Anthony Douglas DuCharme
December 10, 1930 - September 14, 2023
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Anthony "Tony" DuCharme in his 93rd year, after a brief illness.
He leaves behind his beloved wife Shirley (MacLean), just weeks shy of their 70th wedding anniversary on October 17; his two sons, Douglas (Jean) and David (Peggy). He is predeceased by two other children, Mark (1969) and Denise (2008). Tony was the loving and funny grandfather to Rebecca (Michael Overgaard) and Luke.
Tony was born in Stratford, Ontario, on December 10, 1930, to Raoul "Harold" and Olive (McCaffery).
He is predeceased by his brothers and sisters: Lois MacGillivray (Boyd), Leon (Rita/Mary), Bob (Helene), Jean Sevigny (Maxwell) and Mary Beth (infant). He is uncle to numerous nieces and nephews, many to whom he was close.
Tony moved to Kitchener as a young man and found employment at the Arrow Shirt factory on Benton St. in June of 1947, where he worked for 21 years. A union steward, with a gift of gab, passion and innate negotiating skills, he was recruited by the union, the Amalgamated Clothing and Textiles Workers of America as an organizer until his retirement in 1994. This job would send him off on a world of adventure. With an office in Toronto, he commuted every day back to Kitchener. The job took him all across Canada and the United States, including San Francisco in the 1970s, a city he loved. Tony would later describe to his family some of his clandestine negotiations where he would meet undercover in parks to discuss forming a union with a factory insider. It was something out of a Hollywood movie. Through his work he also met the real Norma Rae. He was also Joint Board Manager of ACTWA offices in Kitchener and Hamilton, from 1984-1994.
A devout Catholic, Tony and Shirley were both very involved in their local parish, St. Aloysius. He was a reader at the parish for many years. Tony was also a member of the Knights of Malta, and a local president of the Legion of Mary.
Both he and Shirley credit their strong faith in helping them through the tough times, especially the tragic death of Mark and seeing them through caring for Denise during her cancer, to which she succumbed.
Tony was passionate about many things: Broadway tunes, classical/opera (especially Andre Rieu), sitting on his porch while it poured rain, his beloved Stratford, card-playing, and he was a close friend to many. Working in the clothing industry, Tony was always a snappy dresser! He was always self-improving and did crossword puzzles every day. And, Tony was a charmer (afterall it was in his name!) and he lit up a room with his stories and goofy jokes. He especially liked to prank his grandkids when they were young. Each year, birthdays were mysteriously crossed out on calendars and cancelled!
He and Shirley vacationed in Florida during the month of November for more than 30 years, and travelled to numerous European countries after he retired. Plans were already underway for his and Shirley's 70th wedding anniversary. It would have been nice to hear one last time him tell his version of their courtship, where he claims she could run faster than he and caught him. A beautiful Scottish lass from Saskatchewan, we all knew the opposite to be true. Not bad for the "scrawny kid" from Stratford.
Anthony's family will receive relatives and friends from 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, 519-749-8467. Prayers to begin at 6:30 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Aloysius Parish on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow at Briarfield Gardens 1250 Weber Street East, Kitchener.
In lieu of flowers, donations to The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada or to St. Aloysius Parish would be appreciated by the family.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.henrywalser.com