Gordon Wark

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Born in a time of plenty and raised during a time of tremendous challenge and change, Gordon Wark was a deep thinker who naturally appreciated the beauty and wonders around him. With an insatiable curiosity, and an ability to fix anything, Gordon centred his life in service to his family whom he treasured deeply. A proud husband, father, and grandfather, Gordon met life’s challenges with confidence and embraced his good fortune with much appreciation. Though he will be sadly missed, Gordon’s legacy will continue to live on in the hearts and lives of those who knew him best.

1928 continued to ride the decade’s roaring wave of peace, prosperity, and hope. As the post-war wave of sweeping social and economic growth rapidly increased, nowhere was there more hope for the future than in Arran Township as Garnet and Myrtle (nee Millman) Wark welcomed their son Gordon into their hearts and home on May 23.

The third of the Wark’s eight children, Gordon grew up with firm family values as modelled by his parents. His father, having served both the Canadian militia and Canadian Engineers, and his mother married in September of 1920 and made their home on a family farm. Gordon spent much of his childhood working both his family’s farm as well as many local farms. Like many youths of his generation, he attended public school through his elementary years but did not attend high school. Instead, he left school to work and help provide for his family. The family’s farm on the 2nd of Arran was home, job, and playground for Gordon and his siblings: Ross, Laverne, Ivan, Tom “Russell,” Bernice, Doreen, and Freda. It was also where Gordon forged the firm foundation upon which he built the rest of his life.

In time, Gordon began sailing on passenger ships on the Great Lakes. In 1943, after the sense of adventure wore off, and the work of being away from home became too taxing, Gordon returned home and began working at The Metzger Mill in Hanover.

Gordon was blessed with the good fortune of meeting Marjorie Helen Nickel during one of her weekend visits to her aunt and uncle’s, Pearl and Wally Gammie, near Tara. The young couple began dating and soon recognized their good fortune in finding one another. After dating for five years, they married on July 27, 1946, at Southampton Anglican Church and settled into their first home together in Southampton. Four years later, in 1950, they proudly welcomed their son Doug in 1950 into their family, and in 1954 completed their family when daughter Gwen was born.

After working for The Metzger Mill for seven years, the family moved to Southampton in 1952 where Gordon worked at Hepworth Company from 1952 until 1964. In 1964, they moved to Chesley where he worked for Heirloom Furniture until retirement in 1988.

While Gordon had many interests, his favourite place to be was outdoors. He loved to hunt and fish. Whether hunting deer, goose, and small game, or fishing, his endeavours were always most enjoyable when shared with his brother Tom. He had many canine companions along the way, but none outshined his favourite hunting dog, “Red Bone.” A natural tinkerer, Gordon could often be found working on a project; he loved the challenge of fixing stuff, and no challenge was too great for him to tackle. Another passion for Gordon was cutting grass; sometimes he’d cut multiple times a day. Yes, you read that right. His blades were always sharp and never out of place. Gordon was also one of the founding members of the Chesley Snowmobile Club which he belonged to for many, many years.

A man who valued the simple things in life, Gordon was never a picky eater. He loved the country music of his youth, and the family TV, aka the “babysitter,” could put him to sleep in an instant. Gordon and Marj enjoyed travelling and held their trips to Nashville, Tennessee, and Wheeling, West Virginia as particularly memorable. They were also able to take the trip of a lifetime to Hawaii in the late 70s. While these adventures were wonderful, Gordon also found spending countless evenings sitting on the porch, taking in the sights and sounds of the neighbourhood equally enjoyable. Gordon was known for his kindness and warmth; and while he had few very good friends, he knew everyone. When asking Marj what Gordon could do better than anyone else, she quickly responded, “He thought lots!”

Several weeks ago, on April 17, Gordon and Marj moved to Durham. Just four days after their move, Gordon suffered a severe stroke and moved to hospital where he remained until his death.

Clearly, it is difficult to imagine life in the absence of Gordon’s steadfast presence. May it afford comfort to know that each time we breathe in the wonder that surrounds us, cast our favourite lure, use our good senses to fix something that’s broken, or take to the woods with our canine companion we keep Gordon’s legacy alive. In this way, he will continue to inspire others as he so inspired us.

Gordon James Wark of Chesley, passed away after a brief illness at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in his 93rd year.

