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Susan Lembke (1940-2019)
Posted Feb. 25, 2019

The UFRCA extends its condolences to the family of Susan Lembke, long time cottager on the French, who died recently. For the obituary submitted by niece Amy Watkins, click here.

Jerry Noel - previous owner of Chaudiere Lodge
Posted December 9, 2018

We received the following information too late for the Fall Newsletter. UFRCA member and cottager Paul Cormier has informed us that Jerry Noel, previous owner of Chaudiere Lodge, died on November 20, 2018, at the age of 68. Cremation has taken place and arrangements may be planned for a private ceremony to spread some of his remains at the French, an area that he loved. The obituary may be seen here.

Jim Hardy
Posted Aug. 14, 2018

Long time Sandy Island cottager and former UFRCA Board member Jim Hardy died recently on August 2. The UFRCA extends its sincere condolences to Carol and the Hardy family. The obituary may be viewed here.

Alexandria Boire - 1947-2018
The UFRCA extends its condolences to Peter Boire and family following the recent passing of Alexandria in early July. Peter and Alex were cottagers for many years on the Upper French. The obituary may be viewed here.

Laurie Rooney

Posted April 9, 2018

The UFRCA expresses its profound sympathies to the Rooney and Chirico families after the recent passing of Laurie Rooney, wife of UFRCA Board Member and Treasurer Peter Rooney. Laurie was a long-time cottager on the Upper French and will be missed. The obituary may be seen here.

Doris Moore
Posted June 23, 2017

The UFRCA expresses its condolences to the family of Doris Moore who passed away on May 13, 2017, at the age of 96. Doris was a resident of Moreland Hills, Ohio and was the wife of Cleveland-area physician Dr. Douglas J. Moore (who died in 1988) and the daughter-in-law of the late William and Evelyn Moore, who established the family's first camp on the southeastern shore of Windy/Cleland Island (Island #148) in the 1930s. (This is now the site of the Kennedy-Sadler camp.)  Her first trip to the River was in the early 1950s, and with her husband, Doug, established the family's second camp on the northeastern tip of the island in 1965.They named the camp Diastole (pronounced die-ass’-toll-ee) for the resting phase of the heart.  Their children: Jeff, Pam Shyatt, Susan Lafferty, Judy Duffy, and Barb Catlin, and her thirteen grandchildren (and their children) enjoy the camp every summer. For the obituary, click here.

More Unfortunate News Regarding Halcyon Cottage

Posted December 16, 2016
In late November, we posted news that Dolores Hill from Halcyon Cottage had died in October. We have recently received further news that Dave & Shin Hill died on December 1 as a result of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at their home in Green, OH. Our condolences once again to the Hill family and to Bud Smith, brother of the late Dolores Hill. A memorial service is planned for December 10, 2016, at 10 a.m. at the Greensburg United Methodist Church in Green. The obituary notice has been posted at 
Also, see 

Dolores Hill – Halcyon Cottage

Posted November 23, 2016
We extend our condolences to the Hill family and to Bud Smith, whose wife Dolores Hill died recently at the age of 86. See

Joy Allen (1931-2015)

Posted August 5, 2015
The UFRCA expresses its condolences to the family of Bruce Allen (first UFRCA President), whose wife Joy Allen died at home on Sunday August 2 at the age of 83.  This would have been her 60th summer on the river, and 50th as a property owner. See obituary here. 

Dick Peoples
Submitted by Liz and Todd Gribbon, Elliot Island
Posted October 27, 2015

