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Elroy Thomson

Rhody Family Funeral Home

“Life’s greatest blessing is family. A group that dreams, laughs, plays, works, and loves together. Those whom you can always count on. Always present not only in the good times. The most precious gift.”

Robert Elroy was born to proud parents Robert and Marion (Smart) Thomson on Tuesday, November 7, 1944. Elroy became a big brother to Harold (1946), Ron (1951), Joan (1958) and Brad (1962). The Thomson family grew up on a mixed farm on the 6th of Elderslie and as soon as they were born, the hard work began. For the little he went to school, he attended the Red Schoolhouse (SS#6 Elderslie). Elroy had a hard time concentrating on school when there were tasks to be completed on the farm. From the moment Elroy could walk, he started helping with the chores. He helped with milking the 10 cows they owned, as well as running equipment from a young age. In fact, when he was only 6 years old, he was already running a combine! Pretty incredible for someone that young!!

While working on the farm, Elroy worked at his dad’s sawmill and also worked doing construction. Elroy started working for Sandy’s Construction. This job took him all over and allowed him to meet many different people. Every Friday, Elroy and his best friend would stop in at the Dairy Bar in Paisley for supper on their way home from the jobsite. The cook and owner, Helen Beech, treated them well, always cooking them up a steak, even though it wasn’t on the menu! Helen’s daughter Bonnie-Jean was her extra set of hands in the restaurant, and every Friday when the crew would stop in for supper, Elroy and Bonnie became more acquainted. The two started dating in November of 1974, and were married shortly thereafter on July 19, 1975 at the Paisley United Church. Elroy and Bonnie moved to the home farm on the 6th of Elderslie after their wedding. Not long after the wedding on December 19, Elroy was in an accident at work and was laid up in the hospital. It took him close to two years to learn to walk again, which was hard for someone who is always on the go. Once he was mobile, Elroy’s passion for farming led him and Bonnie out west so he could work on the fields combining. They remained here for 6 months, until Bonnie told Elroy “I’m getting in the car and I’m going back home, are you coming??” Even though Elroy would still be out there now if he could, he went with Bonnie and moved back to Elderslie. Smart man!!!!

When Elroy and Bonnie moved back to Chesley, he started working for Robert’s Farm Equipment in Walkerton. In 1978, Elroy and Bonnie welcomed their son Scott, followed by Carol in 1981. Not long after his kids were born, Elroy began doing property maintenance and snow removal. Through his connections working in construction and Robert’s, he was able to build up his clientele and made many new friends and he loved being his own boss. While he was busy with property maintenance and snow removal, he was also working at the Arran Elderslie Municipal Landfill site. Elroy had many side jobs through the years. There weren’t many jobs he didn’t have. He drove stock trucks and worked with scrap. Through working all these jobs, he continued his work on the farm, having many different animals over the years and cash cropping. Elroy never officially retired as he always had many jobs. It was too hard on him to be at home sitting still, so he began one of his favourite jobs, driving his Mennonite friends to different appointments or errands. He loved the social aspect as he loved to talk, but also loved driving to different areas of Bruce County. To say Elroy was a workaholic was an understatement. He loved to work and do anything that would help provide for his family. If something needed to be done, Elroy was the one to call. He never turned down an opportunity to work with his hands or to take something apart and figure out how to put it back together. Through all his hard work, he had his roadblocks as he experienced many injuries from a broken back, two broken hands, hip replacements, and breaking his legs.

Elroy enjoyed collecting antique tractors and cars, attending local steam shows and cattle auctions and sales. He spent a lot of time with his gypsy friends camping and enjoying all the music. Elroy loved going out for breakfast and going to McDonald’s for coffee. He would go ten times a day if he could!! He enjoyed a good grilled cheese sandwich with ham, roast beef and mashed potato dinner, dark ripe bananas, and peanut butter! Elroy enjoyed his pop, his love of tools, watching and riding the MS Chi-Cheemaun. The only time you would find Elroy sitting still was when he was sitting at the front window with his binoculars to see what was going on in the neighbourhood, watching the nightly news or Family Feud. If you didn’t see him in his window watching the events in the country, he was driving around in his green bug patrolling Chesley. Elroy was most intrigued by fuel prices! He had a tendency to ask, “what’s the gas price, where did you buy your gas from, and what did you pay for it??”

More than anything in his life, family was the most important and only thing that mattered in Elroy’s life. His wife, kids and granddaughters were his pride and joy and meant everything to him. His family was his top priority. The most important thing he taught his kids and grandkids was work hard and love your family. He was proud of the close-knit family bond they created. Watching his kids and then his two granddaughters Vanessa and Alexa grow up was the most rewarding thing he ever could have received. When Elroy was diagnosed with aggressive liver cancer on October 15 of this year, it was one of the hardest things the family has ever gone through. The closeness of the family continued, having at least one of them beside him until he passed away on Sunday, December 18, 2022, at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley in his 79th year.

Beloved husband of Bonnie-Jean (Beech). Loving father of Scott and Carol, both of Chesley and cherished grandfather of Vanessa and Alexa Hamel. Elroy will be dearly missed by his siblings Harold (Mary Hallam), Ron (Linda), Joan Gibbons, and Brad (Darlene) and Bonnie’s siblings Norma (George) Klages, Jo-Anne (Dale) Buhr, and Ron Beech (Kim Samuels). Elroy will be missed by many nieces, nephews, cousins, and his special four-legged granddaughter Bella. He was predeceased by his parents Robert and Marion (Smart) Thomson and his in-laws Earl & Helen Beech.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Friday, January 6, 2023 from 4-9 p.m. A funeral service celebrating Elroy’s life will be held at the Klages Mill, Chesley, on Saturday, January 7, 2023 at 11 a.m., followed by fellowship. Spring inurnment at St. Andrew’s Cemetery, Elderslie Township.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society or Diabetes Canada would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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