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WATKINS: David Andrew of Bayfield

Posted By Haskett Funeral Homes On June 15, 2022 @ 4:47 PM In Obituary,Zurich | 37 Comments

WATKINS: David Andrew of Bayfield

It is with much regret and deep sorrow that the family of David Andrew Watkins announce his passing on Monday June 13th, 2022. He passed peacefully in his favourite chair with his family beside him. 

Dave was born February 24, 1938 on the farm near Avonmore, eldest son of Glyn and Elizabeth. He had three sisters; Elizabeth, Marilyn, and Glynda, and a brother Hubert. Dave was ice skating with some friends when he met a young lady named Marlene McKenzie. This relationship blossomed into a beautiful marriage of over 60 years. From this marriage came Sandra (Tim) and Stephen (Lynn). He was very proud of them both. Dave was a grandfather of five: Meredith (Eric), Vanessa (Josh), Zachary, Christine, and Audrey. He was very proud of his grandchildren and what they have accomplished so far in their lives. 

Dave graduated from Kemptville Agricultural College with an Advanced Mechanical diploma. He took a job at the Kingston Correctional facility as a groundskeeper. His young family lived on the penitentiary grounds in provided housing where Dave worked all day, studied, and earned an additional degree from Guelph University in Horticultural.  

He moved his family outside of London where he started a landscape maintenance business, Green Thumb. Along with this, he started Hyde Park Equipment, and owned a Shur-Gain feed mill and farm equipment. Dave was a founding member of Landscape Ontario eventually serving as their president, and later was the president of Landscape Canada. He was just shy of 60 years with the Masonic Lodge (Doric 289) and later became a Shriner. 

Dave fully retired in 1988 and he and Marlene moved to Bayfield. By this time, Dave had developed a deep aversion to snow~ every Thanksgiving they packed up and would disappear south of the border until the following Spring. They formed many cherished friendships from their years of wintering in Texas and Arizona. When back in Canada, they enjoyed an active social life, visiting with grandchildren, and created a bird sanctuary cleverly disguised as a back yard.  Wherever they hung their hats, they were active volunteers in the community. Dave was well known email comedian. The volume of funny cartoons, silly videos, and occasionally inappropriate jokes depended on his down time and tripled during the pandemic. He loved the stock market, old cars, good friends, Marlene’s baking, and a quick wit. 

Friends are invited to meet with the family to celebrate Dave’s wonderful, full adventuresome life at St Andrew’s United Church, Bayfield, 6 The Square, Bayfield on July 21, 2022 at 2 PM, with a celebration of life to follow from 3 – 5 PM. You are welcome to come to either the service, the celebration, or both, the family would love to see you.

Dave was not a fan of funeral flowers so if anyone is inclined, please donate to Shriners Hospitals for Children or St Andrews United Church in Bayfield.

Condolences for the family of “WATKINS: David Andrew of Bayfield”

Condolence from David Arbuckle on June 15th, 2022 6:05 PM

Marlene, I am so sorry to hear of Dave’s passing.
Suzanne and I send our condolences to you and your loved ones.
He was an amazing man and will deeply be missed, but most importantly fondly remembered.
Dave Arbuckle.

Condolence from Brandy Watters Margison on June 15th, 2022 6:07 PM

My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I remember Dave fondly and I know how special he was to you. Sending my condolences to you during this difficult time.

Condolence from Jeanette Hodgins on June 15th, 2022 6:41 PM

Marlene and family, so sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. He has had a remarkable life and I always enjoyed chatting with him at Shriner events over the past years. May your memories help to ease your loss at this time and may God bless you all.

Condolence from Marty&Karen Van Praet on June 15th, 2022 7:16 PM

Wishing you peace at this difficult time.

Condolence from Martina Thornton on June 15th, 2022 8:35 PM

Dave was such a nice man and always so positive. Very funny too.
We are all sorry to hear this sad news. Our most heartfelt condolences to all.
Martina and John Thornton

Condolence from Steve Johns on June 15th, 2022 11:08 PM

So sorry to hear about the loss of Dave, a great man, thinking of the fun memories
Steve Johns

Condolence from Sylvia and John Schaldach on June 16th, 2022 9:13 AM

What a wonderful life and a wonderful man! The world is a better place because he was part of it. So sorry to hear of his passing. God bless and may he rest in peace knowing that he was loved by many. Our condolence to the Watkins family.

Condolence from Michael Stilwell on June 16th, 2022 10:05 AM

Marlene and Family,

Dave is a friend in Masonry and the Shrine. He mentored, taught and scolded me to be a better man. I can never repay his kindness, humour and generosity, only hope to pay forward what he gave to me—hugs to you all. He will always be missed.