After a few years of cottage ownership in Huntsville and on the south shore of Lake Nipissing, we mentioned to our French River friends to let us know if they heard of anything becoming available on the French River. In February of 2009 we had a call one evening from Mike and Karen (Rooney) Montcalm advising us that their neighbour, Dick Peoples, was interested in selling as his health was declining and he was living in Ohio.  My husband, Todd, called him that evening.  Dick was ever the gentleman, patient and kind in his dealings with us.  We referred him to our friend, Dan Strike, a Canadian real estate lawyer and now a French River resident as well.  The deal was done with a word by phone!
I felt I knew Dick through our many exchanges of emails.  He first came to the river as a newlywed to the Post family cottage.  He spoke of his babies sleeping in dresser drawers, fishing, and wonderful parties with people in the narrows and upper French River channel.
Throughout the years, we sent Dick and Sharon photos of wildlife, sunsets and sunrises, tubing, waterskiing, boats, our children and black lab, and time with friends.  We shared stories of beavers swimming by, muskrats and mink, osprey with fish in their talons, Great Blue Herons and the return of bald eagles.  We passed along messages of friends in common, explorations in the river, martinis with Jim and Georgia Kutzner, and an invite to Bud and Pauline Smiths' annual roast beef dinner.

In June, I received a note from Sharon, Dick's wife, informing us that he had died. She wrote, "You'll never know how much it meant to him to have you all purchase our property.  He so loved that place.  He felt he was so fortunate!"  It was with great sadness we learned of Dick's passing.
We had a farewell salute to Dick at our point on Elliott Island this summer.

Liz and Todd Gribbon
October 27, 2015
Also see

Sam Trescher
Posted Feb. 11, 2015

We extend our condolences to the family of Fred “Sam” Trescher (1927-2015) who died recently on February 4, 2015. Sam was a cottager on the French for almost his entire lifetime, and daughter Liz Gallagher currently serves on the Board of Directors for the UFRCA. The obituary may be seen at!/Obituary 


Dennis Brodie

Posted Feb. 11, 2015
We also extend our condolences to the family of another long-time cottager on the French River: Dennis Brodie of North Bay (1947-2014). Dennis died on November 2, 2014, and we extend our belated sympathies to Theresa and family. The obituary may be seen at


Richard Viau

Posted July 7, 2014
The UFRCA expresses its condolences to Valarie Viau and family and the Dokis community on the recent death of Valarie’s husband Richard. See 

Kennedy, Anna Currie (nee McAuslan) - May 8, 2013

Posted November 13, 2013
The following has been submitted by Holly Waters. The obituary for Anna Kennedy appeared in the Toronto Globe and Mail on May 13, 2013 and may be seen here.

Anna Kennedy had a wonderful life filled from the start with the many blessings of family, friends, prosperity and health. Her father was a civil engineer who ran a successful North Bay construction firm. For a young girl, summers were especially fun living in tents in isolated construction camps around northern Ontario as her father built highways, dams and airports. The teenage years were filled with dances and parties of every sort. Studying was not a priority.

The best part about university was that it was not in frontier Ontario. Anna had outgrown that scene by her late teens and embraced the University of Toronto (Whitney Hall) social scene. Ball gowns for the ladies; black tie on Fridays and white tie on Saturdays for the men. There she met “Red” Kennedy, a young lawyer whose roots were also in North Bay, at a gathering of North Bay friends at the Imperial Room, Royal York Hotel. Among his many attractions was a good job with Goodyear in Toronto. After completing her B.A., followed by a “Grand Tour” of Europe and a year’s homemaking course at MacDonald Hall in Guelph, she married Red on March 5, 1938 and set off in a new convertible car for a honeymoon in Florida.

Shortly thereafter the war erupted and with it came two “war guests” Tim and Peter Henry, aged four and seven, arranged through the University of Manchester and U. of T. They were Anna’s first subjects in the art of mother craft. It tore her heart to send them back to England three years later but by that time first son Peter (1943) had come soon to be followed by Bruce (1946) and David (1949).  Mother, father and all three sons sported red hair so this five-some attracted attention wherever they went.

From 1940 onwards Anna lived in the Port Credit area where she acquired many friends through a variety of community organizations and activities. In the mid-1950s, as her boys grew older, Anna joined the Mississauga Golf and Country Club first as a founding member of the curling section and later as a golfer. Summers were spent on the French River surrounded by Kennedy relatives. She and Red also undertook many interesting trips together which became ever more extensive following Red’s passing in 1990.  She used her first old age pension cheque to join a health club.

Grandchildren came late but when they did come, they came within five years: Bruce’s Sean was first in June, 1983, followed by David’s three: Peter October 1983, Jane 1987 and Sarah 1988.
When son Peter had died suddenly in 2010, she began to lament that maybe she had lived too long.

