Russell Golem

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Russell Rudolph was born on September 23, 1922 on the Christian Lipskie homestead, on Sideroad 7, in Sullivan Township. His parents, Rudolph and Tina (Lipskie) Golem, mixed farmed and later operated the Peabody General Store. In time, Russell welcomed younger siblings Marion and Ken. He attended school at S.S. #10 Sullivan before returning to the farm to help his dad. In his own words, "farming was my life."

In addition to helping his parents, Russell also helped his neighbours on their farms, which was coming practice in those days. In his late teens Russell was introduced to one Margaret Wilhelmina Alles at a dance in Elmwood, who was a distant cousin of Marian's husband, Mel Janke. The young couple went on a couple dates, however Russell was involved with the harvest excursion. It was the early 1940's and he headed west, to Alberta during the harvest season to work. His pay? $7 per day! This distance did not affect his relationship with Margaret as he wrote to her often. Upon returning home their relationship blossomed and the two were wed on June 5, 1948 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Elmwood.

They soon took up residence on his parent’s former farm, where Russell mixed farmed. He had cattle, pigs, chickens and also separated cream. Their family expanded in 1951 with the arrival of Brenda, then Gerald in 1955 and finally Kevin in 1960. Russell kept busy on the farm and eventually expanded their operation to 300 acres. The kids all had their chores, helping dad and mom in the day-to-day activities on the farm. It was indeed an entire family effort.

When not farming, Russell enjoyed dancing. He and Margaret frequented many of dances over the years, but most Saturday nights in the summer were reserved for the dance in Sauble Beach. He also liked to go Sucker fishing in the spring months, collecting sap for maple syrup and hikes in the great outdoors. The Golem family enjoyed hosting relatives from the KW area and always took the time to visit them in return. When limited to the farm he had an extreme fondness for his animals, tractors (especially his 47' 9N Ford and Case 300) and who could forget in the early years his team of horses. No Sunday was complete without a trip to his parents at the Peabody Store, to catch up on the local gossip or a picnic lunch and a Sunday afternoon drive. 

In 1974, Russell and Margaret sold the farm and began to downsize. They reduced their acreage to 150 and built a new home on Sideroad 8. It was during this time that Russell also began driving school bus, a commitment he held for the next 15 years. On the farm Russel took to raising sheep and stocker calves. He continued to farm in this fashion until he fully retired in 1987.

Russell's faith was extremely important to him. He was baptized, confirmed (1938) and spent his full 95 years of life attending and supporting St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Sullivan. Over the years he spent time on church council, acted as recording treasurer, secretary and was a member of the cemetery board to name a few. In his younger days he was involved in Luther League and he and Margaret were proud members of the Happy Couples Club. Amazingly, Russell's great-grandchildren are the 7th generation of Golems to attend St. Peter's Lutheran Church. What an accomplishment!

In his retirement, Russell still enjoyed taking in farm life and spent countless hours looking out at the land through his patio doors. He also passed the time by watching game shows on TV, along with Westerns, Bonanza, Ed Sullivan and hockey on Saturday nights. No day was complete without getting his hands on the newspaper and catching up on the daily news.

Russell was a gentle, quiet spoken man, who instilled his ethics and values to his family. These traits will live on in his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren for many years to come.

Sadly, declining health forced Russell to move into Brucelea Haven in January of 2017. Here he lived out his remaining days with the love and support of his family. He passed away on Monday, May 28, 2018 at the age of 95.

Beloved husband of Margaret. Cherished father of Brenda Nicholson (Dave Black) of R.R. #2 Tara, Gerald of R.R. #4 Chesley and Kevin (Patti) of Lake Rosalind. Russell will be sadly missed by his grandchildren Grant, Scott (Amy), Jennifer, Trevor (Julia), Jessie and Emily, great-grandchildren Anna, William, Dominie and his sister-in-law Anne Golem. He was predeceased by his daughter-in-law Mary Golem, son-in-law Bob Nicholson, sister Marion (Mel) Janke, brother Ken Golem, brothers-in-law Melvin (Wanda) Alles, Eldon (Annie) Alles and his parents Rudolph and Tina (Lipskie) Golem.

The family will receive friends at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Thursday evening from 7 - 9 p.m. A funeral service will be held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Sullivan (#682006 Concession 8 – two miles south of Desboro) on Friday, June 1, 2018 at 2 p.m. Interment in St. Peter’s Lutheran Cemetery, Sullivan.

Memorial donations to the Building Fund of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church or Owen Sound Regional Hospital Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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Jim & Judy Sloan
June 10, 2018
Sincere sympathy on the loss of your husband Margaret. The boys really enjoyed Russell being their bus driver. you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Susan Galbraith
June 2, 2018
My deepest sympathy to all at the loss of your Dadand Grandfather. It has been a very long road that you all have had to travel in the last while but know others walk with you in your loss.
Kathy Weber
May 31, 2018
Dear Patti & Kevin My sincere sympathy is extended to you folks at this sad time in your lives. Your memories of Mr. Golem will keep him alive in your hearts. Sincerely Kathy Weber (Janet Butchart's sister from St Thomas ON
Elda Mae Knapp
May 30, 2018
Margaret and family
Thinking of you at this sad time.
I have many fond memories of the time we all hung out at Peabody store.
Karen and Jim Siegrist
May 29, 2018
Sorry to hear of your loss. A long life with many memories to cling to. Our thoughts are with you. Karen and Jim.
David Golem
May 29, 2018
Dear Margaret and family. I am saddened to hear of Russell's passing. I send my sympathy and love to all. May you draw strength from the knowledge that his life was long and productive, and that you have a wonderful family to carry on his memory.
Ed Golem
May 29, 2018
Dear Margaret and family. Please receive my sincere condolences on the passing of your husband and father. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the funeral due to another commitment.

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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.

Reta Steward

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

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

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“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

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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“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

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Dave Hillier

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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

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Debbie Eidt

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