Sandi’s Early Years…
Sandra Isabel was born on Friday, September 14, 1951 in Chesley to parents Carlyle “Bob” and Muriel (Weldrick) Angel. The Angel family resided on Ann St. in Tara with Sandi being the oldest of six children. In time she was joined by younger siblings Ben (1953), Bill (1956), Brad (1958), Karen (1959), and last but not least, Bruce (1971). In her childhood Sandi enjoyed passing the time skating, skipping, and playing hopscotch. She also liked fishing and camping with her family as well as baking in the kitchen. Sandi also liked her music, and even admitted to enjoying lip singing…. however, only when she was alone! She attended public school in Tara before enrolling in high school in Chesley. She made spending money by babysitting, working in a nursing home as well as the Tara restaurant. The fact that the restaurant had a jukebox didn’t hurt either, Sandi loved the music and entertainment it provided.
When attending high school, Sandi was introduced to a young man by the name of Chuck Thomson. Sandi left high school early (though she would be back) and the young couple were married in 1970. They settled in Tara and welcomed their daughter, Rhonda “Rhoda”, later that year. The Thomsons later called Kilsyth home for a short period of time before building a new home in Allenford. Robert “Rob” completed their family with his arrival in 1975. A couple of years later, the family relocated to Chesley, before Chuck and Sandi separated.
Sandi soon found work at the grocery store in Chesley where she would meet a co-worker by the name of Ella Tibbo…
Bill’s Early Years…
William Douglas was welcomed into this world on Thursday, February 28, 1957, by his parents Walter and Ella (MacDonald) Tibbo. The Tibbo family resided in Chesley and Bill was welcomed by older siblings Betty (1948), Bonnie (1951), and Bob (1955). The 5 B’s were made complete with the arrival of Brad in 1963. The Tibbos were educated at Chesley Public before moving onto Chesley District High School. It should not be a big surprise to learn that Bill occasionally got into trouble during his youth. In fact, I am told he was asked not to return to high school in Chesley at one point. He soon enrolled at Walkerton District High School, but unfortunately hadn’t put all his troubles behind him and was soon told by his bus driver Mr. Beckenhauer (Scot’s dad!) that he was no longer welcome on the bus either! Needless to say, Bill never finished high school but instead headed out into the workforce.
After a few local jobs, Bill soon settled in Kitchener and took a job at Waterloo Spinning Mills. Although a distance from home, he still liked to come home to visit family and friends on the weekend. How would he get to and from Kitchener, you ask? Well, hitchhike, of course!
On one such visit home, a young woman caught his eye at The Harb. This woman happened to work at the grocery store with his mother, Ella. When Ella heard this, she immediately told Bill “You stay away from that Sandi, she’s a nice girl!”. Just what you would expect to hear from your mother, right? In true Bill-fashion, he did the exact opposite of what he was told and closely followed Sandi. He would probably agree that he was relentless in his pursuit, even admitting later to his granddaughters that these days, “they’d probably call it stalking”. But hey, if you want something in life, you better go after it—and that is exactly what Bill did!
In the early 80’s Sandi knew that Bill was interested in her, to say it nicely. Her top priority at this time however was her children, and she was very protective. On a quiet weekend, when the kids were spending time with their father, Sandi finally agreed to a night out with Bill. It should be no surprise that she had a fun evening and the two began to see each other regularly afterward. In the months following, their relationship grew stronger and they eventually married on Saturday, July 23, 1983, at Tara United Church.