Three weeks before her death, Anna was still immaculately dressed and playing bridge three times a week. Her family therefore immediately became alarmed when she announced that she felt tired and wanted to retire from everything including bridge, “while I was at the top”. The end was near. That was no problem for her. “Tell everyone that I have had a good run.”  Two weeks later on May 8 she died peacefully in her own apartment at the Regency Retirement Residence in Port Credit surrounded by her two surviving sons.


Leonard Dokis - January 11, 2013

Posted Friday January 11, 2013

Sadly, we learned today that Leonard Dokis died this morning from complications following bypass surgery. The UFRCA expresses its deep condolences to Shirley and Valarie and family and the entire Dokis community.

Longtime cottager and UFRCA Board member Bill Goodwin writes, "Leonard was one of the great elders and gatekeepers of the river and was for our family (and many others) one of the highlights of our experiences on the French. His friendship, support and unwavering commitment to his family, his community, the environment, and his friends and customers will always be remembered and missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Shirley, Valarie, and all of his family."

The obituary notice was posted by Theoret and Bourgeois Funeral Homes. See 

The family announces with sorrow his death in Sudbury, Friday January 11, 2013 at the age of 79 years. Loving husband of Shirley (née Richer) Dokis of Dokis First Nation. Dear father of Valarie (Richard) Viau of Noelville. Sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his 2 grandchildren Shelley (Jeff) Lafortune and Gerry (Anne) Duquette, his 4 great-grandchildren Chad, Cassie, Mason and Drew.

Raised by his grandparents the late William Dokis and the late Annie (née Gauthier) Dokis. Predeceased by brothers and sisters Roseanne, Edna, Albina, Joe, Albert, Arthur, Kathleen, Ronald, Eleanor, and Eugene. Survived by, brothers and sister Alphonse, Beverley, Clyde, Charlie, and brother-in-law Albert Restoule all of Dokis. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews and friends.

Born in 1933, Leonard lived on the Upper French River at Dokis with his wife Shirley. In 1971 he built Riverview Cottages Store and Marina which he and his wife Shirley still operate today. Leonard has held the positions of Chief of Dokis First Nation (2 terms) and Councillor for over 40 years and is presently Deputy Chief. He has also been a fishing and hunting guide, gravel truck and bulldozer operator, logger, game warden and fire chief. Over the years, Leonard has worked with community clubs and organizations including the Friends of the French River; Nipissing Stewardship Council, Lions Club, Rod and Gun Club, and Advisor to French River Provincial Park. Leonard has run the Migisi Fish Hatchery for the Dokis First Nation for 20 years with the help of volunteers from Dokis. Leonard has always been there for the people of the French River, ready to help if the need arises.

Marc Arcand (Starlite Marina) - June 9, 2012

Posted June 13, 2012
We extend our condolences to the Arcand family: Jeanie, Marc Jr. and Dan. The owner of Starlite Marina, Marc was well known to many UFRCA cottagers who kept their boats at Starlite. Marc passed way June 9, 2012 after a year-long struggle with brain cancer. Read obituary here.


Donn Miller - March 20, 2012

Posted June 13, 2012
The UFRCA extends its sympathies to the family of Donn Miller who passed way March 20, 2012, in Los Angeles CA. Read obituary here.

John Hurtubise - March 6 2012

We express our condolences to Lynne Hurtubise and family on the recent death of John Hutubise (UFRCA members and cottagers on the main channel of the French River).

