In Loving Memory of
Wayne Franklin Williams
June 25, 1942 – May 11, 2023
Wayne Franklin was welcomed into the world by proud parents Frank and Theda (Freeman) Williams on June 25, 1942 in Clinton. He was joined by his sister Lydia and brother Joseph. The Williams family grew up in Coldwater and Wayne attended school there until he was twelve. At that point, the family moved to Guelph where he attended John A Ross High School.
Wayne excelled at many things throughout his life. In his youth, he was very interested in music, the great outdoors and sports. Wayne played competitive hockey, and participated in baseball, track and field, golf and in later years, curling. In his teens, Wayne developed and grew his lifelong passion for riding motorcycles and driving sports cars.
Wayne began his working career at the family newspaper for his father. He began his apprenticeship at fifteen at Ryerson University for trade school. This apprenticeship took him everywhere from the Guelph Mercury Daily Newspaper, Hanover Post, Fort Erie Review, to the Markdale Standard. Wayne learned many different technical skills, how to operate a variety of equipment and further developed his love of his craft at each site. Little did he know that doing his apprenticeship with The Hanover Post would change the course of his life…
While working for the Hanover Post (the first time), Wayne had lunch every day at the Empire Restaurant, which was close to the newspaper. It was here that he started to get to know a certain waitress, Dianne Marjorie Karn. She would have his daily lunch of an egg salad sandwich and coffee waiting for him when he arrived. She even threw a few fries on the plate to impress him. Wayne used any excuse he could think of to see Dianne. As a youth baseball coach, he even brought his team players by for milkshakes after their games so he could talk to her.
Wayne’s apprenticeship took him to other locations and when he returned to Hanover for his second apprenticeship they began seeing each other. After completing his Journeyman exam at Ryerson, Wayne stopped at McLean and Hunter in Toronto to inquire if they were hiring and was hired on the spot. After securing lodging close to his new employment, he decided to follow up with a special young lady back in Hanover. He drove his motorcycle the following weekend back to Hanover only to discover that Dianne had moved to Kitchener and was working at the Towers Department Store.
Over the next few weeks, he tracked her down during her shift. Through persistence and a long-distance interest in each other, their relationship grew and they were married on December 3, 1966 at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Hanover. The newlyweds moved to Willowdale where Wayne continued to work for the next year at MacLean Hunter.
In October of 1967, Wayne and Dianne welcomed their first daughter Marjorie, and only a month later, they bought the printing office in Wiarton on Frank St. and the Williams Printing Service began. Being a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, this was a very big year for Wayne as he also witnessed them win the Stanley Cup. Wayne joked that the only reason he could remember what year his daughter Marjorie was born was because it was the last year that the Leafs won the cup!
On top of starting and running his own company, the Williams family kept growing with the additions of Carrie in December of 1968 and Annette in June of 1971. In 1972, Wayne and Dianne purchased their Victorian home on Frank Street. The residence also included an additional business of 5 summer cottages and thus Williams and Daughters Cottages began. The Williams family continued to get bigger with the arrival of Tammie in March of 1973 and the family was completed with their youngest daughter Adela in March of 1974. Talk about a busy household!
Although Wayne was very occupied with his printing business, he always made time for family. They purchased a camper van and travelled as a family on weekends. They would go camping, venture to tourist attractions around Ontario and a few trips to Florida. Wayne had spent time in his youth at the Bruce Caves as his parents owned cottages in Oxenden and Big Bay. He shared this passion with his daughters and grandchildren. No matter the season, they would go for hikes on the Bruce Trail to explore.
In 1977, Wayne bought a building on Brown St. and opened Williams Printing House. This building was larger and allowed for additional machinery and capacity to grow the business. In 1986, the Williams sold their printing business and moved to Brampton, where Wayne was hired at the City of Brampton. Over 18.5 years held the positions of Internal and External Printing Supervisor and later worked his way to Purchasing Supervisor. Wayne and Dianne made the decision to move back to Hanover for their retirement and built a home. During this time Wayne and Dianne also bought a trailer and moved around for a few summers before settling at Black Bear Beach in Petawawa. They spent many summers there with their children and grandchildren canoeing, swimming, and enjoying nightly bonfires. Wayne loved his daily naps on the beach. Wayne enjoyed fishing and time spent exploring the lakes and rivers of Algonquin Park with his Grandsons. He also loved canoeing and was not afraid to take his grandkids through many level four rapids.
