Peacefully at Headwaters Health Care Centre, Orangeville on Friday, October 2, 2020, Alan (Butch) Lancelot Essex, Orangeville, in his 97th year, passed away; predeceased by Elinor Jane Essex, his loving wife, of 67 years. Loving father of David and his wife Gail Essex, Mississauga; Karin Stinson, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories; Craig and his wife Debbie Essex, Penetanguishene. Cherished grandfather of Kevin and Melanie Essex, Kelowna; Darryl and Sonia Essex, Whitby; Starr and Corey McLachlan, Squamish; Ella and Scott Wray, Yellowknife; Cleo and Will Scott, Yellowknife; Bailee and Pat Dumouchelle, Orillia; Walker Essex, Barrie. Adored great-grandfather of Abygale and Clara Essex, Kelowna; Brooklyn Essex, Whitby; Ula and Stig McLachlan, Squamish; Barrow and Essex Wray, Yellowknife; Rielle, Lani and Atlas Scott, Yellowknife; Brantley and Boyd Dumouchelle, Orillia. Dear brother of the late Stella Lake, Mable Axworthy and Joan Yates. Dear brother-in-law of the late Nettie Wren, Marion Hadley, Alison Hesketh, Isabelle Rescoral and James Suttie. Fondly remembered by his sixteen nieces and nephews. Alan was born in Toronto in 1924. He went to General Mercer Public School and did very well competing with the Roto Chess Club. Alan had a love of chess throughout his life but he also embraced an assortment of sports and activities wherever he and Elinor were living, be it bowling, golf, shuffleboard, taking walks, dancing, but most important ‘swimming’. Alan’s pride and many fond memories were spent with the RCAF. Many friends were forever friends; he took very good care of these friends, … all his friends. Alan spent much of his work life at Massey Furguson. During this time Alan and Elinor lived on Redberry Pkwy, when, at the beginning, there were no signs nor street lights, so he was very active in developing and caring for his neighbours and neighbourhood. Alan’s carpenter dad built this, their first house. The carpentry never left Alan. He built their cottage, furniture, toys for his grandchildren; it was never ending and never daunting and always meticulous. He ‘loved’ woodworking, one of his biggest passions.
Alan and Elinor spread out a little more and embraced the countryside, (“smell the pine”), when they moved near Bolton; there he cultivated a soft spot for gardening and birding, particularly ‘owling’. He worked for General Freezer in those days, always learning and dabbling in inventing. Upon retirement he and Elinor spent winters in Panama City Beach, enjoying the warmth, still woodworking and making new friends. In their last home together, Alan and Elinor lived at Tecumseth Pines near Tottenham. There he took on the challenge of growing the biggest sunflowers; he spread the love and ‘seeds’ of flowers among many. Church has always weaved through Alan’s life. He would find the local church and take stillness from it. Alan’s last home was The Lord Dufferin in Orangeville. There Alan would plant amaryllis bulbs, grow them, put them in a plant stand that he designed and made himself, and then gift them. More important, Alan was very infectious when he regaled his fellow resident friends with his ‘Good Morning’ song, sung every morning after breakfast. He proudly shared all his stories of life with them. These stories inevitably were about his model T ford, (he ‘loved’ his cars), airforce days, his children and all the ‘adventures’ that they took him on. During all of this time one thing remained constant and paramount and that was his beloved Bluewater Beach ‘cottage’, … so much memory making. It was ‘at the cottage’ that Alan got to combine all of his other passions of woodworking and inventing, (the infamous ‘indestructible’ raft building and apartment sized bird houses), growing and loving trees and swimming, (giant Massey innertube water fun), and floating and singing at the same time. He listened with earnest attention to every detail. He always had time for his grandkids, serenading them with his ‘Good Morning’ song, swimming together or walking together to the corner store for ice cream and the paper. He continued these close relationships right into adulthood, always genuinely interested. Alan loved life. He loved and cared for ALL his family, with all his big, generous heart. Ever, Alan will be remembered, “we shall overcome”. Bless his soul. Alan’s family would like to send a huge thank you to all management, staff and volunteers at the Lord Dufferin Centre Retirement Residence. Also, huge warm thanks for the very kind, and professional care and love from Barbara Holmes, for so many years, above and beyond.
Arrangements by Egan Funeral Home, Bolton (905-857-2213).
Condolences for the family may be offered at www.EganFuneralHome.com