Once married, Sandi and the kids moved to Kitchener with Bill. While the kids were in school, Sandi worked at a hair salon, The Bay, and a telecommunications company. It was during this time, as well, that Scot joined the family. In 1990, Bill, Sandi, and Rob returned to the Chesley area. Sandi and Rob briefly attended Chesley District School (together!), where Sandi graduated grade 12 the same year Rhoda graduated college. Bill found local work with Flesh Con, Saugeen Road Spraying, CBM, and Millers, before joining the Teamsters Union in 2008. Sandi worked at the Bluewater District School Board where she was a Media Specialist. She enjoyed this position and often took her granddaughters, Emily and Sarah, on purchasing (not shopping) trips where she encouraged them to tell her what they would like to see in their classrooms. Sandi remained in this position until her retirement in 2014. From 2009 – 2015 Bill worked regularly in the west, with most of his time spent in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Even though he was far away for work, he was in constant contact with Rob, Scot, and his girls; was home frequently with gifts and stories; and even flew his girls out for a holiday to the West Edmonton Mall. He also had seasonal contracts and joined the Operator’s Union in 2014. Most recently, he worked for Walker Industries and remained there until a minor stroke in February of 2020. Although a setback, Bill took the bull by the horns and made drastic changes in his life. He made major changes to his diet, which included not eating a whole bag of cookies in one sitting. In fact, the Heart & Stroke Foundation invited him to speak publicly about his recovery to inspire others.
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Sandi always put her family first. She was close with all her siblings, was a loving mother and best friend to her children, and shone as a grandmother. She always made everyone around her feel SO special! She was caring, responsible, and never mad… well, Bill could push her buttons on occasion. She was also extremely reliable and was a DD (designated driver) for her teenagers and big kids alike (and their friends), with no questions asked. She was a role model for many, and always made the best of every situation.
Bill, on the other hand, said what was on his mind, even if you didn’t want to hear it. If you were on his good side, he would do ANYTHING for you, but if you got on his bad side…watch out! He was very protective of those close to him and cared so deeply for Sandi, his family, and friends. Emily and Sarah had him wrapped around their fingers and he would bend over backwards to give them the world. He taught them how to ride a bike… and a pony! You know how all little girls want a pony for Christmas? Well, Bill made sure his granddaughters actually got one. Let’s not kid anyone, Bill was crazy at times, but he was completely unforgettable. If you met Bill Tibbo, there’s a good chance you never forgot him, and he never forgot you. More importantly, he would always go out of his way to help anyone in need. Finally, he was undeniably the best hugger EVER!
In her free time, Sandi enjoyed a nice walk, drive, or day at the beach. She loved the water and enjoyed swimming. When making a hotel reservation, a pool was a must! The toy store was her most important stop on her bus trips with Rhoda. On television, “her stories”, the Young & the Restless, as well as Say Yes to the Dress, Extreme Home Makeover and any Christmas movie were always on the must-watch list. Her granddaughters have fond memories of renting the same movie every weekend when they had sleepovers with Sandi. Even though they had seen the movie a hundred times, Sandi never complained—she enjoyed every minute of the time with her girls. Truly, Sandi was not just their grandmother but their friend. Emily and Sarah recall an occasion where grandma wanted to show them how to dance. The song, Honky Tonk Badonkadonk came over the radio in the car and Sandi abruptly stopped the car and proceeded to get out of the vehicle and show the girls how to shake their hips. Imagine! When it came to food, her favourite dish was her mother’s Christmas plum pudding, and a nice turkey dinner was a close second. She had a weakness, however, for French fries, and more recently, McDonald’s coffee. She and Bill were known to go to McDonalds regularly where Sandi would buy five coffees at a time—two of them decaf. They were all for Sandi as Bill made his own coffee at home. If you were to open their fridge, you would probably see a coffee or three waiting for Sandi. When they were all consumed, it meant another trip to Hanover! Sandi was also an avid reader. Her go-to’s were Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts, however, her Bible was always nearby and read regularly. Sandi enjoyed attending church and even sang in the church choir. Sandi was also fond of angels and collected a variety of them through the years. She, too, was an Angel (ha ha!) but I am told that didn’t always apply when she was in Cuba!
