It is with profound sadness that we, the Middelkamp family, announce the passing of John Middelkamp on April 7, 2020.
John, known to so many as Homer, was the beloved husband and pain in the ass to Harlene (Yes Boss!). They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary just last summer; a celebration the family was thrilled to share with so many, from near and far.
John was born in the Netherlands but was a deep-rooted denizen of Bruce County. He raised his family here, as do his children. He was a life-long farmer at heart. He spent years driving truck through Canada and the United States, hauling livestock. He loved working at the golf course throughout the years. Over the last few years, his favourite was when his nephew Dan would pick him up and take him for a run to ship cattle or simply spent time in the fields riding in the tractor with him; this is when they solved the world’s problems.
Homer had so many interests, but he had five true loves: Harlene, his family, reading, music and golf – depending on the day, not necessarily in that order! He always had his nose in a book; you could find multiple books around the house that he was reading at the same time. None of the Middelkamps are strangers to song and music – and John was no exception. Up to his final days, John found comfort in the power of music, taking solace while listening to his favourites.
It was a rare day in the summer to find Homer somewhere other than the golf course or cutting lawns on the 25th side road. These were his summer activities after his retirement. Last summer was his best and last rounds of his game, and it is very fitting that his last round of golf was with his good friend Al Mackay.
In his life, as in his golf game, he was no hacker. When faced with this third round of cancer treatment, he met the challenge head on.
John was a devoted dad to Shane and his wife Sheona, Crystal and her husband Anibal, Matthew and his wife Loraine and the baby of the family, Jarred. He will also be sadly missed by Gaynor Thompson from Canberra, Australia, who was like a daughter to him.
Homer doted on his grandchildren. Opa is deeply missed by William, Cara, Jack, Maria, Danika, Otto, Vivian, Chelene and Coral.
He leaves his cherished brothers and sisters: Renske and her husband Edgar Daer of Blyth, Bouwina Pigeon of Matheson, Bob and his wife Ria of Ripley, Kini and her husband John Meyer of Holyrood, Jake and his wife Margo of Saltford, Marian Glen and her partner Greg Nicholson of Inverhuron, Henry and his wife Mary of Ripley, his sister-in-law Marjorie Middelkamp of Ripley and his brother-in-law Allan and his wife Eleanor Rutledge. He will also be missed deeply by many nieces and nephews.
Sadly, John was predeceased by his parents Aaltje and Hendrik, his brother Albert and his sister Gay Rutledge.
A very special thank you to Dr. Blanchette and his team and Dr. Louis and his team, both of London Health Sciences Centre; their exceptional care of John over the last four years has been outstanding. A very big hug and kiss to John’s “My Jennifer” who was his primary nurse in London but most of all a friend and confidant when John needed it the most. A special thank you to Dr. Murray, our family doctor, for his home visits and care during our journey. Thank you also to the VON and the Grey Bruce Palliative Care team.
While our hearts break, we are unable to hold a formal service in honour of John at this time. We ask that everyone take a moment, in their own way, to honour our John. Keep him in your heart always, as will we. When we are able, we will gather and hug and laugh and cry together to celebrate Homer’s life.
For those who would like to make a donation in John’s memory, we invite you to donate to the London Health Science Centre, your local food bank or simply, if you know of a family in need at this difficult time in the world, we ask that you give to those who need a helping hand. Condolences may be made online at www.mackenzieandmccreath.com.
Farewell, dear Homer.
We’ll see you again when we all meet up at the 19th hole.
“Always kiss me goodnight.”