Eleanor Becker

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Eleanor Audrey was born in Markdale on January 3, 1932 to parents Ernest and Violet (Moore) Smart. She joined her older sister (Myrtle 1930) and their family was made complete with the arrival of her brother Raymond in 1934. The Smart family resided in the hamlet of Harkaway, approximately 7 miles outside of Markdale. Eleanor had many fond memories from her youth, which included playing with the family puppy Bud, along with her siblings. She had a love for horses as well. Both caring for and riding them. Fond memories. She also enjoyed the challenge of climbing trees, often challenging her younger brother to a race. Once in the tree, Raymond often had difficulties getting back down, which often provided excellent entertainment for Eleanor.

Eleanor attended Rosedale School, graduating from Grade 8 with honours. Unfortunately, she did not have the opportunity to pursue a high school education. During this time, War caused many hardships and the Smart family was not immune to these challenges. Eleanor recalled the war rations, whereby her grandparents would often provide additional sugar and honey to get their family of 5 through the difficult times. By the age of 13, she was helping cook for 100 men daily. It was during this time that she assisted in caring for her aging grandparents and took up waitressing. Later in years, Eleanor took up residence in London, Ontario and started her new life waitressing. 

While caring for Anne (1952), she met Raymond Copeland. The Copeland family continued to grow in the years that followed with the arrivals of Margaret (1953), Raymond (1955), Lorne (1957), Carol (1959), and Dennis (1961). In addition to raising her young family, Eleanor worked in the housekeeping department of the Markdale Hospital. Times were tough for Eleanor and this caused the Copeland family to move several times before finally settling in Vesta in 1967. Soon after Eleanor began working outside the home again as she took a job at Heirloom Furniture Factory in Chesley, working there for several years.

Eleanor loved her crafts and was a very creative woman. She enjoyed quilting, knitting, flower arrangements, renting tables at several local craft shows. At one time, she even dabbled in liquid embroidery. Her talent was writing poetry and spent hours expressing herself through her words. Summer and Fall seasons were Eleanor’s favourite times in the year. She spent hours picking all types of berries and apples, later to prepare them for canning or her freezer. Her bounty was shared throughout her family and her community. In the Fall, she loved taking in the beautiful colours by taking drives through Beaver Mountain as well as the Agawa Canyon Tour Train.

Her favourite colour was purple. She loved the colour purple so much that at one point she spent time looking for a purple house to purchase. When it came to music, she loved the likes of Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, Bing Crosby, and Lawrence Welk. She loved to dance and sing to Crystal Chandelier. Eleanor enjoyed reading true stories and often lost time when reading her books. She had a fondness for dogs and cats, having a four-legged companion often by her side throughout much of her life. Horses played an important part in her entire life too. She loved to care for them, ride them, attend horse races and admired the Amish horses and buggies which took her to her past. She enjoyed her coffee but you had to ensure you added lots of milk NOT cream. Eleanor always loved eating olives and pickles after dessert. Yes, you read that correctly. She claimed this ’took the sweetness from her mouth’.

Once Dennis finished high school and made his career choice, Eleanor moved to Kitchener for a few years. Here she worked as a personal support worker before returning back to Chesley in the early 80’s. She took a job at Elgin Abbey and remained there until her retirement at the age of 65.

Throughout her life, Eleanor was a true survivor and continued to put her family first, always providing for them. She could always make something out of nothing and at one point in her life owned two houses and two cars, yet never made an income over $10,000 in her working career. What an amazing feat! She accomplished all this by being frugal and saving, never one to throw anything away. When asked what Eleanor collected, her children quickly responded…everything or what didn’t she collect. Very eclectic!

Eleanor found love again when she began dating Ross Becker in 1988. Four years later they married (1992), settling in Chesley. Sadly, Ross died in 1996, leaving Eleanor on her own again.

To fulfill her life again, she started volunteering which took up much of her free time as she enjoyed helping at the local senior homes on day trips and was active with the children’s groups at Geneva Presbyterian Church. In her later years, her free time was spent travelling, whereby she experienced all three coasts of Canada, Cuba, and Florida.

She spent as much time as she could with her 19 grandchildren. Depending on the child, she would attend sporting events, plays, or musical performances. She loved spending quality time with her family. In more recent years this included getting to know her 17 Great-Grandchildren and 1 Great-Great Granddaughter.

