WAY, John

WAY, John

It is apt that a man with the last name WAY, would find himself spending a lifetime devoted to roads. Paving roads, ploughing roads, building roads – both literally and metaphorically – defined John Joseph Patrick Way. John was born on March 20th, 1941, the first child of Neville and Rita (Taylor) Way. His siblings would follow – Gene, Irene (McGinnis), Harold and Rose-Marie (Kennedy). The Way family was raised on a farm on Highway 41 near Erinsville. The trip to St. Patrick’s Elementary School was often made on horseback at a much slower pace than the vehicular traffic that now travels that route. The pathway from the Way farm to the Taylor farm, where John’s maternal grandparents, Jack and Mary (Gaffney) Taylor lived, was well travelled. In these two places, John grew in ingenuity, creativity and knowledge of farming, construction and human relations. In his teen years, it was the roadway between Stoco and Marlbank that took on a great importance for John. For, it was that road which connected him (at the age of sixteen) with the woman to whom he would be married for sixty-two years. It was during a drive … at a STOP sign … that John proposed to this woman – Yvonne Quinn. John was never able to convince his wife, children (or anyone else for that matter) that this is actually a romantic move for a road man. The journey continued as John and Yvonne created a family which now includes their children and their partners – Christine & Rob, Christine & Michael, Sharon & John, Erin & Victor, Nyk & Wanda – grandchildren – Yvonne, Olivia, Alicia, Beth, Anna, Patrick, Quinn, Keiran, Bridget and Claya and a new great-grandchild – Aliyah. The tendency to build roads and bridges and to forge new paths in undiscovered territory is a hallmark of all the Way progeny. For this, they have John to thank. Traversing roads does not pay the bills, but building them does! Thus, did John find his vocation. He began by attended Agricultural College in Kemptville where he learned every roadside weed, tree and rock formation. This he attempted to pass on to his children with varying degrees of success. His first job was as a heavy equipment operator for Fred Richmond and ten years hence, he was hired as Road Superintendent for the Township of Sheffield. He worked from 1969 to 1985 ensuring that thousands of miles of rural roads were ploughed in the winter and graded in the summer. His biggest accomplishment at this time, however, was not only in ensuring safe passage for the residents of the township but in smoothing out the bumps that were inevitable when someone’s road had a huge pothole or another person’s road was the last to be ploughed during the snowstorm that hit on Christmas Day. No one could pave a path of calm over the bedrock of human ire like John! Retirement meant building smaller roads with his own bulldozer and the gravel from his own pit. It meant more time for hooking up the horses and trying out traditional ploughing or taking the grandchildren out on a winter sleigh ride, more time for hunting and more time for chatting with his buddies. Family trips, no matter how practical in nature, typically took the most circuitous route possible as John never lost his love of “touring” country roads till the end. His favourite activity at the retirement home in which he lived most recently, was the country road trip. Dad, brother, uncle, friend, John – you were a man of faith – who tried to follow The Way and make pathways smooth for others. As you reach the final destination on your road, we pray that you are greeted by those who have gone before you and that you are welcomed into the loving embrace of God. The family received friends at the Hannah Funeral Home in Tamworth on Tuesday, August 30 from 2-4 and 7-9 PM. Mass of Christian Burial was at the Church of the Assumption in Erinsville on Wednesday, August 31 at 11:00 a.m. Interment Assumption Cemetery. Memorial donations made to the Assumption Church Building Fund would be appreciated by the family.

May the road rise up
to meet you.
May the wind be
always at your back.
May the sun shine warm
upon your face;
the rains fall soft
upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you
in the palm of His hand.
~ Traditional Irish Blessing

Online condolences at www.hannahfuneralhome.com

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