John Farrow

Rhody Family Funeral Home

“Farming is not just a job, it is a way of life.”


John loved life on the farm. From a young age, he knew he was going to be a farmer and enjoyed helping his parents around the farm. Over the years, this passion only grew, as he immersed his children, and then his grandchildren in this lifestyle. These countless memories and stories will now live on in the storytelling of his family and friends for generations to come. Just as the family farm has!

John Martin was born at home, on the family farm, on Lot 6, Concession 5 of Sullivan Township on April 24, 1937. He was the eldest child of Russel and Violet “May” (McNabb) Farrow and was soon joined by younger siblings Gary, Glenn, and Mary Lu. John was the 3rd generation to live and work on the family farm. He attended the Beatty School nearby, before moving onto high school at OSCVI in Owen Sound.

From a young age, it wasn’t hard to tell that John was drawn to life on the farm. In fact, he was born to farm. One of his first big personal achievements occurred in 1955 as a member of the local 4-H Club, when John won Grand Champion Steer at the Royal Winter Fair. However, he was encouraged to go out and explore the world and headed “Down Country” with a group of local lads to get some life experience. He lived it up but also learned many valuable life lessons along the way that he eventually took back to the farm. He began by working at an asphalt plant at Nelson Crushed Stone in Mount Nemo. Then later trained as a welder. It was during this time that he purchased his first car as well, a 1953 Ford Convertible. In 1956, while attending a local dance in Waterdown, John was introduced to a young woman by the name of Eleanor Margaret Powell. Truth be told, John wasn’t a big dancer, but he didn’t fail to impress that evening and the young couple soon began dating. Their courtship continued until August 5, 1961 when John and Eleanor were married at St. George’s Anglican Church in Lowville. In the years spanning 1958 – 1963. John enjoyed building and racing stock cars at the CNE with his friend Roger Schultz. However, though he spent several years away from the farm it kept drawing him back and it was soon decided that he and Eleanor would return to the family farm.

They purchased the family farm in 1964. John soon created a partnership with his father and brother, whereby they established Farrow Farms. They quickly moved away from mixed farming and soon began finishing beef cattle. At one point they operated three feedlots with 1,500 head of cattle. No small accomplishment. The Farrow family soon began to grow with the arrival of Robert in 1967, Michael (1970), and Karin (1973). Sadly, John experienced a setback in 1972 when the barn burnt, however, he was quick to reposition, rebuild, and establish a drainage business partnership with his family. By 1985, the family corporation split into two parts, one focused on farming and the other drainage. John spent the spring, summer, and fall working on the farm, with the winter months often devoted to drainage and machinery repairs.

John loved working with his hands. When not busy on the farm or with the drainage business he was always building something. He never liked throwing anything away, and therefore usually had a lot of material at his disposal. In fact, he built his own front-end loader from scratch, no simple feat. Most evenings John returned to the shop after dinner or once the kids were in bed and continued to work away at a variety of projects.

It was not all work and no play for John though. He enjoyed curling in Desboro and snowmobiling in the winter months with family and friends. He also kept busy by running the kids to a variety of sports over the years. In 1974, he and Eleanor purchased a cottage at Williams Lake. It was here that his children and later grandchildren were able to experience many fun adventures with John, along with playing on and with many of his toys. There are countless stories of boat, seadoo, snowmobile, mini-bike, and 4-wheeling adventures with dad and grandpa throughout the years. In 1989, Eleanor and John purchased a condo in Redington Beach, Florida. However, I am told the limitations of condo life were not for John and they soon purchased the “Florida Cottage” in nearby Redington Shores in the early 1990’s. Each year John and Eleanor headed south for a few months in the winter, always returning for Christmas and Easter. Many times, their neighbours, the children, their spouses, and the grandchildren would come down for a holiday and a visit, whereby countless memories were made. During his time in Florida, John also enjoyed attending a variety of bluegrass festivals. However, by the beginning of April, he was calling home regularly to get weather updates, as by this time he was anxious to get home!

In 2000, the drainage company was dissolved and John took over the corporation and the farm operation. Mike soon joined him, beginning the 4th generation on the family farm. John and Eleanor then moved off the home farm, and settled a couple of miles to the northwest on one of their pasture farms in Derby Township. John came home to sleep and eat, but the remainder of the time was usually found working, building or fixing something at the farm. In his younger years, John enjoyed working with the cattle. However, as he aged he found that he was in his element driving tractor. He was very particular about his machinery too. He was a Case man, so everything was red, and he took great pride in caring for and maintaining his farm machinery.

