Vokes; and by his two grandchildren, Jamie Weaver and Jason Marks. Jake was very proud of his accomplishment of starting the family business of Weaver Brothers Fisheries. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #410, and a member of Christ Church Anglican, Port Stanley. Visitation was held at the Shawn Jackson Funeral Home, 31 Elgin Street, St. Thomas (519-631-0570) on Monday, October 14, 2019 from 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., where the funeral service was held in the chapel on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. Interment in Aylmer Cemetery. If desired, donations to Canadian Cancer Society or Ontario Heart and Stroke Foundation would be appreciated. Personal condolences to the family can be made at

Published October 9 2019

Bob Blake
BLAKE, Robert (Bob) James –of Simcoe, passed away at Hamilton General Hospital on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 in his 85th year. Beloved husband of 57 years to Sandra (nee Browne). Loving father of Leah (Martin) VanTil, Russell (Lynne), Rob (Brandy) and David (Jackie). Cherished grandfather to Katie, Wes, Victoria, Spencer, Jack, Brooke, Max, Tyra, Tori, Lora and Leann. Brother to Paul (Barbara) and the late John Blake (2015). Bob was a lifelong farmer and mechanic. Some of his old David Brown tractors can still be found around Norfolk. Most days he could be found in his “shop” with his Kubota parked outside. At Bob’s request, cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will be held outside at his shop, 750 Norfolk St. S., Simcoe on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 from 2 – 4 p.m. The Baldock Funeral Home, 96 Norfolk St. N., Simcoe in care of arrangements. If so desired, donations may be made in Bob’s memory to the Norfolk General Hospital Foundation or to Simcoe Minor Hockey. Online condolences may be made at

Karen Cooling
COOLING, Karen Cecilia (Van Norman), 72, passed away September 28, 2019 at Norfolk General Hospital after a brave fight with cancer. Beloved wife to Peter Cooling, loving mother to Christopher and Stephanie, and doting grandmother to James and Madeline. Karen also leaves behind Dora, her hundred-year old mother. Born in 1947 at Lindsay, and raised in Keswick, Karen met Peter, recent arrival from the UK, on a ski trip in 1969. They married in 1971 and lived together happily in Toronto before retiring to Port Dover in 2015. A lifelong educator, Karen was universally described by students, friends and family as one of the kindest, gentlest and most patient people they’d ever met. She completed Teacher’s College in 1967 and continued to pursue advanced skills throughout her career. Taking evening classes while working full time, she eventually completed a B.A. at York University in 1983. Karen was known to her friends as a dog lover, Schnauzers in particular: Buttons, Chloe, Brittney, Alfie and Benji were among her adored pets. She was also a skillful painter throughout her life, hushed, wintry landscapes in particular. Her oatmeal chocolate chip cookies were the immediate favourites of all who tried them. She was an avid collector of art works gathered during her many travels with family: the UK, Ireland, continental Europe, South Africa, Egypt, as well as across Canada and the United States. A Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held on what would have been her 73rd birthday, March 29, 2020, details TBA. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the hospital directly, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or the Canadian Cancer Society.

Jean Riddle
RIDDLE, Jean (nee Reid) – passed away peacefully at Stedman Hospice, Brantford with her loving family at her side, on Sunday, October 6, 2019 in her 87th year. Predeceased by her husband Keith (February 2019). Cherished mother and mother-in-law of Paul and Pauline of Brantford, David and Shirley of Balgonie, SK, Tom and Jo Ann of Calabogie, ON and Gale and Eric McRae of Port Dover. Loving grandmother of Rachel and Erik, Duncan and Madi, Alec and Kylie, Nigel and Ally, Aubry and Channah, Hannah Jean and David, Lexie and Alex, Sammy, Arden, Brennan and Hannah, James and Carly, Isaac, and great-grandmother of Avraham, Miley and Stella Jean. Dear sister and sister-in-law of Doug and Carolynn Reid, Mark and Jim Reid, Margie and Dave Gabriel, Doreen Atkinson and Liz Reid. Predeceased by her parents James and Elizabeth Reid, great-grandson Dougie, brothers Jim Reid, Ian Reid and his wife Norma, sister Shirley Robinson and brother-in-law Frank Atkinson. Jean was raised in Brantford, the oldest girl in a family of 7. As a teen, she helped to raise her siblings when her mother passed away. She moved to Wilsonville when she married Keith, raised four children while working as a registered nurse at NGH, BGH and then for family physician Dr. Jack Shaver. She was in one of the first classes of Nurse Practitioners. After they retired, Jean and Keith moved to Port Dover and loved their house near the beach. A wonderful grandmother to grand and great-grandchildren and hoped that there were always babies on the way. She was the type of grandmother who got down on the floor and played and even attended a Taylor Swift concert with some of them. She and Keith loved to travel and went on many cruises and spent a lot of time travelling and camping in their getaway van. Always a caregiver, right till the end, she never wanted to be a bother and always insisted that she could look after herself. Jean spent the last few months of her life at Parkview in Townsend. While we grieve for her and will miss her, at the end, she was ready to go, so we are grateful that she was able to pass so quickly from this world. She told us constantly that she had had a blessed life, and a wonderful family. You can’t ask for more than that. We want to thank the caring and compassionate staff and residents at Parkview in Townsend and Hankinson House-Stedman Community Hospice. A Memorial Service to celebrate Jean’s life will be held at Grace United Church, (Chapman and St. George Sts.) Port Dover on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 11 a.m. The Reverend Kathryn Vance officiating. Interment at Wilsonville Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to Thompson Waters Funeral Home, Port Dover (519-583-1530). For those wishing, donations to Grace United Church or Stedman Hospice would be appreciated. On-line donations and/or condolences can be made at


