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Remembering those fine Optimists who have served our Orangeville youth a good many years with joy in their hearts and laughter in their soul. Many delightful stories are still being told and they are forever remembered fondly.

Image by Janosch Diggelmann
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Doug Hankinson

July 5, 1937 to August 22, 2022

Doug was an enthusiastic member of the Optimist Club of Orangeville
as he participated in our events and often offered his business premises
as storage space and a place to work on optimist projects.
He served as Club President, 2001-2002 and as Zone Lieutenant Governor 2004-2005. Doug enjoyed gardening, painting and golf and was an accomplished handyman. He loved to laugh and enjoyed spending time with family and friends.
Doug was generous with his time and often quietly supported friends in need.
He will be greatly missed by his wife Mildred, his family, his many grandchildren,
great grandchildren and so many friends. A tree will be planted in memory of Douglas in the Dods & McNair Memorial Forest at the Island Lake Conservation Area, Orangeville

John Dickie

John Dickie

May 15, 1950 to June 29, 2022

It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of John on Wednesday, June 29, 2022 at the Headwaters Health Care Centre, Orangeville. John at age 72 is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Kathy (nee Galvin) and their three sons, John Jr. (Dawn), Stephen (Dunya) and Lee. John will be sadly missed by his grandchildren Brock, Kingston, Stephanie, Amina and Mila. He leaves behind his brothers Peter (Belinda) and Michael (Lori) and sisters Jane (Mike) Paula and Nancy (Al). Predeceased by his parents Glen and Bonnie. John grew up in Oakville and attended Oakwood PS, OTHS & WOSS. He had wonderful memories of his early years on Riverside Drive. John was known for his sense of humour kind heart and hearty laugh. He will be missed by all who knew him.
John was an active member of St. Catharines Lions Club, Orangeville Optimist, leader of F & A support group and member of Mind Forward (Brain Injury Group).
John and Kathy were also very proud to have had their sons involved with the Orangeville hockey and Northmen lacrosse.


Kevin Bowden

June 18, 1955 to June 6, 2022

It is with much sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Optimist Kevin Bowden on June 6, 2022 at 66 years of age. In the relatively short time that Kevin was a member of the Club, he made himself a dedicated team player, contributing to and enjoying Fines Sessions with good humour, earning a place in the Shed Gang, providing ideas for the successful Scavenger Hunt, and volunteering to serve as Secretary of the Board. His cheerful spirit was obvious to all, and he had become recognized as a true Optimist. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his lovely wife Sue and his family and many friends.


Bob Robertson

July 23, 1944 - April 9, 2021

Bob passed away in Orangeville on April 9, 2021, with his beloved wife Linda by his side, after a spirited and courageous argument with cancer – the only argument in his 76 years he wouldn’t easily win. It’s still hard to imagine that time has stopped for Bob, given that his entire life revolved around growth. His proficiency in the garden (cemented with his role as President of the Orangeville Horticultural Society) was just one example. He devoted his career to education, where he planted seeds of knowledge, confidence, and curiosity in the thousands of students that were fortunate to cross his path. His list of hobbies grew with every passing year, as his fascination with new ideas led him to expert-level status in woodworking, technology, the art and science of knives, the best TV dramas from a dozen countries, gourmet cooking, and so many more. Bob found his own most influential growth came from people.
Bob was intensely curious, eager to learn all he could from whoever he talked to, even if their views at first clashed with his own. His obvious empathy and awareness for the less fortunate among us allowed him to understand realities very different than his own. In fact, the highlight of his time with the Orangeville Optimist’s Club was the help he and the group were able to bring to the community. Of course, Bob understood balance, so was very happy to get together with his lifelong friends for golf and poker and a few hours of regression to his younger days, rather than progression! (These games were often played by “Bob’s Rules”, which are still unclear to the group, even after they played by them for 50 years.)

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Edward "Ed" Nicol

Dec. 11, 1939 to May 16, 2020

After starting a family with his wife Anna in Scotland, he left his position as Engineer at Rolls Royce to emigrate and begin a new life in Canada.
Ed joined the Orangeville Optimists in 1982 and was a member for several years. He was known as someone who loved to laugh and dance.
At parties, he was always there with a witty response - laughing while people tried to figure out what he was saying as his Scottish accent got thicker and thicker as the party went on.
Ed and Anna loved to travel, exploring as far as New Zealand and China. A lifelong boating enthusiast, Ed loved nothing better than to be on his boat as he relaxed and socialized with his friends.
He will be sorely missed by his family and many friends including “The Poker Guys” in Orangeville, who met monthly for 45 years to play cards and debate the state of the world.

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Waldo Henderson

July 29, 1939 to April 3, 2012

Henderson, Waldo Carson - Past Executive Director of Greater Dufferin Area Chamber of Commerce. Peacefully at Sunnybrook Health Science Centre, Toronto, with his family at his side, on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, Waldo Henderson, in his 73rd year, loving husband for 32 years of Phylis. Beloved father of Kim Grant, Jay Henderson (Ai-Linn) and Dawn Stark. Cherished grandfather of Joseph Stark, Tesia Stark, Alexandra Grant, C-Jay Stark and Gabriel Joshua Henderson. Dear brother of Tint Harris, Richard Henderson (Janice) and Douglas Henderson (Colleen). Waldo will always be fondly remembered by his nieces and nephews Peggy Lynn (Gary), Russell, Jim (Karen), Diana, Chris (Kelly), Ryan (Bobbi) and many great nieces and nephews. Also survived by his maternal aunts Vera Rickbeil of British Columbia, Dorothy MacMillen and Norma Friesen both of Saskatchewan. Predeceased by his parents Jean and Walter, sisters Wilma and Lorena, son-in-law Bruce Grant and brother-in-law Vernon Harris.