John was a kind, fair, and calm man who had a great sense of humour. He loved all his family fully, especially the grandkids. They all knew if mom, dad, or maybe even Grandma said “NO” ask Grandpa! All his grandchildren were very special to him and he took them on a variety of memorable adventures. There were the excursions to pick apples, whereby Grandpa often let them ride in the back of the truck, and the times that John let them drive the boat. Who could forget the boat trips to Shell Island, shelling, water skiing, and even McDonalds (yes, you read that right) in Florida. In 1993 he bought a 1990 Chrysler Convertible (his Florida ride) and enjoyed giving the kids rides when they were down for visits. Back at home, most visits to the farm meant a trip outside with the kids to explore. Back inside, Grandpa was known for his fried Bologna and sharing his ice cream and gum (but only half a stick) with his grandchildren. He and Eleanor enjoyed traveling the countryside to take in all of the grandkids sporting events whenever they could. Thankfully, these memories and many more will allow John’s memory and life to live on for years to come.

In May of 2015, John suffered a massive heart attack that would forever change his life. Unfortunately, this setback forced him to step back from farming and Mike took over the Farrow Farms operation. But as the saying goes, “You can take the man off the farm, but you can’t take the farm out of the man!” and John was no exception. Although limited physically, he continued to pass on his knowledge, expertise, and experiences to those around him. In February of 2019 he experienced another setback that required emergency surgery in Florida. He came home by air ambulance to Wiarton Airport and was transferred to Chesley Hospital. Sadly his physical body began to fail him. The constant love and support of Eleanor, his family and friends allowed him to remain at home, and together they made the most of each day. John died at home, on the farm, surrounded by his loving family, on Monday, December 21, 2020 at the age of 83.

Beloved husband of Eleanor (Powell). Loving father of Rob of Vancouver, Mike (Lisa) of R.R. #3 Chatsworth, and Karin (Mike) McLeod of R.R. #1 Paisley. He will live on in the hearts, minds, and stories of his grandchildren, Alisha, Renee, and Brooke Farrow, Conor, Evan, Rowan, and Quinn McLeod. Brother of Gary, Glenn, and Mary Lu (Al) Albright. John will also be fondly remembered by the entire Farrow and Powell families. He was predeceased by his parents Russel and Violet “May” (McNabb) Farrow.

John took his final tractor ride from the family farm to his final resting place at Keward Cemetery where a service honouring John’s life was held on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. Inurnment followed.

Memorial donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation or the charity of your choice would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy. 

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52 Condolences
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Bill and Kay Christie
January 1, 2021

Eleanor, Rob, Mike, Karin and families.
So sorry to hear that John passed away. He fought a hard battle. We knew him well through the kids’sports. He was a great guy.
We are thinking of you at this most difficult time.

December 30, 2020

Dear Eleanor and Family,
Please accept our sincere sympathy. It has been a long road and he has earned his rest. Jim and Sharrie Brick

George and Nancy Maxwell
December 30, 2020

Mike, Lisa and family, our sincere condolences on the loss of your dad. He will be missed by all.

Fraser and Flo Pringle
December 28, 2020

Sorry to hear of John’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Sincerely, Helen & Norm Meneray
December 27, 2020

Eleanor, Mike, Lisa, Karin, Rob and Families,
It is a most difficult loss, at a most difficult time without the faces and hugs from family and friends. We wanted you to know we care. What a wonderful description and tribute to John’s life! Take care of each other. Sincerely,
Helen and Norm

Michelle & Travis Low
December 27, 2020

Our sincere condolences to the whole Farrow family 😌

Judy & Jim Sloan
December 26, 2020

Lisa & Mike & family, sincere sympathy on the loss of your dad. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Tricia Wood
December 26, 2020

My sincere condolences to Mrs. Farrow, Rob, Mike, Karin and families.

Mr. Farrow helped me chose my first car. I will always remember his kind, gentle soul.


Heather Zettle
December 26, 2020

Beautiful words.John lived a wonderful life. Thinking of you all.

Sharon Schmidt
December 26, 2020

My sympathy to the Farrow family – so sorry for your loss!

Nancy (Stewart) Joe and Sierra Poset
December 26, 2020

Eleanor, Rob, Mike, Karin and families – our deepest condolences. We will always remember John’s wonderful smile. May your happy memories of John give you comfort and peace.

Nancy, Joe and Sierra Poset

Harvey and Dorothy Stewart
December 26, 2020

Dear Eleanor, Rob, Mike, Karin and families – please accept our deepest condolences. We have many wonderful memories of John and our families shared so many wonderful times together. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Lori Ann and Donnie MacDonald
December 25, 2020

Aunt Eleanor, Rob, Mike, Karin and families, we are so sorry for your loss and have you in our thoughts.

Lori Ann and Donnie

Kathy Lanham
December 24, 2020

Our sympathies to your whole family!

Garry and Sam Folkerson
December 24, 2020

Our deepest condolences to a man who will be so missed in our community

Garry and Sam Folkerson
December 24, 2020

John Farrow

Yvonne Lembke and Rob Kehoe
December 24, 2020

Our deepest sympathy to the Farrow family.

Jill MacDonald
December 24, 2020

Karin and family. Thinking of you all.