Condolence from Lucy Hesse on June 16th, 2022 10:06 AM

Der Marlene and family, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of a husband, father and brother. I remember sharing stories at your home and Shrine events. May God hold you and your family in the palm of His Hand and give you comfort and peace. Keep the happy memories and speak of him often. Blessings, Lucy Hesse

Condolence from Jim and Maureen Craig on June 16th, 2022 10:25 AM

We are saddened to hear about Dave , enjoyed his company and his wit traveling to meetings .
Thoughts and prayers are with you Marlene and your family.
Jim and Maureen Craig.

Condolence from Pat & Cora Ryan on June 16th, 2022 10:31 AM

Sandy and family, sending lots of love at this difficult time. A life well lived.
Look forward to hearing many Dave stories.
Pat & Cora

Condolence from John Elston on June 16th, 2022 11:16 AM

To Dave’s family

Sending condolences to all of Dave’s family at this difficult time on his passing. Dave was a true gentleman and businessman. My family got to know Dave very well when he ran Green Thumb Horticultural at the time we had our hardware store in Hyde Park for many years. Dave was a great customer and friend to our store. Thinking of all of you at this time.

John Elston and families
On behalf of the former Elston’s Hyde Park Hardware

Condolence from Lorne Shirley Dundas on June 16th, 2022 12:54 PM

Marlene and Family so sorry for your loss. We really had no idea how bad things had gotten for Dave. Thinking of you at this time and going through old memories of our 1974 Masters reunions. Love Lorne, Shirl Dundas

Condolence from Mike & Rosie Flanagan on June 16th, 2022 12:56 PM

We are so sorry to hear of the passing of your father! He sure sounded like an amazing man! Do take care of yourself and remember all those special times!

Condolence from Avery on June 16th, 2022 12:58 PM

We’re so sorry to hear this! We always enjoyed when Dave would call us at the Bayfield Library and ask us to “personal shop” for books for him. Even after we reopened after COVID, he still preferred that we select his books, as he said we always picked him the best books. He was an absolute gem and will be missed!

Condolence from Scott and Kelly Finlayson on June 16th, 2022 3:18 PM

Sandy , we are sorry to hear about the loss of your dad. He sounds like a man I would have had some fun with. Keep the memories close to your heart.
Scott & Kelly

Condolence from Ken and Marg Caldwell on June 16th, 2022 8:56 PM

Marlene and Family: We forward you heartfelt condolences in the loss of your husband, father, and grandfather. Over a number of years we have fond memories of being in your company – Dave was a great fellow and such a great sense of humour. We will miss him. Ken and Marg Caldwell – Clinton

Condolence from Sharon Sinnamon on June 17th, 2022 12:36 AM

Marlene and Family, sending my condolences to you on the recent loss of Dave! He always had a cheery greeting to all he met and you will dearly miss him! Sincerely Sharon Sinnamon

Condolence from Kemptville College Alumni Board on June 17th, 2022 5:50 PM

Marlene and family,
Kemptville College Alumni extend sympathy to you and all the family. Year’57 has lost a special friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Condolence from Gord and Ruth Baxter on June 19th, 2022 2:20 PM

Dear Marlene and Family
We extend our deepest sympathies on the passing of Dave. A great friend who will be deeply missed. Gord and Ruth Baxter

Condolence from John & nancy Elmslie on June 19th, 2022 3:54 PM

Marlene and Family;

We are Thankful to have known Dave and become friends through St Andrews United Church. Dave was instrumental in helping with the design of the front entrance of the Mews and for the shrubs that were planted and often he would keep an eye on it and trim when necessary. Daves involvement with community was always with both feet in. We are grateful for the man he was and the memories we will have to share. Marlene, may you and the family find Peace in knowing that Dave is now at rest and pain free. You are all in our prayers, God Bless , John & Nancy

Condolence from Wayne & Sharon Barton on June 19th, 2022 4:23 PM

Marleen and family. We are so sorry you’ve lost such a wonderful man, too early for your family and all his friends. Dave was certainly one of our closest and dearest friends for the many years we enjoyed his sage advice and many laughs, a one of a kind man. Sad for all of us but we’re sure he is in a better place gone to his reward for a life well lived.

Condolence from Tracey Beckstead on June 19th, 2022 5:22 PM

Marlene and family my deepest condolences. It was an honour to get to know Dave through my father and their KAS group. He will be sadly missed by many.

Tracey Beckstead

Condolence from Margaret Pelow on June 19th, 2022 9:46 PM

Marlene and family, I was truly saddened to hear of Dave’s passing. I enjoyed getting to know both of you through Ann. I looked forward to Dave’s jokes and sense of humor and will truly miss them. My sincerest condolences to the family.

Condolence from Carolyn Dalgity on June 19th, 2022 10:40 PM

Marlene, Sandra and Steve I am saddened to learn of the Dave’s passing. I fondly remember all of you when I drive by your family home on the highway outside of London. May memories comfort you at this difficult time.