Published October 2 2019

Lynne Grant
GRANT, Margaret “Lynne” passed away on Monday, September 23, 2019 at Hamilton General Hospital in her 47th year. Loving wife of Darren Abell, dear mother of Zachary and Alexis. Sadly missed by her mother Rose and siblings Wade (Dawn Walsh) and Lisa (Ron Rayner ) all of Port Dover. Predeceased by her father Bill. Lynne loved to be with family and friends, she adored her children and loved riding their motorcycle. A Celebration of Lynne’s Life will be held Sunday, October 6, 2019 at the RCL Branch #158, 208 Market St., Port Dover from 12 noon to 4 p.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to Thompson Waters Funeral Home, 102 First Ave., Port Dover (519-583-1530). For those wishing, a trust fund for her children is being established, please contact the funeral home for details or a donation to a charity of one’s choice would be greatly appreciated. Online donations and or condolences can be made at

Ralph Jesson
JESSON, Ralph – Passed away peacefully at Woodstock Hospital, surrounded by his family, on Monday, September 30, 2019, at the age of 91. Loving husband of Anna. Cherished father of Colina McLay, Clare Mann (Randy), Lillian Miller (William) and Ralph Jesson (Erin). Loving grandfather to Ryan (Melissa), Christie, Cassie, Connor, Sidney, Henry, Reid and Elise. Ralph was an honorary member of the Knights of Columbus. The Jesson family would like to thank Dr. Tran, Dr. Mosey, Nurse Jennifer, the staff of Woodstock Adult Day Care Centre and Angela, Danielle and Jaclyn from Care Partners for all of their care. A visitation will be held at the Smith-LeRoy Funeral Home, 69 Wellington St. North, Woodstock (519-537-3611), on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 from 6-8 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at Holy Trinity Parish, 1420 Devonshire Ave, Woodstock on Thursday, October 3 at 11 a.m. Interment will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, feel free to make a donation directly to Woodstock Hospital or a charity of your choice. Personal condolences may be sent at R.I.P.

Fred Kent
KENT, Frederick David Kent – Peacefully at the Norfolk General Hospital on Monday, September 23, 2019 in his 88th year. Beloved husband of Joan Elaine Kent (née Grant) and father of Michael Dwayne Kent (Sheri) and David Scott Kent. Grandfather of Andrew, Phillip Aaron and Eric Kent (their mother Angela). Fred is also survived by his sister-in-law Marlene Kent of Hendersonville, N.C. and brother-in-law Douglas Grant of Simcoe, niece Julie Shapiro, nephews Jeffrey Kent, Gregory Grant and Gary Grant as well as several cousins. Predeceased by his parents Frederick and Janet (Jones) Kent, brother Douglas Kent and sister-in-law Carol Grant. Fred’s 36-year educational career included positions of teacher, vice principal and principal in Hamilton, Waterford, Simcoe, Townsend and Courtland, retiring in 1988. Fred was a member of Old Windham United Church since 1963 serving as an Elder and Council Chairperson. He played an active role as a Simcoe Lions Club Past President and Life Member of Lions International. Fred enjoyed his years of community contribution with Lynn Valley Boy Scouts, Regional Police Commission, Simcoe Housing Authority, Norfolk General Hospital, Area and Regional Councils, Norfolk County Fair and the Norfolk District of the Retired Teachers of Ontario. Serenity Burial & Cremation Services Inc. 361 Main St., Port Dover (226-290-9093) in care of arrangements. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at Old Windham United Church, 30 Glendale Cres. Simcoe from 2 – 4:30 p.m. with a brief Service of Remembrance at 2:30 p.m. Those wishing to make a memorial donation in Fred’s memory are asked to consider Old Windham United Church or a charity of their choice. Online condolences can be left at

Thelma Misner
MISNER, Thelma of Port Dover, passed away peacefully at Dover Cliffs Nursing Home on Sunday, September 29, 2019, in her 95th year. Dearly loved mother of Marcia Haviland. Will be missed by her sisters-in-law, Florence Watkinson, Eleanor Misner and Bertha Misner and by nephew Tony (Pam) Jackson, and many other nieces and nephews. Thelma was predeceased by her husband Charles (2000), son Allan (2000), son-in-law Doug (2010), three 3 sisters and one brother. In keeping with Thelma’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a Service of Remembrance to celebrate her life will be held at St. Paul’s Anglican Church (Market and St. George Sts.) Port Dover on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 11 a.m. The Reverend Tony Bouwmeester officiating. Interment Port Dover Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to Thompson Waters Funeral Home, Port Dover (519-583-1530). For those wishing, donations to St. Paul’s Anglican Church would be greatly appreciated. On-line donations and/or condolences can be made at

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