Darlene Caskenette

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Darlene Marjorie was born Tuesday, October 1, 1957 to Walter William and Agnes Craigie (O’Brien) Pinder in Rockford, Ontario. Walter and Agnes were married on July 18, 1936 in Hespeler, Ontario by The Rev. J.J. Lowe, a Presbyterian minister. Their witnesses were Charlotte O’Brien of Galt and Andrew Furriolk of Guelph. Walter was 21 and Agnes was 19.
It is interesting to note that Darlene’s Mom, Agnes, was born in 1916 in Dundee, Scotland. She immigrated to Canada with her Mom Maggie, her sisters Alice, Charlotte, Audrey and brother Edward when she was just seven years old. They arrived in Quebec in July of 1924 aboard the S.S. Marloch of the Canadian Pacific Ocean Services. On Maggie’s passenger declaration it is noted that she was widowed. They were destined for Galt where Agnes’ grandparents lived on Barrie Street. They were sponsored, and their passage paid, by an Overseas Settlement Committee.

There were ten children in the Pinder family with Darlene being the youngest; Kenneth, Thomas, Gerald, Bruce, Gordon, Dorothy, Donna, Joan, Pauline and Darlene. The big family joke was that the train went through at 4 a.m. and Agnes and Walter had to "do something" until the start of the day! Sadly, Walter died when Darlene was just eleven years and a day old. As can be expected, Darlene took his death really hard. Her mother Agnes was then tasked with the job of raising Darlene on her own.

Darlene was especially close to her brother Jerry and her sister Joan. Darlene and Joan’s families were always together, creating lots of memories for the two families. In fact, their relationship has been described as intertwined, which is a very apt description. The two families loved caring for each other and still do to this day!
Darlene was indeed all about family and friends. She loved spending time with her grand and great-grandchildren and extended family as well as having coffee with her friends. It wasn’t just people that Darlene cared for, she also loved animals and one specific dog, “Sandy.” Playing Bingo, Yahtzee, cards (Wild Rummy), Uno and Nevada tickets were times of enjoyment for Darlene.

Darlene’s care for people ran deeper than just enjoying being together with others. She was a caretaker through and through, always putting others first, minimizing her own pain and sorrow. She wanted everyone to just be happy. Words like empathetic, caring, accepting, a kind soul and giving have all been used to describe Darlene. These certainly are essential characteristics to love and care for others.

Like her sister Joan, Darlene worked in a variety of restaurants over the years, but her time at the Golden Hill restaurant stands out. Darlene then went on to work and be of service to others in nursing homes. To her credit, Darlene put herself through college to obtain her Nurses’ Aid (P.S.W.) Diploma. That was, and still is, a huge undertaking and Darlene was proud of her achievement!

People who knew, and loved, Darlene recognized her playful side. She had a great sense of humour, often playing jokes on others. One incredibly funny story is of how she taught the young girls how to dance and then sent them out in public to dance. What the young ones (who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent) didn’t know was that Darlene had taught them how to ‘dirty dance.’ Poor girls! Yet, it still gives them a great story to tell ‘to this day! It should come as no surprise then that Darlene’s favourite TV show was “Just for Laughs” and her favourite channel was CMT.

Darlene could also be ‘sassy’ and blunt. This could go along with her sense of humour but it also allowed the people in her life to know precisely where they stood with her. Even though this trait could be a little disconcerting, it is far more admirable than talking behind people’s backs! Wise and honest are apt words for describing Darlene.

Darlene enjoyed her time at the coffee shops in Chesley, or relaxing and socializing on one of the benches in town. She also had a soft spot for the Chesley Hotel and last but not least the Saugeen Conservation area (Sulphur Springs). Darlene’s fun would start Friday night and by Saturday she was really cranking up the tunes - Paradise by the Dashboard Light performed by Meat Loaf and Friends in Low Places performed by Garth Brooks. No doubt, these favourites of Darlene indicate her sense of mischievousness.

So, of course, it can be said that Darlene loved her music! And then, there were her collections of unicorns and Teddy Bears and her one favourite doll. White Gerber Daisies and egg salad sandwiches (even though she couldn’t eat eggs) were other favourites of Darlene’s. Special memories were created by picking up chicken and taters (potato wedges) at the store and proceeding to Sulphur Springs with the grand and great-grandchildren.
As illness set in, Darlene’s daughter Michelle became her primary caregiver. They were really close and were very important in each other’s lives. Michelle also became a PSW and worked at Parkview where Darlene spent her remaining days.

Sadly, Darlene Marjorie Caskenette of Chesley, passed away at Parkview Manor, Chesley on Monday, March 5, 2018 in her 61st year.

Loving mother of Michelle Caskenette (Steve Ernest) and Darlene Caskenette. Cherished grandmother of Kimberly Eavers, Ashley and Katelyn Caskenette, Victoria and Dominick Ernest and Ryan, Nathan and Benjamin Caskenette and great-grandmother of Lily, Violet, Mikayla, Jasmine and Marcus. Darlene will be dearly missed by her sister Joan’s family, Bill, John, Cathy, Sheila, Brandon, Laura and their families. She was predeceased by her great-granddaughter Holly Pollard, sister Joan Stephen, brother Jerry Pinder and her parents Walter and Agnes (O’Brien) Pinder.

A memorial service honouring Darlene’s life will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Friday, March 16, 2018 at 1 p.m. with visitation one hour prior to the service.

Memorial donations to Parkview Manor Residents Fund would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Send to friend
Helen Holt
March 14, 2018
Thinking of you and your family at this time xo memories are forever in our heart.. Mom will truly be missed xo
RoseAnn McCulloch
March 14, 2018
I’m sorry for you loss. Your Mom will be miss . My deepest sympathy to you and the family
Brenda Misch
March 14, 2018
sincerest sympathies on the loss of your dear mom and grandmother
Carol white
March 11, 2018
Michelle and famiy,i''m so sorry to hear of Darlenes passing she was a great person may she R.I.P.
March 10, 2018
My condolences
Teresa Tibbo
March 9, 2018
My condolences. You and your family are in my thoughts.
Jean Brow
March 7, 2018
Dear friend Im sorry for your loss.Mom will be missed dearly. My deepest sympathy to you and your family
Melissa Klerks
March 7, 2018
Losing a loved one is never easy. My condolences to you all. Know she will be safe up there along side my grandma Donna. Rest in peace Darlene.
Susie Laver
March 7, 2018
I am so sorry for your loss Michelle I am thinking about you and sending my love and condolences
jody gardiner
March 7, 2018
Michelle. I am so truly sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. I'm glad I had the pleasure of meeting her, and will remember what a kind soul she was. Lots of love to you and your family at this most difficult time.

Carole Woods
March 7, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with Michelle and family during this difficult time. Darlene will be missed.
April Wilson
March 7, 2018
My deepest sympathy
Robin Hahn
March 7, 2018
Thoughts and prayers for your family during this sad time

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There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

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It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

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“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

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Carol Golem

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Roberta Godwin

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Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

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Elaine King

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Rebecca Becker

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Bernice Frook

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Susan Taylor

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Valerie Long

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Susan Laver

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Steve Thomson

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Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

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Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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