Cathy and Gary Lund
December 24, 2020

Karin, Mike and family, Eleanor and family. Gary and I are sending our sincere sympathies to you on your loss of your beloved Dad and husband. I know that you all have so many wonderful memories that, hopefully, in time, will make this all just a bit easier. Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you. Love Aunt Cathy and Uncle Gary

Dennis Calhoun
December 24, 2020

Sorry to hear of John’s passing. Always a great person to be around. Thinking of you and your family.

Glen & Marilyn Buttenham
December 24, 2020

So sorry to hear, may the love of family and friends surround you all, at this time, we are glad that we reconnected, with you both, after many years. RIP.

Rick King and Family
December 24, 2020

So sorry for your loss Eleanor
Our hearts go out to your entire family

Karen and Greg Schultz
December 24, 2020

We are so sorry to hear of the loss of John, To Eleanor, Karen, Mike, Rob, and the entire Farrow family, we are thinking of you at this time. I have so many great memories of John at the cottage, the baseball diamond, the farm. May he rest peacefully and may the family hold all of the great memories deep in their hearts. Thinking of you.

John and Heather Clarke
December 24, 2020

We are so sorry for your loss Eleanor. You and John were among the first people we got to know when we arrived at Williams Lake and we cherish the memories of how welcome you made us feel. Holding you and the family in our prayers.

Dayle Mannerow
December 23, 2020

Dear Eleanor and family,

So sorry to hear of John’s passing…treasure your memories!

Murray and Ann Legge
December 23, 2020

Our condolences, thinking of all of you at this difficult time.

Bob Cook
December 23, 2020

We are sorry to hear of John’s passing. He will be missed at the Lake!

Bob & Cynthia

Bev Walker
December 23, 2020

I am sorry to hear of John’s passing. My condolences to the family.

Judy Grant
December 23, 2020

Eleanor and family – thinking of you during this sad time.

Tom & Karen Sweiger
December 23, 2020

Eleanor, Rob, Mike, Karin & families. Our sincere condolences to you. Lots of great memories of John. He was passionate about his family, farming and Reddington Shores (Florida). Sorry for your loss.

Jim & Betty Anne East
December 23, 2020

Our deepest condolences to you Eleanor, Rob, Mike & Lisa, Karin & Mike and the grandchildren. Treasure your many family memories. Sincere sympathies from all our families to yours.

Ted and Bernice Potter
December 23, 2020

So sorry to hear about John..sending our condolences to your family. Cherish the memories.

Tracy Harvie
December 23, 2020

Sending our sincere condolences to your family.

Maria Riggin
December 23, 2020

Dear Karin and family,
My sincere condolences to all of you….. May you find peace.

Susan Rowbotham
December 23, 2020

Eleanor and family.
My deepest condolences in the loss of John.

Valerie Long (Walker)
December 23, 2020

My sincere condolences to the family. Keep your memories close to your heart. Stay safe.

Larry Jill Duncan
December 23, 2020

We are so sorry for your loss! We are thinking of all of you at this time.

Gail Fritsch
December 23, 2020

Oh Eleanor. I’m so sorry to see that John passed away. Always remember the good times. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Tanya, Dave, Sam and Jessie Byers
December 23, 2020

We are so sorry for your loss. We are thinking of your family.

Karen (Long) Doyle
December 22, 2020

Eleanor and family.
My deepest condolences in the loss of John.

Paulette and Kevin
December 22, 2020

Our most heartfelt condolences are with you Eleanor and family.

Dorothy Bell
December 22, 2020

My sincere Sympathy Eleanor and family! May your fond memories comfort you at this time!

The Fergin Family
December 22, 2020

John will be dearly missed at the lake. He was always ready with a quick wit and smile. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Farrow and McLeod family.

Family Grguric
December 22, 2020

Sorry for your loss, we have known John a long time & will miss him at the cottage next year. Please accept our deepest sympathies from our family to yours.

Amanda Martin Ephraim Gracelyn
December 22, 2020

We are so sorry to hear about Uncle John’s passing. He will be missed dearly. Big hug to all.

Jeff Tanya Courtney and Ty Farrow
December 22, 2020

Our sympathies and condolences are with you ❤️

marj. guse
December 22, 2020

My condolences to you Eleanor and Rob, Mike and karin. We had a lot of good times over the years with hockey. He will certainly be missed

Jerry and Donna Farrow
December 22, 2020

We are so sorry to hear of John’s passing. He will be greatly missed by family and friends. Jerry will miss their talks. RIP John

Bill and Marlene Price
December 22, 2020

Eleanor, Karin and family, sorry to hear of your recent loss. Our deepest sympathy to all.

Bill and Marlene Price
December 22, 2020

Eleanor, Karin and Family

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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 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

The inclusion of the life story is just a beautiful touch and leaves folks feeling that they were truly celebrating a life well lived with all the detail to think about. Thank you for being there for all of us in such a special way, in our greatest time of need.

Deb McCaslin-Teggart

Extremely well done, attention to detail was fantastic. Excellent personal touch. I would recommend their services to everyone

Bob Summers

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