Beloved husband of 72 years to Marjorie. Loving father of Doug of Hanover and Gwen Kares (Dennis Laver) of R.R. #1 Elmwood. Gordon will be dearly missed by his grandchildren Dan (Trudy) Wark, Darrell (Catherine) Wark, Angie (Will) Kares and Tony (Megan) Kares as well as his great-grandchildren Ashel, Christopher, Jesse, Courtney and Tori. He will be fondly remembered by his sisters Bernice Strba of Walkerton, Doreen (Bev) Kirkland of Tara and Freda (Bruce) Hardy of Chatsworth. Gordon was predeceased by his brothers Ross, Laverne, Ivan, Russell and his parents Garnet and Myrtle (Millman) Wark.

A graveside service will be held at the Chesley Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation or Canadian Cancer Society would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Send to friend
Howard Wark
May 31, 2019
Aunt Marj, Sincere condolences to the entire family. Fond memories of Uncle Gordon and always the prankster at Sunday visits and Grandma and Grandpa's! Enjoyed his surprise stops in Burgoyne on the way back from fishing. Howard
Bob and Marlene Masterson
May 31, 2019
Marjorie and family
Thinking of you at this time of loss of husband ,father ,grandfather,and great grandfather,our sympathy to you all.
Bob and Marlene
Cheryl Fleet (Gobert)
May 28, 2019
Thinking after reading this of great times we spent at your mom and dads. The sleep overs, the just hanging out and not to mention the ear piercing fiasco. Will never forget that one Marge was not in the least impressed with our antics! Your dad was a great guy Gwen always enjoyed the warmth and welcome always offered by your parents. Good memories are forever.
Deb Emke
May 28, 2019
So sorry to you all, just simply a great guy!!
Ron, Bonnie, April and Crystal Gallinger
May 25, 2019
Please know that we are thinking of you at this time. Sending our sincere sympathy and hugs to "Grandma Marge" and the family.
Claudia Staines
May 23, 2019
Doesn't matter how old you are, doesn't matter how many years you were lucky enough to have them... it's still and always too soon.
Take care of yourself...
Claudia & Jeff
Larry & Betty McLeod
May 23, 2019
Our sincere sympathy. Thoughts are with the families at this difficult time.
Bob and Susan Byers
May 22, 2019
Marg and Family: Our heartfelt condolences. Prayers for comfort and strength in the difficult days ahead
Doug & Phyllis Pennock
May 22, 2019
Aunt Marj, Doug, Gwen & families. Our hearts go out to you at this difficult & sad time. Uncle Gordon will be missed!
Joleen and Tom
May 22, 2019
Deepest sympathy Marj and family. Lots of memories to remember and share.
Thinking of you all at this difficult time.
Heather Ward and Reta Steward
May 22, 2019
To Marge and all the family
May the constant love of caring friends soften your sadness and may cherished memories bring you moments of comfort sending you our deepest sympathies
Reta Heather Kendall and family
Jim & June Gowan
May 22, 2019
To Marge & family,

Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Thinking of you at this sad time. Cherish your memories.
Doreen Wark
May 22, 2019
Marge & family. My condolences on Gordon’s passing. My kids always referred to Gordon as the one who looked like Grandpa. Doreen Wark.
Amy Sawyer
May 22, 2019
Sorry for your loss Gwen Denis and family.
Teresa and Tanner Tibbo
May 22, 2019
Our condolences. What a nice man he was and an awesome neighbour. Our thoughts are with you.
Nancy & Bev
May 22, 2019
Heartfelt condolences and wishing you comfort and strength in the difficult days ahead
Linda Dougherty Ribey
May 21, 2019
My deepest sympathy to the Wark family.
Carol M. Jarvis
May 21, 2019
Deepest sympathy to the Wark family on the loss of Gord.
Karen Trelford
May 21, 2019
So sorry to hear of your loss
Bill Johnson
May 21, 2019
Sorry for loss Marg Gwen and Doug
Use to have a lot of laughs with Gord when Doug and I chum together.

Bill and Robin Johnson
Shannon Rhody
May 21, 2019
So very sorry for your loss Angie. Thinking of you and sending you hugs. Shannon Rhody
Dwayne Frook
May 21, 2019
Angie, Dan, Darrell and Family,

Deepest condolences to you and yours at this very difficult time.

Dwayne, Robyn Frook and Family
Brenda Ortman
May 21, 2019
Gwen, Angie and family
Sorry to hear about your Dad and grandpa. Our deepest sympathies to you and your family.
Cherish the memories ❤️
Brenda , Murray & family

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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!

Dianne Veen

“One of a kind” service as well as ongoing support! Beyond [our expectations] and Thank You.

Carol Vallie

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

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.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

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. 

Karen Siegrist

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?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

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.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

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

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

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

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“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

“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

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

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Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

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

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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