Bill had many hobbies and interests as well, however, he liked to “rough it” a bit more. He enjoyed snowmobiling with his sons, riding his Harley, and going for cruises with Sandi in his beloved 66′ Chrysler Windsor. Bill was an avid fisherman, and always looked forward to the boys’ fishing trip down the Saugeen every August long weekend. A tradition that began in 1978… and he never missed a year. He packed light as he never slept under a tent, but instead preferred au natural and in worse case scenarios, a Billy-special, where he concocted a unique set-up with a tarp as his only protection from the elements. In addition, no Saturday night was complete without a game of cards, Bingo Bango, at Old Fart’s shop! At home, Bill loved action movies, and in fact, watched nothing but until recently when the boys on the bike trip convinced him to watch a comedy…and he actually enjoyed it—go figure! He even enjoyed “B” movies or low-budget productions—any action movie was a good one! Bill also liked watching and participating in sports, particularly hockey and curling. When it came to food, Bill had a sweet tooth—especially for butter tarts—but one thing he couldn’t live without was Pepsi. Let’s put it this way, if there was only Coke available, it was in your best interest to lie and tell Bill it was Pepsi. As a running joke, his family often told servers this before they took Bill’s order. Finally, let’s talk about Ketchup. Bill put Ketchup on his Ketchup… okay, enough said! Bill was also known for his talents as a roller—sorry, I’m not referring to a rolling pin here, we’re talking about Marijuana. Let’s just say many enjoyed a “high” night with the help of Bill’s hands! But Bill wasn’t only a master roller, he was also a master gardener with a “green” thumb…if you know what I mean.
Over the years Sandi tried her hand at a few different business ventures with success. In November and December, for seven years in a row, she operated a Christmas store in downtown Chesley. Each year usually meant a different location where she enjoyed interacting with her customers and making people smile. But of course, no matter what store she was in, she made sure the shop had a separate room in the back where Emily and Sarah could play and watch movies while she worked. In her retirement, she operated the concession booth at the Chesley arena—and made the best peameal sandwiches! Her hot chocolate warmed many fingers while her friendly smile and conversation warmed hearts.
One of Bill and Sandi’s favourite pass-times together was playing marbles (A.K.A. Aggravation) with friends. They also loved going on holidays together. Many stories were told of their times in Hepworth at Whispering Pines campground at the Tibbo family trailer. In 2020, they bought their own RV (Bill was the preferred driver!), and in this short period, they took in several sites around Ontario. Only weeks ago, the couple travelled to New Brunswick to visit Bill’s sister, Betty.
When the pandemic hit, like all of us, Bill and Sandi had to spend more time at home. Luckily for them, their favourite place was their back deck and gardens, and they enjoyed it daily, rain or shine. Bill had spent many hours perfecting their backyard oasis and was even recognized by the Horticultural Society in local news for his hard work and eye for landscaping. Bill might have softened a bit during this time period as well, as I am told the two of them went for pedicures together on more than one occasion. Remember gentlemen, happy wife, happy life! These difficult times were not lost by Sandi and Bill and they were quick to acknowledge how lucky they had it, and throughout the pandemic even made it a point to have a dance together every day! They truly made the best of every day.
On Thursday, October 7th, Bill and Sandi were travelling to spend the Thanksgiving weekend together, with Max of course, in the beautiful wilderness of the north. As most of us can attest, they rarely went anywhere without Max and Tilly, prior to Tilly’s passing last year. Sadly, a weekend with the best of intentions ended before it even began when Bill, Sandi, and Max died in an automobile accident on route. Beautiful souls taken too early. There are and always will be many unanswered questions, however, Bill and Sandi would never want this one event to define their lives. They would want the memories of happier times to bring smiles to the faces of the people they loved. Today, we give thanks for what they taught us: unconditional love.
Sarah might have said it best, “they were ours, but more than that, we were theirs”. Please support one another through this difficult time and try to take comfort in the fact that we now have two more guardian angels looking out for us!
Beloved parents and best friends of Rhoda (Scot) Beckenhauer of Elmwood and Rob Thomson of Chesley. Cherished grandparents of Emily and Sarah Beckenhauer. Sandi was the loving sister of Ben (Trudy) Angel, Bill (Nancy) Angel, Brad (Kathy) Angel, Karen (Al) Barfoot, and Bruce (Jana) Angel. Bill will be dearly missed by his siblings Betty Steeves, Bonnie Kunkel, Bob (Trish), and Brad (Jayne). They will be fondly remembered by their many nieces, nephews, extended family, friends as well as their entire community.
A come and go celebration of Sandi and Bill’s life will be held at the Dave Spencer Memorial Pavilion, Chesley (near the arena) on Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 1 – 3 p.m. All are welcome! Please dress for the weather. Private inurnment in Chesley Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or Chesley Hospital Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.