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Vernon Rene Denholm

September 6th, 1934 - June 24th, 2023
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In loving memory of Vern Denholm (“Vernie”), who passed away on June 24, 2023 in White Rock, British Columbia. Vern was born in Edmonton, Alberta to William Johnstone Denholm and Antoinette (Ranger) Denholm, and grew up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Vern and his sister, Velma, grew up surrounded by Ranger aunts, uncles and families, as well as the Denholm-Johnstone clan. 

Vern attended U Sask and UBC, where he studied Engineering. Vern had a long and varied career, first in international sales for Harding Carpets, which took him all over the world. He especially loved his travel in the Middle East, where he had adventures he talked about all his life. Vern served as the Director of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association, and as the Director of the Ontario Printers’ Association. In retirement, Vern volunteered at the Lake Simcoe Marina where he kept his beloved sailboat, “Matthew”. 

Vern and his wife Anne (Bunker) met in Montreal in 1961, where they began their life together. They started their family in Toronto, then moved to Moncton, New Brunswick, and eventually landed in Burlington, Ontario, where they lived from 1970 to 2019. They made lifelong friends wherever they lived. 

Vern & Anne built two cottages together, first on Lac LaBelle in Quebec, and then on Big Sand Bay, Christian Island, Ontario. Vern spent 40 summers at Big Sand Bay, leaving on summer weekends only to sail Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario, or to spend time “working on the boat”. 

Vern loved his family and devoted his life to Annie and their two children. He loved woodworking, and many of his creations will live on. Vern leaves behind his beloved Annie, his wife, partner, and voice of reason for 63 years, his daughter Susu (Lance) and son Todd (Christie), his five perfect grandchildren, Callum, Maxwell, Trent, Toni, and Henry, and his very favourite nieces and nephews, Scott, Rorie, Kelly, Gwyn and Stuart.

Vern lived a full and wonderful life, and the memory of his love and humour will live on in all of our hearts. 


Earl and Yvonne Browning
August 5th, 2023

Ann we are sorry for your loss of Vern.
We dearly miss you on Christian Island and hold many memories of the pair of you.
Vern’s walks and talks and your kayak rides out in the bay.
I still have Vern on rides when I go out as you did, but I take an Ann stone too in your little kayak. Always good memories.
Take good care❤️

Dante McLean
July 3rd, 2023

It was a pleasure to have known Vern for many years as a neighbour at the cottage on Christian Island. Vern was always willing to lend a hand--in an island-like fashion. Vern was instrumental in getting me summer employment at Midland Bay Sailing Club, and I thoroughly enjoyed working there for several seasons while in University.

Vern was always on the lookout when I was out sailing, one time carefully following my DS-16 with binoculars as I crossed from Hope Island to Christian Island in some questionable weather. I had made the decision to leave Hope Island as I had to be back on a deadline, and in hindsight this may have been a bad decision. For starters we tried to power out of the anchorage with the little Johnson 1.5 horsepower. It was having none of this, and despite being at full throttle the boat was going backwards at an alarming rate once I pulled up the anchor. I quickly got some sails up, and headed straight through the anchorage, weaving amongst the powerboats at anchor. There was no question at this point of turning around; the boat was going home, weather be damned.

I later found out Vern was a little bit concerned as my mast apparently kept dissapearing in the wave troughs. A friend who had never been out sailing before was with me, and he got a ride which is still talked about to this day. In the end, we shipped a little tiny bit of water, and had the element from the masthead VHF antenna land in the cockpit. There was no question of lining the boat up with our roadway on the beach--I was surfing in very large rollers on the way in, and the best I could do was to beach the boat several roads away. Once we hit the beach, Vern was right there and helped get the boat out of the water and safely up the beach for the night. This was a very delicate operation, as we did not want the boat to swamp on the way out of the water--he had to hold the boat with my friend, while I was running to get the Jeep to haul it out.

I wish the family and friends of Vern fond memories, and my condolences for their loss.

Trish and Tom Dean
June 29th, 2023

Thinking of you all and remembering our chats on the beach. I still remember our first carpet in the cottage which my dad (stew congdon) got from Vern. It was quite a challenge cleaning without hydro. lol. Our hearts and love go out to you and we miss you on the island.

Fran Taylor
June 28th, 2023

Dear Anne: So sorry to hear of Verne's death - many good memories of our beautiful island home, and our many trips to Penetang for theatre. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you and the children. In the Lee of Christian Island - Fran.

Pauline Barrett
June 28th, 2023

While walking on the road near our cottage on Big Sand Bay, Christian Island, over 40 years ago a car stopped and asked for directions to a property for sale, nearby. It was Vern and Anne. So they built the cottage and we became close friends. Our 2 oldest children near Sue and Todd's ages played together. Anne and I loved to play bridge together.. Often Vern and I would chat as he and Anne were walking along the beach. Sue and my daughter, Bronwyn, have kept up a friendship here in Van and then a few years ago Vern and Anne moved here so we have re-connected in Vancouver.

I so remember Vern's caring for his family and his love of the Island.

Debbie West
June 27th, 2023

Anne and Vern, my mom, dad and I were traveling in Colorado after Terry's wedding. I had a stomach bug of some sort and was being limited to ggingerale and saltines. I had not yet passed the quota of urp free days to graduate to anything more substantial...but was craving chocolate. Vern came to the rescue and snuck me pieces of a Hershey bbar!

My mom told me the news today. I'm so very sorry. Love to all of you!

Bob Dilts
June 27th, 2023

Vern and I met in 1941 in Grade Two in King Edward Public School , Saskatoon. We were virtually inseparable from then to the finish of Grade 12 in 1952. We grew up in a wholesome and safe environment cared for by family, friends and teachers. We were silly, inclined to laughing until we cried. We skated and played in snow, we read comics and ate ice cream cones, we past time at hide and seek around a telephone pole, we 'cut a rug', we both wore bow ties in our high school grad photo. We were close. When I went to Europe in 1956 he saw me off in Montreal and two years later was only one on the dock to welcome me home. We loved each other, but never said so. Those were the days.

Selfishly, I have lost the last of my era so close and meaningful. Our experiences were eye-rolling trivial , but they were cherished and ours.

God speed ,dear friend.

Bob Dilts


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