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Gerry Asselbergs

Date??? to December 22, 2009

Gerard Jaap "Gerry" Asslebergs passed peacefully at Headwaters Health Care Centre, Orangeville after a long and courageous battle with cancer on Tuesday, December 22, 2009 in his 64th year; loving husband of Toosje; cherished father of Jeremy (Tammy) and Jeff; proud gramps of Tyler, Brandon and Steven; missed by all his brothers, sisters, their spouses and their children. Gerry was a life member of the Orangeville Optimist Club, which he served as President for 2 separate terms and was Lt. Governor of zone 6. He was known for his sense of humour, lovingly referred to as 'Gerry Jokes', his passion for clock building, sailing, traveling and life in general.

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Donald J. Sproule

June 21, 1935 to December 20, 2008

SPROULE, Donald Jasper - (Pharmacist/Owner for over 30 years of Sproule's Drug Store, Orangeville) Acknowledging an exemplary life of love, laughter and service to others, the family announces that Don, age 73, left this life on Saturday, December 20, 2008 at Headwaters Health Care Centre, Orangeville surrounded by his family. Don was the love and presence of his wife Phyllis (Mounter) for 52 years and also leaves his children, Jill Sproule; Patricia Sproule Ward, her husband Kent and children Dillon and Aaron; Beth Sproule and her partner Donald Jackson; and son Todd Sproule, his son Jaxon and Jaxon's mother Deborah Murtagh. Predeceased by his mother and father, Verna (Reburn) and William Sproule, and older brother Murray, he is survived by his brother Glenn Sproule and his wife Marilyn of California. A witness to life on Orangeville's Broadway, a caring pharmacist, a concerned citizen, a marvellous joke-teller and a passionate husband, father, grandfather and friend - Don will be missed and fondly remembered.

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Robert Bruce Haw

October 19, 1946 - January 17, 2008

Bruce Haw of Meaford and a former resident of Orangeville, passed away in Meaford, Ontario on Thursday, Jan 17, 2008 in his 62nd year. Bruce was born in Shelburne and was the loved son of the late Gordon and Sylvia (née Stewart) Haw of Dundalk, ON. He was a Past Governor of the Optimist Clubs in the Eastern Ontario District and former principal with the Dufferin School Board. He is remembered as the beloved husband of the former Doris Eccles and as the much-loved father of Mark Haw and his wife Sharon, Scott Haw and his wife Jennifer, and Joanne and her husband Peter Schulz, all of Barrie. He will be a sadly missed Papa of Taylor and Jonathan Haw, Jacob Haw, and Kavan, Rori and Rowan Schulz. Bruce was a dear brother of Fred Snell (Ardiste) of Lethbridge, Alberta, Audrey Northey (late Les) of Minden, Wanda Vander Kraan (late Herb) of Fort Erie, Lois Schistad (late Eric) of London, David Snell (Mary Lou) of Waterloo, Evelyn Harrington of Fergus, and Brian Snell of Font Hills, Alberta. Remember also as a dear brother-in-law by Ross and Joan Johnson of Meaford and Robert and Marie Eccles of Waterloo and he will be fondly remembered by his several nieces and nephews and their families.

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Dennis "Grumpy" Holden

April 28, 1921 to July 2014

It is with Great Sadness that our family announces the passing of Dennis “Grumpy” Holden. Pre-deceased by spouse Edith “Bubs” Holden (nee Plumridge) and Granddaughter Miranda Nicole Coish will be remembered with Love by son Bruce Holden and wife Margaret, daughter Tamara Coish and husband Roy. Cousin Pam Normanton Granddaughters Michelle Costello and husband Paul, Melissa Olsen and husband Jon. Grandchildren Damon & Aydan Costello and Connor Olsen. & Family and Friends. Served for the Canadian Infantry Irish Regiment from 1939 to 1945. Special thanks to Dana, & Sharon from Closing the Gap, and his Nurses Yasmin and Erynn.


Morris Jorgenson

Date??? to December 3, 2003

(Veteran World War II, Royal Canadian Dragoons; life member Optimist Club of Orangeville)

Peacefully at home on Wednesday, December 3, 2003, Morris Jorgenson, in his 87th year, beloved husband of Mabel Thomson. ᅠDear father of Pamela, Ken & his wife Marguerite, Wayne, Jim & his wife Cheryl. ᅠLoved grandpa of Christopher Copeland (& Deb), Shannon Copeland, Tyler Mills, Nolan ᅠ& Shakira Jorgenson, and Alexandra Jorgenson. ᅠSurvived by sister Vera and brothers Ben, Bob, Larry, Leonard, Warner and predeceased by George, Ed, Jack, Gordon and Audrey. ᅠFondly remembered by many nieces and nephews. ᅠ

Barry Cutter

Barry Cutter

April 2, 1942 to March 25, 2001

Owner of Duffern Power and Marine, John Deere dealer for over 22 years. Member of Orangeville Optimist Club for many years. Passed away at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, on Sunday March 25, 2001 in his 59th year; beloved husband of Jill Harnden; proud father of Marisa of Toronto, Brett and Chandra both of Orangeville; dear brother of Jon and his wife Carol of North Bay; also sadly missed by his many relatives and friends.

Image by David Tomaseti

Members who have passed


Mel Crockford - 1992

Bill Dawson - 2016

George Cousins - 2003

Bill Parke - 2004

Bill Blissell - 2018

Henry Hilliard - March 11, 1949 - February 2006

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