Harold was a kind, honest and gentle man, blessed with amazing patience.
Harold absolutely loved life on the farm. Whether it was stories from his younger days or more recently living through his family’s stories of their current experiences, if the farm was mentioned he was all ears. Thankfully, many of these experiences and stories will live on through his children and grandchildren for many years to come.
Harold John Louis was born at home on the farm, on the 8th of Brant, on April 20, 1925 to parents Harvey and Anna (Misch) Wilkin. His only sibling, Helen was born four years to the day, in 1929. Harold attended school at S.S. #6 in Brant Township. Following school he was introduced to beekeeping when he took a job in Pinkerton working for Mr. Garland. This became a life long passion for him as he continued to be an active beekeeper into his 70’s when he was forced to give it up as he developed an allergy to bees. Harold then took up farming full time working with his father on the family farm. In the early years Harold learned a variety of skills from his father that remained with him throughout his life.
In the early 1950’s Harold attended a Luther League event in Neustadt, where he met Isabel Catherine Wiseman. On June 26, 1952 they were married at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Normanby Township. Harold and Isabel’s family soon began to grow with the arrivals of Brenda (1953), Mary Ann (1955), John (1956) twins Eric and Elaine (1958) Janice (1959) and Susan (1961).
Harold’s farm operation included a bit of everything like most farms did in those days, a variety of livestock and a large garden. Harold and Isabel supported each other, and that was all that mattered to Harold. He spent a number of years doing mixed farming before turning his focus to beef. Life on the farm was a family affair and everyone had their jobs. As well as farming Harold spent time as a salesman for Forney Welders and other shop equipment. Over time Harold became knowledgeable at various trades and became an accomplished handyman. If something needed to be done around the farm, Harold was sure to try his hand at it. Construction, welding, electrical… you name it, he did it. Like most of his era, Harold knew the importance of keeping things as you never knew when you might need them.
When time allowed it, Harold enjoyed woodworking, hunting and fishing. He was also quite the dancer and enjoyed being hand in hand with his beautiful bride moving gracefully around the dance floor. The kids have many fond memories of their dad. The stories confirm just how loving and creative of a man he was. Harold loved animals, those he cared for while farming and those he valued as companions. Farm neighbours and extended family were very important to him. They often assisted each other with farming activities.
In the early 90’s Harold and Isabel moved off the farm and into Hanover. He continued to go to the farm on a regular basis to lend a helping hand where ever he could. While Harold was a true home body, retirement did provide him the opportunity to do some roaming. He experienced Northern Ontario and Algonquin Park, Cleveland, a motorhome trip to St. Louis, a road trip to Winnipeg, time at the Sweiger Cottage in Pike Bay, and the times at Point Clarke just to name a few. Harold enjoyed watching the news and reading the newspapers. He always looked forward family and friends visiting and joining them in their home for meals and fellowship. Everyone knew they were always welcome.
Harold’s faith played an important part in his life as he was a life long member of the Lutheran Church. Through the years he assisted with a variety of tasks, which included leading Sunday School, serving as a member of the church council and overseeing a church addition in the 1960’s. In more recent years, when his health no longer allowed him to attend in person, Harold tuned in every Sunday morning via television, never missing a Sunday.
After 27 years at their home in Hanover, Harold and Isabel moved to McVean Lodge in 2018. There, they continued to enjoy constant interactions with family and friends, never wanting to miss out on an occasion or a new development within the family. Sadly, Harold suffered a stroke a week before he died. Although limited physically during this time, Harold enjoyed the constant love and support of his family. Stories were told of years gone by, there was laughter and tears, and even some Facetime to connect with those that could not visit due to the pandemic. Harold loved his family dearly, and they knew it. He passed away on Monday, September 21, 2020 in his 96th year with family by his side. His great life and legacy will now live on in the stories and memories of his beloved family.
Beloved husband of Isabel (Wiseman). Loving father of Brenda (Ross) McLean of Chesley, Mary Ann (Steve) Molnar of Hanover, John (Eva) of R.R. #1 Elmwood, Eric (Pat) of Hanover, Janice (Todd) Sweiger of R.R. #2, Dobbinton and Susan (Paul) VanderVoort of Waterloo. Cherished grandfather of Matthew, Steven (Sara), Stephanie (Trevor), Sara (Justin), Jonathan (Erica), Greg (Tori), Ryan (Andrea), Leann (Steve), Kelly (Kyle), Lindsay (Joel), Scott (Vanessa), Kenzie (Alyssa), Kayla (Nicole), Karlee (Mark) and great grandfather of Owen, Abby, Theron, Emre, Madeline, Bauer, Tucker, Olive, Evelyn, Maggie, Jack, Devin, Lana, Landon, Katie, Olivia, Avery, Isla and Banks. Harold will be dearly missed by his sister Helen Spitzig of Walkerton as well as the entire Wiseman family. He was predeceased by his infant daughter Elaine (1959) and parents Harvey and Anna (Misch) Wilkin.
A private funeral service will be held at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Elmwood on Friday, September 25, 2020 with interment to follow in Hanover Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to SickKids Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.