Glenn Allen DeGraw, age 76, passed away peacefully on October 14, 2023, at his residence in Rodney. He leaves behind his loving children, Lori DeGraw (Roz) of Toronto and Derek DeGraw of St. Thomas. Glenn was the dear brother of the late Bob (Maureen), Yvonne (Dennis) Paine, Lana (Wayne) Patterson, Brian (Karen), Kevin (Kathy), Donna (Allan) Fordyce, and Jeff (Janice). He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Glenn had a special connection to his late uncle, Private Leonard DeGraw, who fought valiantly for the Royal Canadian Regiment during World War II and was laid to rest in 1944 at the Moro River Canadian War Cemetery in Italy.
Born on September 8, 1947, to the late Gerald and Marjorie (née Tunks), Glenn cherished his childhood memories growing up on Ridout Street in Rodney during the 1950s. He often spoke fondly of simpler times filled with play, fresh air, homegrown “organic foods,” and a close-knit family and community. Glenn took great pride in his pitching skills and played for the “dream team” Rodney Bantams, which triumphed in the Ontario baseball championship in 1962. As a proud member of the team, he participated in a town parade and celebration after shutting out the Hagersville team 10-0 in the playoff finals.
From an early age, Glenn worked on his grandfather Tunks’ farm and later found employment in the tobacco fields, like many others in the area. His first job outside the fields was as a loans officer at the Household Finance Company (HBC) in Sarnia, Ontario, in 1967. It was a challenging introduction to office culture and processes, but he quickly adapted and climbed the ranks. Eventually, Glenn became a Regional Manager for the Bank of Montreal based in London and later served as the Administrator of Beattie Haven in Wardsville.
Glenn’s love for music was evident, and he often reminisced about his time spent in Detroit clubs during the early days of Motown in the 1960s. He admired legendary artists such as Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis and had the privilege of attending their concerts, along with numerous performances from the “Jeans and Classics” series at the London Orchestra. Additionally, he relished the works of Sting, Stéphane Grappelli, and Billy Joel. Golfing, baseball (with a particular passion for the Detroit Tigers), supporting the iconic 1970s Montreal Canadiens, enjoying a fine glass of wine, cooking, reading, gardening, and exploring various countries filled Glenn’s free time. However, he always looked forward to returning home to Rodney, where he could gather with loved ones for memorable family meals during the holidays. Glenn’s sweet potato side dish became a beloved tradition among his relatives and friends. In the tranquility of his hometown, amidst the picturesque farm fields and chirping bluebirds, he would savor a refreshing drink alongside his dear companions.
A private Graveside Service will be held at Rodney Cemetery, followed by a Celebration of Life from 1 – 4 pm on Saturday, April 27, 2024, at the Southcott Pines Park Association clubhouse in Grand Bend. This beautiful community held a special place in Glenn’s heart for over a decade. Family and friends are warmly invited to attend the celebration, which will be marked by music, food, and heartfelt stories, providing an opportunity to share laughter and cherished memories of time spent with Glenn. In lieu of flowers, his family appreciates memorial contributions to Carolinian Canada or the Royal Canadian Legion Br. 221 in West Lorne. The arrangements are being handled by DENNING’S OF RODNEY (519-785-0810). For more information, please visit http://www.westelginfuneralhome.com.