Bayham Township has lost another of its most senior lifelong residents. Hugh Wesley Howey passed away at Tillsonburg Hospital on Sunday October 15, 2023 in his 98th year. Farming and family were his true passions. He worked on other farms in the area, but eventually came home to join his father and brothers on the farm that had been in his family since 1817. Starting his career working the land with horses, he witnessed incredible changes in farming over his lifetime, and enjoyed restoring an old Massey Harris #20 tractor. Always ready with a story, he could recall with remarkable clarity events from 80 years ago, even up to the final days of his life. Sports were an integral part of those stories that started when he was a boy playing baseball in the pasture fields with brother Bob pitching, brother Bill catching, Hugh at first, father John in outfield, and their dog Sport at shortstop. He was especially proud of his role in Straffordville’s championship men’s hockey and baseball teams.
He was a long-time member of Straffordville United Church and served in a number of roles. Serving the wider community was particularly important to him. He was one of the founding members of Bayham Community Initiatives, an organization that in the late 70s and early 80s provided food and clothing to those who needed it.
Born on the farm southeast of Eden, Ontario, on June 4, 1926, he married the love of his life, Mabel Jackson, a young woman from the 5th concession, at the old white United Church in Straffordville, on May 6th, 1950. His life is a collection of celebrations with family: wiener roasts, camping trips, huge dinners at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving, birthday parties, weddings, and funerals.
He was predeceased by his parents, John and Della, brothers Bob and Bill, sister Ida Wood, brothers-in-law Miller Wood and Jack Wolfe, grandson Sam Howey, and niece Della Lorraine Howey. He is survived by his wife Mabel, his son Doug (Diana), grandson Jason (Joanne), great-grandsons Joseph, Matthew, and Andrew, daughter Nancy (George Giles), daughter Susan (Kevin Morrell), grandson Donovan Morrell (Taylor), daughter Ann, sisters-in-law Margaret Howey and Kate Wolfe, and numerous nephews, nieces and great-nephews and great nieces.
His family would like to thank the nurses from 2 South at Tillsonburg Hospital, and our helpers at home; Henrietta Groeneweg, Linda Brearley and Julie Spitzke. Visitation will be held on Thursday October 19th, 2023 from 4:00pm until 7:00pm at Ostrander’s Funeral Home, 43 Bidwell Street, Tillsonburg (519) 842-5221. Hugh’s funeral service will be held on Friday October 20th, 2023 at 11:00am at Bayham United Church, 56169 Heritage Line, Straffordville, ON. Interment will follow at Eden Cemetery. Lunch afterward will be at Bayham United Church. Donations in Hugh’s memory can be made to Bayham United Church via cheque by contacting the Funeral home or to a charity of your choice.