Honouring tradition while respecting change
Obituary of John Robert Coke
John Robert Coke
July 18, 1941 - February 11, 2024
With saddened hearts, the family of John Robert Coke announces his passing on February 11 in his 83rd year.
John was the eldest child of Thomas and Beatrice (Paul) and was raised on the family farm in Dawn Township. He was a proud public servant and enjoyed 40 years working as a grader operator for the County of Lambton Public Works Department. Every drive with John evolved into a history lesson of various road construction projects, tales of winter storms, and an evaluation of present day road conditions.
John met his match, Elizabeth "Betty" Toulouse, and after a whirlwind courtship, the pair enjoyed a 58 year marriage, raising four children. They lived briefly in Port Lambton before building a home in Rutherford on an empty lot that previously housed the one-room school house John attended with his many childhood friends, and just one mile away from the farm where John was born and raised.
John collected life-long friends everywhere he went and was happiest when surrounded by his family, friends and neighbours. He desired to be productive with his time away from work: helping care for the family farm, growing an extensive variety of garden produce, fishing the Thames River, hunting and snowmobiling with the fellas, and maintaining a well cut lawn.
John's health for the last 17 years has limited his pursuit of hobbies he once enjoyed, but it did not diminish his love of storytelling, a good conversation, a friendly debate and socializing at any available opportunity.
Left to mourn John are his wife Elizabeth "Betty"; his children Yvonne "Pebs" and Jeff Kwiatkowski, Kim Munroe, Darlene "Dee" and Mark Wetering, and Thomas "Tom" and Tara (Diesbourg); and his grandchildren: Michael, Matthew and Marissa Bauer, and Madison and Makenna Munroe. John also leaves behind his twin sisters, Donna and Larry Cross and Diane and Francis Brown, and his in-laws, Murray Moerman, Don and Lavina Toulouse, Joanna Toulouse and Rosemary Vermast and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. John is predeceased by his brother and sister-in-law Larry and Mary Margaret Coke, his sister Patricia (Pat) Moerman, his father and mother in-law Wesley and Josephine Toulouse, and his brother and sister-in laws; Dorothy and Stan Mallette, Doreen and Lawrence Hinnegan, Doris Toulouse, Jim and Chris Toulouse, Ray Toulouse, Bob and Mary Toulouse and several special cousins, nieces and nephews.
It took a village to do everything possible to ensure John stayed in the home he proudly built in 1967 until the last seven weeks of his life. That Village was Rutherford, and in addition to John's devoted wife and caregiver Betty, he was supported by neighbours who went above and beyond including Jon Booth, Stanley Burrell and Dennis Ritchie. John was also supported by his talented and kind Personal Support Workers Bobbi and Michelle and he had the very good fortune for the last several years to be under the medical care of Dr. Paxton Moon, who was tremendously attentive, compassionate, and good humoured, particularly when John's storytelling inevitably started.
John is resting at the Badder Funeral Home & Reception Centre, 679 North Street, Dresden and the family will receive friends on Wednesday, February 14 from 1-3pm and 6-8pm. The funeral service will be held in the chapel on Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 1:30pm. Interment Blackburn Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be directed to the Dawn-Euphemia Fire Department, Lambton County Archives, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 113 (Dresden), or the Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation.
John C. Badder Funeral Home
72 Victoria St.
Thamesville, ON N0P 2K0
Badder Funeral Home & Reception Centre
679 North St.
Dresden, ON N0P 1M0
Badder & Robinson Funeral Home
211 Elm St.W.
Bothwell, ON N0P 1C0