Sunday, April 21, 2024

Obituary: Haldane, Norman Good Hutcheon

Norman Good Hutcheon Haldane died at Meaford General Hospital with his family close by, July 18, 2023. He would insist we say he was ‘in his 96th year’.

Norm was born September 18, 1927, in Dundee, Scotland, and emigrated to Canada with his parents Agnes and John Haldane when he was three years old. He grew up in Toronto and Montreal, with summers at Balm Beach. He began his working career in sales, first for Brook Bond Tea and then in pharmaceuticals, travelling around the country.

In Winnipeg Norm met Joan and they were married in 1961. They lived in different communities in Ontario with a brief stint in Indiana, but after the third of their three daughters was born, they moved steadily further north – Oakville, then Shelburne, Ravenna, until they landed in Clarksburg, where they have lived for the past 40 years.

Norm was a true Renaissance man with vast skills and experiences. Over the years his official jobs included salesman, advertising executive, farmer, contractor and carpenter, storekeeper, postmaster, and bus driver. To his family, he was a loved husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother, and uncle. A few of the other roles he filled included singer, musician, sign-maker, writer, editor and proofreader, actor, costumer and make-up artist, pyromaniac, home surgeon and orthodontist, Monty Python fan, creative genius behind his children’s school projects, stained glass artist, driver of ‘old people’, neighbour, friend.

He had an astounding memory and knew more poems by heart than most of us will read in a lifetime. Many family gatherings included recitations of the adventures of “Little Albert Ramsbottom”. Earlier this year, even when Norm was too tired to read or write in his journal, he treated his family to classic poems from memory.

Norm loved to see new places and together he and Joan travelled when they could, and spent many summers in their trailer at Sauble Beach. The grandkids fondly remember visits there, including elaborate sandcastles and Grandpa’s blazing campfires. Even once his horizons narrowed a bit, he still loved a road trip and would often say to Joan, “let’s go for a drive”, or just “let’s go somewhere”. Trips were always an adventure with history to learn, fun facts or goofy signs to notice and photograph.

Norman was an active member of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church. His faith was a quiet constant throughout his life. We imagine he’s now back in the choir anchoring heaven’s tenor section, and planning out some awesome signs to promote sights along the gold-paved streets.

Norm is loved and missed by his wife Joan, daughters Jennifer (Tom Bellington), Susan (Ray Ford), and Melanie (Rob Kearns), as well as grandchildren David, Cameron, Johnathan, Justin, Jonah, Elena and their partners, plus many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be conducted at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Thornbury on Friday, July 28, 2023, at 1 o’clock. A reception will follow with an opportunity to share refreshments and remembrances of Norm.

As your expression of sympathy, donations to the Meaford Hospital Foundation or St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church (cheques only) would be appreciated and may be made through the Ferguson Funeral Home, 48 Boucher St. E., Meaford, ON, N4L 1B9, to whom arrangements have been entrusted.

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