Milton Edwin Westover passed away peacefully, with family at his side, at the Emo Health Centre in Emo, Ont. on Monday, Aug. 13, 2018, two months before his 94th birthday.
Although Milton was his given name, he often was referred to fondly as Dad, Grandpa, Papa, Uncle, Milt, and Friend.
Dad was born in Chapple Township, Ont. to Roy and Edna (nee Meyers) Westover on Oct. 24, 1924. He was the fifth of 10 children.
Growing up on the family farm was hard work and required a lot of everyone's time. However, as evidenced by the countless stories that he could recite (in great detail) to anyone who asked to hear them, Dad and his siblings always found time for fun and borderline devious adventures.
Throughout his childhood, he enjoyed spending time on the Westovers' homestead farms on the banks of the Rainy River, in Barwick, Ont. and in Birchdale, Mn. There, he helped in any way that was needed and often found himself babysitting his younger cousins—a task he very much enjoyed (especially babysitting cousin Jack Westover, who loved the chicken trough. . . .)
Dad would reminisce fondly about his time spent on the homesteads; each story told with that classic Westover grin stretching from one ear to the other.
He attended school at the Barwick Consolidated School, where he received his fourth grade education. Having spent more time out of school than in, it was evident early on that his real passion was farming for the love of animals (all animals—even the wild ones).
Dad was well-known in the area as an amateur vet and would take in any wounded animal and nurse it back to health. He's been known to befriend or adopt healthy critters and make pets out of them (a skunk, fox, beaver, and even a pet fisher for a period of time before it ripped the shirt clean off his back and it was decided they should part ways).
Dad also had a way with horses and always had a well-trained team. He was working with horses from the age of 10, getting paid $.75/day to work the horses and hay rakes for various farmers.
Dad had established his own farm by the time he was 16.
Dad met and married the love of his life, Annie Albers, in 1954. They created a life together on the farm and had five children, though they had a hand in raising many more as countless friends, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren spent much of their childhood on the family farm creating memories and learning life lessons from Mom and Dad.
Dad was predeceased by his parents, Roy and Edna; wife, Annie; siblings, Don (Jessie), Billie, Helen (Irwin Pretty), Iva (Erling Olson), Margaret, Fred, Ron and Roy (the twins), and Jim; and grandson, Cameron Wilson.
He is survived by his sisters-in-law, Marg Westover and Donna Westover; children, Betty (Randy Brannan), Joan (Allen Jolicouer), Cliff (Susan), Deb (Wes Morriseau), and Dick; 13 grandchildren (plus their spouses); 18 great-grandchildren (plus their spouses); and one great-great-granddaughter, Ava Pratt.
Dad also will be lovingly remembered by many close friends, including Ken Wilson, Brian Nielson, and Charlene Martin; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Dad shares his spiritual journey home with his great-grandson's father, Jeffrey Brown.
As per Dad's wishes, a traditional funeral will not be held. A gathering may be held at a later date.
Interment will take place in Barwick Cemetery.
If desired, in memoriam donations may be made to the Chapple Heritage c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.
May his integrity be cherished, his love of animals be remembered, and his never-ending curiosity and thoughtfulness live on in the lives of those he touched.
MY DAD, In Heaven
They say there is a reason,
they say time will heal.
Neither time nor reason
will change the way I feel.
Gone are the days
we used to share,
but in my heart
you will always be there.
The gates of memories
will never close.
I miss you more than
Love and miss you every day,
until we meet again.
Always and forever love you, Dad.