Donald Marchand

Obituary of Donald Charles Marchand

Donald Marchand

Just as his days usually began before sunrise, this hard working farmer peacefully left his family's side to start his first day in heaven at 4 AM, Saturday, February 17, 2024.  There he was reunited with his beloved wife of 67 years, Doris Jean Marchand (nee Jubenville) for whom his heart yearned since her passing on December 26, 2022.

Born to Nelson (1946) and Mary (1996) Marchand he was the last remaining sibling to Henry (1945 WWII), Leo (2007) (Laura 2010), Stanley (1994), Isabel (2018) (Raymond 2005) Ouellette, Elaine (baby)

Always an example of strength, resilience and determination to his children Brenda (Paul) Aarts (Ronald Donais 1993), Donna (Danny) Martin, and Francis (Frank) (Laurie) Marchand.  

A devoted Pépé with a heart warming smile, fun filled days of camping & fishing adventures will be forever remembered by his grandchildren Venessa (Steve) Roelofsen, Randall (Kim) Donais, Derek Donais, Rachael (Gabriel) Blanchard, Brent (Jennifer) Martin,  

Pépé's playful tickles and laughter will be missed by his great grandchildren Olivia, Sydney, Brock, Brody, Hayden, Nathan, Florence, Rosalie, Kian and Savannah . 

Fun-loving brother-in-law of Betty (2020) (Leonard 2023) Breault; Harold (2014) (Bonnie Bennett) (Beatrice 1973) (Victoria 2006) Jubenville, and Nancy (Robert) (2018) Couture. Fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews including special niece Judy (Brian) Chapple

At 8 years old, dad moved to the farm owned by his step-father Frank Carriere (1975) where he spent the next 81 years. A classroom was not where he would learn his trades and at 14 years old, he walked home from school to announce he was not returning. His step-dad said a tractor was waiting for him in the field, and thus began his lifelong farming career. His days began early, usually 4 AM, and didn't end until dark or later. There were farm animals to tend, acres of cash crops and in later years, labour intensive cucumbers & tomatoes. The farm generated plenty of chores for everyone which meant no one slept past 8 AM, including cousins who visited.

Not one to be idle, he held various jobs in Tilbury during the winter months. His stories included memories of his days working at Leland's Canners in the 50's, in laters years Hunts Canning, & the Toy Shop where he was quickly promoted to night foreman in the press room. (We always knew what we were getting for Christmas.). He acquired his mechanic certification 'on the job' at Sonny Garage followed by years at Pearce & Breault Motors.  Lastly working at Olsen Furnace as pressroom foreman. While he could have made any of these winter jobs his full-time employment, he remained dedicated to farming to support his parents and his family.  

It could be said the machinery got too old and worn, unlike dad who never tired, and he tearfully retired from farming at 70 years old.  We were blessed with many years to see another side of our dad.  He loved to travel in the winter to Florida and other sunny destinations.  Trips north to go camping & fishing eventually led them to Mohawk Bay Trailer Park where he enjoyed 23 years of fishing and good-times with many friends. He was the guy serving hot dogs at camp, taking his kids and grand-kids out fishing & behaving like a "big kid" as our mom would say. Still a farmer at heart, dad's days continued to start at 4 AM and were spent at the barn.  Well into his eighties he could be found wearing his knee high rubber boots digging trenches with his shovel or tilling his gardens which produced an abundance of veggies he shared with family & friends. His dusty coveralls, work boots, tools and rocking chair remain just as he left them in the barn. 

Just two short years ago, mom & dad made the move to Chatham.   Even that didn't stop dad from spending many days at the farm tinkering in the barn and tending to his garden.  They frequented Tim Horton's & McDonalds for a coffee, but more so for chats with family and the many new friends they enjoyed getting to know.      

Dad was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus Tilbury for more than 50 years.  We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for the compassionate care provided to dad at CKHA Chatham & Wallaceburg as well as at Chatham Retirement Resort, Eden Villa and Riverview Gardens. 

As per dad's wishes, cremation has taken place and a private interment will take place at St Francis Xavier cemetery at a later date. 

In memory of dad, donations may be made to the Chatham-Kent Hospice Foundation or a charity of your choice.