Obituary: John B. (Baptiste) Thibaudeau

A longtime resident of St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada passed restfully at the St. Thomas – Elgin General Hospital on April 12, 2011.  John began life on October 15, 1928 in Chesley, near Glenelg and Artemesia Townships, Grey County, Ontario, whre the Thibaudeau family first homesteaded. John spent his childhood and youth in St. Thomas, with his parents John Stewart and Alice (nee Pryce) Thibaudeau and two surviving sisters Colleen Thibaudeau-Reaney (London, ON) and Sheila Lambrinos (Owen Sound, ON), attended Scott Street and Wellington Street Schools and later graduated from the St. Thomas Collegiate Institute (STCI).

John Took leave from the University of Western Ontario (UWO), London, ON, to enter the 408 “Goose” Squadron at the Royal Canadian Airforce (RCAF), based out of RCAF Station Rockcliffe, ON. For several years John participated in many exercises, including mapping the far north and other remote areas of Canada, from specially equipped Lancaster Photographic Aircraft. Upon leaving the RCAF, John participated as a Peacekeeper iwth the First United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF-1) in Egypt. John retunred with his  young family to St. Thomas in 1957, completed an Honours Bachelor of Science and an Althouse College Secondary School Teachers program at University of Western Ontario and like his father entered the Teaching profession. Over nearly 30 years, John taught Geography, the Sciences and Math to thousands of students attending East Elgin (Aylmer) and Arthur Voaden Secondary Schools (St. Thomas).

John was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, partner, brother-in-law, uncle and great-uncle. He was also a peacekeeper, colleague, teacher, educator, friend and much more. Always, he supported, encouraged and cared deeply for his family and friends. John possessed a bold spirit like his mother, a quick wit, was curious about human worldly affairs, an avid player and fan of some sports and played bridge enthusiastically, winning many tournaments as a Life Master. John held great respect and a lifelong passion for all in the natural world. He seemed most at home in this world while in the outdoors; at the seashore, in the forest, walking freshly ploughed fields hunting for arrowheads, cooking the perfect burger on an open campfire, collecting rocks and fossils, on the water, fishing and sharing these experiences in the compoany of family members, his partner, friends and his dogs. John is affectionately remembered as a man whose insights, wisdom, principle of fairness and ways of being in this world continue influencing and guilding the life experiences of his surviving partner Lana Johnstone (St. Thomas, ON), 4 children: Sandra (Clyde) Adkin (London, ON), Steven (Marg) Thibaudeau (Kitchener, ON), Shelley Thibaudeau (Cochrane, AB), and Scott (Carolyn) Thibaudeau (Walkerton, ON); 10 grandchildren: Nathan, Sydney and Nolan (Sandra); Danielle, Matthew, Victoria and Andrew (Steven), Lindsay and Cory (Scott); one great-grandson: Jay Tyler Oldham (Nathan); Dana Thibaudeau; and Mrs. Frances Cline. Nices and nephews James Reaney and Susan Reaney (Colleen) and Chris Lambrinos, Tim Lambrinos and Alice Lambrinos-Idemudia (Sheila) also hold many fond memories of adventures and experiences with their uncle and brother John, his dog Ebony and continue sharing these with their children and extended familes.

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