Condolence from Stephen Doney on June 20th, 2022 8:16 AM

My condolences to Dave’s family. I did not know David very long. We met at the YMCA and I always enjoyed chatting with him and hearing his jokes. It was during one of those chats it came out that he was a mason and I was joining his lodge when it opened up again. Unfortunately I only got to sit in lodge with him 2 or 3 times, but I am privileged to have had that time. He will be missed.

Condolence from Mark Berry on June 20th, 2022 11:04 AM

We are so very sorry for your loss. Dave was a kind and genuine man and he loved life. I will miss my daily email and our regular chats. He will be fondly remembered.

Condolence from Margret Crane on June 20th, 2022 11:58 AM

Marlene I am so blessed to have you as an Aquafit friend. I so enjoy splashing in the water and dancing to the music with you. Sending you hugs and love as you grieve the passing of your dear husband. Condolences to you and your family. Cherish the memories and share the love with family. ❤️🙏❤️

Condolence from Chris Schofield on June 20th, 2022 2:16 PM

The officers and members of Hidalgo Lodge in Edinburg, Texas send our condolences for the loss of such great and good a man as our Brother Dave. He would always end our meetings with a joke. He and the laughter will be truly missed.

Condolence from Fred Cano on June 20th, 2022 2:18 PM

The Brothers in the various Lodges in South Texas and northern Mexican Lodges offer their most sincere condolences to the Family.
He has been missed these last few winters. I keep getting asked if I’d heard from Dave. Well, I ve given them the sad news. Please know that we thought highly of him.

Condolence from Jim Bidol on June 21st, 2022 10:31 AM

Marlene, Peggy and I are so sorry to hear of the profound loss to you and family of that one-if-a-kind True Gentleman, Dave! We did not get to know Dave very well, but in our brief chats with him as he was walking past our FL home with his little dog it became apparent to both of us that here is a refined, buoyant and sanguine man who seemingly never had a bad word for any one or anything, a personality who always made us appreciate life and left us with a warm feeling in our hearts. We thank the Lord for knowing Dave and the Gift, however brief to us, he was in our lives. We pray and know that the painful hole in all of your hearts will be healed in time and your tears of sadness will be replaced only by tears of joy in remembrance as all of you await the Grand Reunion with Dave promised by Our Lord and assured by Faith! God bless you and the family during these dark days! Ever caring, Jim & Peggy Bidol

Condolence from Chris Wakefield on June 21st, 2022 10:54 AM

Marlene, Sandra Jean, Steven and your families. I am so sorry for your loss. May all the wonderful memories ease your pain in the coming days and weeks ahead.
We are so fortunate to have some “Dave”stories that we have reminisced about. Roy remembers the day they took the TV tower down. Dave had to show the young ones how it was done, even if it was 52 feet up. My favourite memory is from the time we went to Texas to visit. Dave took us to Mexico so I could get a margarita and he could get his teeth looked after.
I’m sure Dave is enjoying his favourite pies while he watches over you all. ❤️

Condolence from Elaine and Terry Tweedle on June 21st, 2022 4:07 PM

Sorry for your loss we enjoyed our time with you in Texas.this is a great shockto us. We just got the message at 4: pm today. Elaine and Terry Tweedle New Hamburg.

Condolence from Erick and Jan Butts on June 29th, 2022 10:33 AM

As a young man I had the privilege of working for Dave at Green Thumb. He was not only a great mentor, but a true friend who helped encourage me to move forward with my studies and dreams of running my own horticultural company. Dave has been and always will be in both mine and my wife’s thoughts. Our deepest sympathies to the family.

Condolence from Dave and Kay Spaulding on July 1st, 2022 1:45 PM

Dave had too many friends to count. He has touch so many people.

Condolence from Dawn Bolduc on July 14th, 2022 4:05 PM

Marlene and family, sorry to hear about Dave’s passing. Dad always enjoyed talking to him at Rees family events. You are in our thoughts. Gerard, Dawn, Lori Bolduc

Condolence from Peter C Mansell on July 16th, 2022 11:49 AM

“The Wandering Watkins”
A personal card presented to me a very long time ago has been in my possession since Dave’s retirement exclaims it all.. Relax.. Travel.. Enjoy.. And he certainly did.

Dave was part of a growing horticultural family in and around the London area. The first time I went to the house on Fanshawe Park Road I was surprised by the presence of two Dobermans. When I asked Dave about the dogs which I think are beautiful, he replied, “I got the dogs to overcome my fear of Dobermans. And then he would smile… that big smile with his bright full-of-life eyes beaming at you.

He would share stories, talk business, donate his time in his happy, very positive style. At one of the dinner functions of Landscape Ontario, Dave and Marlene chatted for a long time with my wife and myself about his plans of retiring to travel and enjoy life.

A mentor to many… an example to others… and a pioneer of the industry…

To the Watkins Family I share your sorrow and understand your grief and offer sincerest sympathies on your loss. He will be missed by many.

Peter C. Mansell,
formerly Evergreen Nursery & Flora Nova Landscaping, London

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