In 2010, Eleanor sold her home and moved into an apartment. She enjoyed her regular trips to Mocha Café to catch up with friends and the local news. She often remarked that she knew someone wherever she went, with few exceptions. 

Eleanor was a warm, loving woman who loved adventures. She always encouraged her children to reach for the stars. Her generosity and kindness were ever-present as was her acceptance of everyone around her. She was truly a “one of a kind woman”.

Although in recent years her body started to fail, her mind remained ‘sharp as a tack’ and her memory was outstanding. She could easily tell stories and reminisce about all aspects of her life. If you are looking for an entertaining story just ask her kids about Eleanor shooting groundhogs from her bathroom window or the time the dog grabbed the meat before Easter dinner. These memories and stories will remain with her children, grandchildren and their families for many years to come.

Sadly, Eleanor passed away at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley on Sunday, February 23, 2020 in her 89th year.

Beloved mother of Anne Smith of Cambridge, Margaret (Doug) Adams of London, Raymond (Lori) Copeland of Kitchener, Lorne (Gwen) Copeland of Vanastra, Carol (Charlie) Vallie of Oshawa and Dennis (Tracy) Copeland of Chesley. Cherished grandmother of Angela (Kevin), Tony (Kathleen), Lynette (Sony), Leanne (David), Lorri (Brandon), Melissa (Tony), Justin (Brianna) Jason, Terri-lyn, Shaye, Jamie (Amelia), Destiny, Josh, Jeremy (Haley) Tyler (Mandi), Amber-lee (Rob), Jay (Vicki), Joey, Dylan, and Becky. Eleanor will be fondly remembered by her great-grandchildren Courtney, Karalise, Wesley, Cordelia, Braiden, Seth, Raymond, Mitchel, Charlie, James, Luna, Stella, Ryker, Jasper, Lincoln, Elliot, and Hallie as well as great-great-granddaughter Rilee. She will be dearly missed by her sister Myrtle Wiley and sister-in-law Kathleen Smart, both of Meaford. Eleanor was predeceased by her first husband Raymond Copeland, second husband Ross Becker, brother Raymond Smart, son-in-law Moe Smith, granddaughter Rene Copeland and her parents Ernest and Violet (Moore) Smart.

Visitation will be held at Geneva Presbyterian Church, Chesley on Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 11 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. Spring interment in Chesley Cemetery.

Memorial donations to Geneva Presbyterian Church or Chesley Hospital Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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Wayne Bell
February 29, 2020
Sorry to hear of your mother's passing.she definitely was a sweet person. Fond memories of the times at Vesta with all the family. Wayne Betty Bell and family NQNZXH
Mervin and Dorothy Boyes
February 27, 2020
Our Condolences to the family at this sad time.
Ron & Janice Boyes
February 27, 2020
Our sympathy to the family at this time.
Cindy and Mark McMaster
February 27, 2020
Sending hugs an our condolences to Dennis an Tracey Copeland an the whole family your mom was a wonderful lady always enjoyed seeing her when visiting Chesley❤️????????????????????????
Rebecca Dell’Anno
February 26, 2020
Our sincere sympathy to the bereaved family. May God’s comfort and love with you in times likes this. I came to know Eleanor because she was the neighbor of my father in-law Frank Dell’Anno. We went together to Geneva Presbyterian Church and she tag me along to minister to the nursing home in Chesley.
MR & Mrs
February 26, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to Eleanor's family. Find comfort in knowing she is in the good Lords arms now and that you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Theressa And Duane Stade
February 26, 2020
I was so very sorry to hear of Eleanors passing but grateful I bumped into Dennis in the hallway at the hospital s had a chance to go in and see her. As a youngster Eleanor and Grace Kerry used to take myself and Lorretta on road trips like the plowing match to speak of one. She always had a smile, loved seeing the kids, her coffee crowd I believe I gave a pic of them all wearing hats and my oldest Vanessa with them. She will greatly misses truly an angel lots of love and prayers to you all
Robert Bell
February 26, 2020
So sorry to hear about Eleanor’s passing, sending our deepest sympathies...wishing you peace at this difficult time.

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

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Roberta Godwin

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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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Valerie Long

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Dave Hillier

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Olivia Strucke

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Kevin Dailey

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Siobhan Bell

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