Greg Blayney was a force of nature, a generous man, kind to those he embraced, a tough cookie too, a passionate advocate for the many causes he believed in, a cancer survivor (1996) and always steadfast in his convictions, and it is with deep sadness we announce his passing on October 21, 2022.
Greg leaves behind his wife Patricia residing in the Westford Nursing Home, Port Elgin and his daughter Janet and her husband Roger, grandsons Benjamin and his partner Ashley, and Greg Pothier all of Nova Scotia. His brother Alfred Frederick Blayney and his wife Colette of Elora Ontario, beloved nieces Vanessa and her husband John Cole and their children Ella and Noah of Hillsburgh ON, Nadine Blayney and Oliver Cooney and their children Hazel and June of Seaforth, Australia as well as great grandchildren Liam and Khaleesi Pothier of Nova Scotia; Nieces Marnie Haslam (England), Jodie Haslam (BC) and nephew Darrell Haslam (Ontario). He leaves behind many friends and friends like family whom he grew to know over the years through farming, Masons, Shriners, and the Studebaker Club. He is predeceased by his mother Hazel and father Alfred, his in-laws Elmer and Helen Cook, and sister-in-law Alexis.
Heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the nurses and medical staff in the Oncology Unit of the Moncton City hospital for your compassionate and excellent care for Dad in his final weeks, to Myrna Mitton, for her support for dad when he needed help with the house and meals (and getting the local news regularly – he loved these chats, they meant a lot to him, thank you!), to Keith Blacklock for helping dad with property maintenance and sharing in his love of hunting and farming, Tom Steep for sharing in dads love of Studebakers, Stephen Becker for being such a good friend, and Catherine and Philip Glencross for always being there. There are many people who are missing and know that we are grateful to each of you for the joy you brought into dad’s life in one way or another.
Greg was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, friend and mentor…how does one capture the essence of a persons life? Here is a little about dad…
Dad was the second of two sons born in London Ontario April 21, 1944 to Alfred Goodman Wells Blayney and Hazel Isabel Blayney (Oulton). His dad was serving overseas in the Royal Canadian Airforce and was tragically killed in December of 1944 and Hazel brought Dad and his older brother Alf home to live in Little Shemogue in 1945 and it was here that Dad would grow up, meet his wife Patricia Cook, and raise a family on the farm his mother bought in Little Shemogue in 1947. There is a lifetime of stories to be told so we’ll start here…
Dad grew up loving to hunt and fish, spend time with his brother and grandparents and tramp around the woods as he’d say. He and Pat, or Patsy as he often called her at home, were married on October 19th 1963 and spent the first 5 years of their marriage living in Ontario where I (Janet) was born while he worked at General Motors in Oshawa. We moved home to Little Shemogue in 1968 where we settled with my grandmother, his mother Hazel on the family farm. One of Dad’s proudest moments was when we moved into the ‘house across the lane’. He had always promised mom he’d build her a house and from cutting the trees and milling the lumber to doing most of the carpentry work he built her a house. And it was here that they were happiest. He farmed for many years working to build a beautiful herd of Limousin Cattle and for a period had a successful farrow to weaner swine operation. He was a silver fox farmer for a number of years too, connecting this back to his great great grandfather’s Robert Trenholm Oultons development of the silver fox breed on Prince Edward Island.
He drove a school bus for many years starting off driving to Tantramar Regional High school and later moving to Port Elgin where he drove many different routes and hundreds of kids safely back and forth to school until his retirement in 1999. Dad had a huge soft spot for the underdog, loved motorcycles and Studebakers, hunting and fishing, quahaugs and clamming. His love of country music and the Grand Ole Opry was legendary, in fact you could be guaranteed if you visited in the evenings, he’d have the Grand Ole Opry on or another old program about country music in its’ hay day, it really made him so very happy.
He also loved traveling with mom in the winters after retirement. Greg and Pat had especially memorable trips with his brother Alf and sister-in-law Colette. From Branson Missouri and Nashville to the Florida Keys and a grand tour around the coast of Nova Scotia they traveled together. He talked fondly of these adventures and the time shared with them. He loved to show people the pictures of the trips and regale them with stories. He especially loved watching the video of them at the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre in in Branson Missouri, he’d stop the video and show us where they were sitting in the audience. Pure joy.
He also took tremendous joy in hunting, in conversation, someone joked and said the moose will rest easier for a bit now. Moose season was his favourite time of year, he loved to hunt and was never happier than when he’d hear Pat hollering her ‘yoo-hoo’ when she’d come home from work and he wasn’t out from deer hunting yet. The ‘yoo-hoos’ probably scared the deer away but he always loved that she’d go out looking for him and they’d walk back together in the crisp fall air.
Vanessa, Nadine and their families want everyone to know: As an uncle, Greg always indulged our curiosities on our visits to the farm. He did the same in later years with our families. Uncle Greg always looked forward to our visits and to family visits, welcoming us with love. This was not only for the help with projects big and small, which are always part of farm life, but he proudly encouraged exploration of the farm, the animals and the property.He also loved to show all of us the "works in progress" refurbishing any one of his many Studebaker cars. Uncle Greg had a really big heart. From the little things - like the endless supply of mints for the little ones - to the big. In particluar Uncle Greg imparted his love of family roots and home to us as his nieces and to our families. He will be dearly missed by all of us.
And words from some of his friends to round out what he meant to them:
Well sir, your father was a fierce friend and would do anything for you, he was generous and boy we had some good laughs – Ray Chapman
Stephen and Bonnie Becker add - We are sending our deepest sympathies to the family of our good friend and neighbour. Greg and I became friends throughout the years which started with us both being bus drivers. We used to stop at Murphy's store, after our morning run, for coffee and always had nice chats. Greg was well respected with head office at District 14. Greg and Pat were always very helpful. When we had our barn fire in 2002, in late December, and our cattle had no barn; Greg and Pat let us use their barn since they had no cattle at the time. This was a big help for us. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to pasture some of my cattle on their pastures over the summers. We always had lots to talk about when we met up especially the current events happening around the world. I will miss the great conversations and funny stories between Greg and I.
The Studebaker Club - Greg and Pat have been active and steady members of the Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club for the last twelve years, with Greg serving as Chapter President for three of those years. Greg, with his knowledge of the repair and maintenance of Studebakers was highly respected by the members of the Chapter, so much that Greg and Pat were awarded the very first Certificate of Appreciation issued by the Chapter.
We know there are so many other stories out there, please keep telling them, please remember his huge heart, his dry sense of humour and his no hold barred sharing of his opinion and thoughts. We will close with this: Dad told me I was to encourage people to remember him by listening to some good old time country music and/or Elvis and have a toast to the memories you shared with him, whatever they might be. Rest peacefully dad, you’ve certainly earned it. We love you and the world shines just a little less colourfully without you in it.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Jones Funeral Home, Port Elgin and Sackville, NB (506-364-1300). At Greg’s request there will be no service and burial will take place at a later date as he’s asked to wait for his beloved Pat and so we honour his wishes. Donations in his memory can be made to the Alzheimers Society, The Cancer Society, or a charity of your choice.
Those wishing to make a donation in Greg's memory may do so to the charity of your choice.
Additional memories, stories, and condolences may be sent to the family by visiting the online memorial at www.jonesfuneralhome.ca or by visiting the Jones Funeral Home Facebook page.