From the North Bay Nugget
Posted March 8, 2012


HURTUBISE, John - Age 64, ended his final chapter of life with us on Mar 6, 2012. Born and raised in North Bay, Ontario, Canada, John resided in Seminole, Florida for the past 25 years. He was a valiant warrior but lost his battle to cancer in a brief two months. John was no longer in need of his non functioning vehicle and entered a new life. He was predeceased by his Dad, Roger. Left behind and will be sadly missed by his wife of 45 years, Lynne (Thiessen), his Mom Alice, sister Margaret ( Reg), sister-in-law Penny Russell (Jim), nieces Tara and Dayna and special friend/adopted niece Jaci. His special daily greaters – bad black poodle (Ebony) and Ambaloo are feeling a definite void in their lives. John's life evolved around his many special friends, including but not limited to Jim and Norma, Roy ( a thought of son) and Louise, Don and Denise, Jerry and Melony, Donna, Jeanette and Peter, Trevor and Laurie, Polly, and Richard. John excelled in his business world, always thinking of better ways to improve, design and develop equipment. John was very proud of his proteges – namely Roy Moore (North Bay) and Don Abel (Largo) who carry on his legacy. John has had a whirlwind of a life, never resting, always thinking of his next adventure. That being said, he is gone, however there are other eyes watching him coming and their voices ready and shouting:”here he comes!” His next project – who knows – perhaps a newly designed stairway to heaven. Special gratitude to Dr. Beth Carlson, Dr. A. Hakki, Dr. Kevin Ache, Nurse Danielle, all staff of Florida Cancer Specialists, Woodside Hospice. Morton Plant Emergency, and St Pete General. To celebrate John's Life, all are welcome to join us on Sunday Mar 11 at 3 p.m. at Seminole Christian Fellowship, 10202 131st St, Seminole, 595-7940. In lieu of flowers, donations to St Jude Children's Research Hospital, SPCA, World Wildlife Federation would be appreciated. 11119667 

Dr. Bill Nazar June 15, 1970 - Dec. 13, 2011

The UFRCA offers its condolences to Dennis and Margaret Nazar of Sandy Island and St. Catherines on the recent loss of their son Bill (Dr. Bill Nazar, DC.) Bill was well known around Sandy Island and was a frequent visitor with his son Ben at Sandy Haven.

Gordon White - May 26, 2011

We express our sincere condolences to the families of Gordon and Irene White and their daughter Amanda Derks. Gordon White passed away on May 26, 2011. The Whites have been UFRCA members and cottagers at Sand Bay for many years.
Posted: 6/20/2011


Elmer Van Dyke

Elmer Van Dyke, at the age of 92, passed away on May 3, 2011.  He had been a long time resident of the River, often arriving in May and not leaving until the geese were flying south or the first snowflakes were falling. His cottage is located at the narrows, which was built in 1904 and was originally an army camp.

Elmer's door was always open and where you were welcomed with love, laughter, and a special sweet treat. His wit was unbelievably sharp and his stories were captivating. He was a wonderful friend to all who knew him. We will all miss the precious friends we had in Wilma (Sept. 2009) and Elmer Van Dyke.

Give a wave as you drive by this summer to old and dear friends of the French River.

Rich Hamilton

Posted: 2/22/2010

Rich Hamilton, long time cottager at Duckhaven on Drunken Island, passed away February 14, 2010 in Cleveland Ohio. Rich is survived by sons Jeff (Gretchen) and Tom (Bitina) and daughters Susan Kremer (Bruce) and Nancy Abbott (Jim) and grandsons Ross (Gretchen), Jack and William Hamilton and James Abbott, granddaughters Lacey and Tess Kremer and great grandson Jasper Hamilton and his many friends on the river.

A memorial service will be held February 27 at Fairmont Presbyterian Church in Cleveland. Contributions may be made in his memory to the Culver Educational Foundation for the Col. Payton Naval Band Endowment, 1300 Academy Rd., #153, Culver Indiana 46511


Helen Kurtz

Posted: 2/22/2010

Helen was born on April 4, 1905 and died on Dec. 17, 2009, at the age of 104. Her French River property was an original land grant to her mother, Abigail MacArthur (Kennedy) in 1919. The property was transferred to Helen in 1950, at which time, she and her husband Harold built their cottage overlooking “painted channel” and the cliff on Kennedy Island. For many summers before getting a place of her own, she would visit her uncle, Will Kennedy, at his place on  Elliott Island. Helen was a permanent summer resident up until 2006 when she broke her pelvis and was no longer able to navigate the terrain. Her longevity won her the moniker of "matriarch" of the French River and she will long be fondly remembered by friends and family.


