Charlie Burley

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Charles George was born at home, on Monday, September 25, 1939 to Thomas Oscar and Christina Dunn (Waldrum) Burley. The Burley family resided at 495 Glenholme Ave. in York Township. Charlie was not alone as his twin Thomas also made an appearance that day. Charlie and Tom were the eldest of nine children; Bob, Bruce, Audrey, Roy, John, Christine and Bill. In fact, there were twenty-two years between the twins and Bill, the youngest.

The boys attended Rawlinson Public School while the family lived on Oakwood Avenue in Toronto. School was not their forte, so they jumped into the real world after Grade 8. It was during these early years, that the boys were introduced to the Hoskin family and their family farm near Sunderland. The two family connection was quite unique. Charlie's father, Thomas, had given blood for the purpose of helping another with a blood transfusion. The recipient? A member of the Hoskins family of course. From then on the families were pretty much inseparable. 

Every summer Charlie and his twin brother Tom, would head to the Hoskin farm for the summer months. This gave them an opportunity to get out of the city and see what country living was really like. In addition to a more laid back lifestyle, the boys worked hard at a variety of tasks to earn their keep. These couple of months every year created countless stories that are still told to this day. The farm and the Hoskin family played an important role throughout Charlie's life.

After leaving school, Charlie went out to find work. He worked at a few factories in the area but after a few years headed west to Alberta. While living in Calgary, Charlie became a father, welcoming Stephen into his life. However, by 1961 he had returned to Ontario and began working. It was during this time that Charlie was introduced to a young lady by the name of Beverley Ann Miller. Bev was a classmate of Charlie's younger brother Bruce and the two soon started dating. Charlie was 21 and Bev was 15. At this time, the Miller and Burley families called Thistletown home. They became a family on August 31, 1963 and soon called the area of Jane & Wilson in Toronto their home. 

During these years Charlie spent time working for Canada Cartage and made extra money working part-time in a garage, as well as driving a taxi. The Burley family soon began to grow with the additions of Donna in 1964 and Rick 1965. In 1966 the family relocated to Esterbrooke Ave. in North York.

Charlie then went into the dairy industry to work with his father. He followed this by doing an internship in the tool & dye industry which lasted a couple of years. Unfortunately, Charlie was allergic to his surroundings because of an unknown allergy, and he was forced to leave this field. He then went on to selling cars for Volvo, and at one point was the 13th best salesperson for the company in the country. Shortly after he was introduced to Peter, who operated an office coffee service. Charlie then began working in sales for Peter before eventually becoming Sales Manager. In 1974, Bev and Charlie completed their family with the addition of Paul. A year later, he was given an opportunity to purchase a portion of Great Canadian Coffee. Throughout the next several years, Charlie helped run the business, eventually taking on new partners.

In 1978, the Burleys moved to Pickering. Life in the coffee business continued until 1986, when he was bought out by his partners. He then spent some time managing the local bowling alley. In 1988, a new opportunity presented itself, and the Burley family moved to Normandale to operate the Normandale Century Store. In addition to operating the General Store they also sold gas. By 1990, Charlie's health was starting to affect his everyday life and they knew a change in lifestyle was soon needed. But like most of us, Charlie was a little stubborn, and they continued to operate the General Store until 1995, when they moved back to Brampton to work for Real Star Property Management. One might say this was Charlie's true calling, as he loved to be around people, and excelled at this position. They managed Brampton Tower, beginning in 1996 before getting promoted to Widdicombe Apartments in 2000. Charlie loved interacting with the tenants and helping them with their every need. Unfortunately, during this time period, Charlie's health continued to greatly affect him. He suffered aneurysms, heart attacks, vascular problems and a final fall in 2011 that forced him out of a position he absolutely loved. His body was simply wearing out!