Wayne and Dianne loved to garden and spend time at their grandchildren’s hockey games, sporting events, singing and dance recitals, karate, and many other activities. Wayne was an avid reader of novels, he loved playing euchre and cribbage and teaching his grandchildren these games. He also enjoyed watching curling matches. He enjoyed being part of the weekly seniors’ euchre card group and loved to make up stories to entertain his brother-in-law Doug.
He served his community in Wiarton as Town Councillor for two terms, a Lions Club member for 18 years and a third degree Mason #396 Cedar Lodge in Wiarton. Wayne and Dianne were active members of the Anglican Church and served on the church boards in Wiarton and Hanover.
Wayne enjoyed music and theatre. He was a drummer in the Wiarton Drum and Bugle Corps, and he loved listening to a variety of genres of music but his favourite was classic country. He planned many family trips to the shows in Toronto and Stratford with Showboat and Les Miserables being his favourites. Wayne loved waking up to the smell of homemade pie, bread, and freshly baked cookies. Oatmeal raisin and gumdrop being his favourite, along with date squares. His favourite snacks were black licorice pipes and licorice allsorts. He could not attend a hockey game without popcorn! His grandchildren were taught that there is nothing better than a cup of tea and a slice of pie that could also be breakfast food.
Wayne was tough as nails, but also a loving and caring man. He was very patient (he had to be living with five girls), encouraging, accepting, funny, and dedicated. Wayne was the biggest cheerleader for his girls and later in life for his grandchildren.
In 2020, Dianne’s health declined, and Wayne was able to take care of her at home until she passed away in June of that year. It was hard on Wayne losing the love of his life, in the middle of a pandemic, and trying to figure out how to navigate life without her.
Wayne was diagnosed mid-January of this year with untreatable Bile Duct Cancer. He faced his final days with great courage and bravery. As his health declined over the last several months Wayne moved in with his daughter Marjorie, where he had constant care from her and his family. His final days were spent as his life had been; with family, love and laughter. Wayne passed away peacefully in Kitchener on Thursday, May 11, 2023 in his 81st year.
Wayne is survived by his beloved daughters; Marjorie Williams Hambly (Peter) of Kitchener, Carrie Kizell (fiance Antonio) of Brockville, Annette Williams Gazo (Stephen) of Beachburg, Tammie Cameron (Richard) of Milton, Adela Williams MacIver (Iain) of Milton, and niece Amanda Linegar of Toronto. Grandchildren Conner, Brendon, Chase, Meagan, Emma, William, Nicholas, Kathryn, Reese, Declan, Isla and Elsie. Great grandchildren Liliana, Emylia and Henry.Wayne is also survived by his mother-in-law, Bernice Sachs of Hanover (Earl); sisters-in-laws; Daphne Williams of Hamilton, Donna Frook (Doug) of Hanover, Yvonne Middleton (Dick) of Hanover, Nancy Pegelo (Ron) of Wasaga Beach, Debbie Waugh (Ken) of St. Marys and Heather Gateman (friend Darrell) of Owen Sound and many nieces and nephews. Wayne will be missed by his cousins; Gary Freeman of Egmondville, Marian Doucette of Clinton, Dwight Williams of Salford, Carol Smith of Ilderton, Sharon Connelly of London and friend; Marjorie Dobson of Clinton.
Wayne is predeceased by his devoted wife of 53 years, Dianne Williams (Karn); parents Frank and Theda Williams, sister; Lydia Linegar; brother; Joseph Williams, father-in-law; Gordon Karn and brother in-law Ken Karn.
The Williams Family will receive guests at the Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Saturday, May 27, 2023 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. A funeral service will directly follow at 2:00 p.m. Refreshments to follow the service. A private family interment service will follow at a later date at the Clinton Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, Canadian Cancer Society or to the Hanover & District Hospital Foundation would be greatly appreciated.