Gretchen  Engstrom Stringer - Feb. 25, 1925 - Jan. 6, 2009


Long time French River cottager Gretchen Stringer passed away on January 6, 2009 at the age of 84. Gretchen was the first to begin gathering historical information for the UFRCA and her work now continues to unfold through the work of others. Last summer was the first that she was unable to go to the River as she had had a few strokes. Her parents (Engstrom) were the original owners of the small island at the narrows, and Gretchen had been going to the river for over 60 years. We extend our condolences to the Stringer family.

Wilma Van Dyke

Source: Amy Watkins

On Monday September 28, 2009, Wilma Van Dyke passed away. Wilma will be missed not only by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren but also by many river friends who have cherished her friendship, shared in her joy, and delighted in her hugs and kisses.

Wilma was 92 years old; she married Elmer Van Dyke 71 years ago and has been coming to the river since then. The Van Dyke/Lucas family built their cottage on Lucas Island (#116) in 1904 while it was still being used as a military camp. Today, their original cottage stands proudly at the “Narrows”.

Wilma, along with her husband Elmer, has been a permanent fixture on the river. They often arrived from Missouri in early June and never left before the first snow. Everyone was welcome to visit and all were assured of receiving smiles, joy, laughter and love. Elmer will tease and joke with you while Wilma would giggle all day as you try to keep up with Elmer’s antics. Wilma’s smile was never-ending and her joy in family and friends never wavered.

In lieu of flowers, Elmer requests donations be made to Wilderness Wind, 2945 Hwy.169, Ely, Minnesota 55731 This camp for kids was started as a ministry many years ago by Elmer Van Dyke’s mother.


Michael William Kennedy

Life-long North Bay resident Michael Kennedy died peacefully at the North Bay General Hospital on Wednesday July 30th, 2008 at the age of 68 years. The proud and loving father of Wendy Kennedy - Sadler (Andrew) and Susan Kennedy both of Calgary he will also be lovingly remembered by his grandchildren Jack Sadler and Kaelyn Kennedy. He is also survived by his former wife Adelynn Griffiths. The son of the late William and Noretta Kennedy, Michael was predeceased by his brother Robert, sister Madeline Simpson, and his nephew Michael Kennedy.

Michael's career with the Nipissing Board of Education spanned 35 years, many of which were spent as an elementary school principal. He was an active and dedicated member of the Algonquin Regiment, serving as the Commanding Officer from 1985-1988. Lt. Col. Kennedy (retired) received the Canadian Decoration for Military Service.

He was also a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 23 and a member of the Masonic Lodge # 455 A.F. & A.M. In keeping with Michael's wishes cremation has taken place. No visitation or public funeral services will be held. If desired donations to the Unit Fund of the Algonquin Regiment or the North Bay General Hospital Foundation will be gratefully acknowledged as expressions of sympathy. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Martyn Funeral Home (across from city hall).

We extend our condolences to Wendy Kennedy-Sadler and Kennedy family members.

Thursday, July 31, 2008
Posted: 8/3/2008 

Chamberlain, Denver Gray
1993 - 2019

Denver Gray Chamberlain, 26, of London, died unexpectedly on September 8th, 2019 as a result of a sudden cardiac event. He was born January 2, 1993 in London, the son of Doug and Lori (Smith) Chamberlain. Denver was currently enrolled in his 3rd year of mechanical engineering at the University of Western Ontario. He previously attended McEachren Public School in Lambeth, Saunders Secondary School in London, and Ridley College in St. Catharines, where he received a Leadership Award, Physics Award, and Ridley Tie of Honour, and enjoyed working as a math tutor with grade 12 students.

Denver liked playing team sports including baseball, football, soccer, badminton, and squash, and had many great years playing hockey with the Lambeth Lancers. He loved spending summers at his cottage on the French River where he enjoyed fishing and waterskiing, and also spent several summers as a fishing guide at lodges on the French River and Lac Seul. He loved all animals, especially his dog Bowser; he played the piano and guitar; he enjoyed woodworking; and was an expert at solving the Rubik's Cube.


Read the full obituary here.

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