John Wilkie

Obituary of John Wilkie

Wilkie: John Gordon

It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of John Gordon "Bunker" Wilkie of Chatham, Ontario on October 21, at the age of 78.

He will be lovingly remembered by his beautiful wife (and best friend) of 33 years, Denise; children, Jason (Lisa) and Shon (Catherine); grandchildren, Olivia, Bridget, Lucas and Ethan; brother, Dennis (Colleen) Wilkie; sister, Rosemary (Charles) Rowland; as well as numerous relatives and friends. John endured a muti-year battle with and was ultimately taken from us by prolonged illness.

John was predeceased by his parents Willa (Arnold) Wilkie and Frank (MacKellar) Wilkie; sister-in-law Wanda (Tompkins) Wilkie.

John was born and spent his formative years in Blenheim, Ontario. He developed a love for sport and competition, which he excelled at throughout his life, growing up on Sheldrick Street, later commonly referred to as Athletic Alley. Upon moving to Chatham as an adolescent, he became a prolific and passionate hockey player as a member of both Blenheim and Chatham teams, where he developed and maintained lifelong friends with many hockey greats. His professional career began as a teacher and coach at Exeter High School in the early 70s and concluded in the late 90s at Ridgetown High School.

John had many passions, but none more so than boating. Taking Maggie May III on Lake Erie for an afternoon of cruising or fishing brought him incredible joy and tranquility. Always accompanied by his first mate Denise and typically surrounded by other friends and family, those sojourns concluded with a cold beer, embellished stories and lots of laughter while fryng up the day's catch of pickerel in Erieau. He played baseball and golf most of his life and loved a game of billiards, darts or cards (contract bridge or euchre) especially with the unsuspecting. His endless hospitality, kindness, friendship and loyalty to his friends and family will never be forgotten.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, October 27, 2023 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at McKinlay Reception Centre, 459 St Clair Street, Chatham, Ontario. Words of Remembrance would be said at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadian Cancer Society or a charity of your choice.

The family would like to give special thanks to the ICU staff at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance for the care and compassion that John received.


Online condolences may be left at


McKinlay Funeral Home

459 St. Clair Street, Chatham



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