When not busy working and providing for his family, Charlie enjoyed woodworking, a hobby he got from his father. During the kids' youth, he coached baseball and helped out with the local youth bowling associations. The Burley family also did a lot of camping when the kids were young. The destination was always Outlet Beach (now known as Sandbanks Provincial Park) where Charlie would do everything from set-up to preparing all the meals. He loved Johnny Cash, taking Rick to his first concert at Maple Leaf Gardens. Charlie’s children were all very important to him. He was ecstatic at becoming a Papa when his grandchildren, Charles Jr. (Little Charlie) and Amanda came along. When able, Charlie also liked a good book, with crime or murder mysteries being his favourite. In recent years, television and the computer helped fill in his days, whereby he enjoyed Netflix, YouTube and even the odd casino game! He also loved his animals. Spike and Casey, were favourite dogs through the years and who could forget Bart, the talking parrot. No night was complete without saying “good night” to Bart as you made your way to bed.

Charlie loved to make people laugh. He was funny, with a wide variety of jokes always at his disposal. These strengths allowed him to interact with a variety of people, whereby most would take a liking to his easy-going, fun personality. If Charlie had a fault, it would be that he was a little too trusting at times, but we all learn by experiencing things in life.

Bev and Charlie retired to Chesley in 2011. They had bought a house in the community a few years prior as two of Charlie’s siblings were living in Chesley at the time. He continued to enjoy visits with friends and family, always trying to make the best of his situation. In the last couple of years, his health issues started to affect Charlie further. Bev and Rick continued to care for him at home, in the surrounding he was comfortable with. Sadly, Charlie passed away surrounded by his family, at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley on Friday, February 21, 2020 in his 81st year.

Beloved husband of Beverley (Miller). Loving father of Donna of Bolton, Richard of Chesley, Paul (Teresa Kerry) of Simcoe and Papa of Charles (Katelyn Versluis) and Amanda. Charlie will be missed by his siblings, twin brother Tom (Sharon), Audrey (Doug) Walsh, all of Chesley, Roy of Toronto, John (Cheryl) of Carlisle, Christine Atwood of St. Catharines, Bill (Kim) of Tillsonburg and sister-in-law Faye Burley of Winnipeg. He will be fondly remembered by the entire Miller family, his many nieces and nephews and his wonderful Farm family. Charlie was predeceased by his brothers Bob and Bruce, son Stephen and his parents Thomas and Christina (Waldrum) Burley.

The family wish to thank Dr. Winterton and the staff of the Chesley Hospital for all their care and compassion of both Charlie and their family during his illness. Your kindness will never be forgotten. Thank you!

A celebration of Charlie’s life will be held at a later date and details will be made available when finalized.

Memorial donations to Diabetes Canada or the Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Send to friend
Jay and Lori Burley
March 8, 2020
Sending our love, thoughts and prayers ❤️????????
Win Mellor-Hay
March 8, 2020
I only met him once but Charlie as a character I would have liked to know better. Deepest sympathies to Bev, Rick, Donna and Amanda. I feel you in my heart.
Patricia Boyd
February 27, 2020
Bev and family,
My sincere sympathy in the passing of your husband Charlie.
Tineke Heatherington
February 24, 2020
Dear Bev and family.

Please accept my deepest condolences from me and my family. I was just remembering when we used to have the Miller weekends at the cottage years ago. Good memories for sure. Hugs
Deborah Butt (Hutcheson)
February 24, 2020
May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. My most sincere condolences.
Sam, Elaine and Joseph
February 24, 2020
With our deepest sympathy from all of us to your family. Your fathers memories may bring tears to your eyes but those memory are so cherished.

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Because of COVID-19 we had to do the complete service from home via D.V.D. GREAT!

William Hall

I was amazed that I could smell KFC fries when I first walked in at the visitation. That was so lovely. My husband would have loved it. Thank you again for that! 

Sheila Jacobs

[I] have already told many people what an amazing job you did. My entire family and friends couldn’t agree more! Everything was totally looked after. Things I never would have thought of were either done or brought to my attention. Thank you so much for everything you did. It made a really rough time a little easier to handle. Thank you!

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Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

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Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

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There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

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

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. 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 was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
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Barbara Aikens

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Joy Pitman

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Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


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Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

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Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

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“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

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Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

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William & Loraine Patterson

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Elaine King

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Rebecca Becker

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Bernice Frook

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Susan Taylor

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Valerie Long

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Steve Thomson

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Dave Hillier

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Olivia Strucke

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Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

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Debbie Eidt

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