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April 7, 2020

It is with profound sadness that the Middelkamp family announces the death of John Albert Middelkamp, April 7, 2020, at the age of 70. Known to so many as Homer, he was the beloved husband and pain in the ass of Harlene (Yes, Boss!). They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary just last summer. The family was thrilled to see so many – from near and far – able to share in that celebration! John was born in the Netherlands but was a deep-rooted denizen of Bruce County. He raised his family here, as do his children. He was a lifelong farmer at heart. He spent years driving truck through Canada and the United States, hauling livestock, and he loved working at the golf course throughout the years. Over the past few years, his favourite moments were the times when his nephew, Dan, would pick him up and take him for a run to ship cattle or simply spent time in the fields riding in the tractor with him. That's when they solved the world’s problems. Homer had so many interests, but he had five true loves: Harlene, his family, reading, music and golf. Depending on the day, not necessarily in that order! He always had his nose in a book or you would find multiple books around the house that he was reading at the same time. None of the Middelkamps is a stranger to song and music, and John was no exception. Up to his final days, he found comfort in the power of music, taking solace while listening to his favourites. It was a rare day in the summer, if you found Homer somewhere other than the golf course, or cutting lawns on the 25th Sideroad. These were his summer activities after his retirement. Last summer was his best and final rounds of his game. And it was very fitting that his last round of golf was with his good friend, Al Mackay. In his life, as in his golf game, he was no hacker. When faced with this round of cancer treatment, for a third time, he met the challenge head on. John was a devoted dad to Shane and his wife, Sheona; Crystal and her husband, Anibal; Matthew and his wife, Loraine; and the baby of the family, Jarred. He will also be sadly missed by Gaynor Thompson of Canberra, Australia, who was like a daughter to him. Homer doted on his grandchildren. Opa is deeply missed by William, Cara, Jack, Maria, Danika, Otto, Vivian, Chelene and Coral. Survived by his cherished brothers and sisters, Renske and her husband, Edgar Daer of Blyth; Bouwina Pigeon of Matheson; Bob and his wife, Ria of Ripley; Kini and her husband, John Meyer of Holyrood; Jake and his wife, Margo of Saltford; Marian Glen and her partner, Greg Nicholson of Inverhuron; and Henry and his wife, Mary of Ripley; as well as his sister-in-law, Marjorie Middelkamp of Ripley; and his brother-in-law Allan and and his wife, Eleanor Rutledge. He will also be missed deeply by many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents, Aaltje and Hendrik; his brother, Albert; and his sister, Gay Rutledge. While our hearts break, we are unable to hold a formal service in honour of John at this time. We ask that everyone take a moment, in your own way, to honour our John. Keep him in your heart always, as will we. When we’re able, we will gather and hug and laugh and cry together to celebrate Homer’s life. A very special thank you to Dr. Blanchette and his team, Dr. Louis and his team, both of London Health Sciences Centre; their exceptional care of John over the past four years has been outstanding. A very big hug and kiss to John’s “My Jennifer” who was his primary nurse in London but most of all a friend and confidant when he needed it the most. A special thank you to Dr. Jason Murray, our family doctor, for his home visits and care during our journey. Thank you also to the VON and the Grey Bruce Palliative Care team. For those who would like to make a donation in John’s memory, we invite you to donate to the London Health Sciences Centre or your local food bank. Or simply if you know of a family in need at this difficult time in the world, we ask that you give to those who need a helping hand. Condolences on-line at Farewell dear Homer. We’ll see you again when we all meet up at the 19th hole. “Always kiss me goodnight!”