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"BOC" 2007 Obituary


BOCHSLER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-08-03 published
Farmer, good friend, great neighbour. Born January 8, 1924, in Neu St. Johann, Switzerland. Died February 25 in Cayuga, Ontario, of complications after cancer surgery, aged 83.
By Tom BOCHSLER, Page L6
When he was 4, Oscar emigrated from Switzerland to Canada with our parents Thomas and Mary along with our brothers Joseph, Alois, and baby sister Lucy. Their final destination was Binbrook, Ontario, near Hamilton.
Our father was a stonemason; he had high hopes for the future in Canada, but it became a real challenge when the Great Depression started. The family spoke Swiss-German; the children learned English through contact with other kids and at school, but it took much longer for our parents. Our family moved to a rented farm, with no hydro or indoor plumbing, but a big garden, a few chickens, pigs and a cow.
In his late teens, Oscar worked as a logger in Muskoka, at a meat processing plant and then as a hired man on an Ancaster farm where potatoes were the cash crop. A few years later, the farmer offered Oscar the use of 10 acres of land for his own crop of potatoes; this became his source of funds to purchase the farm next door, where he shared labour and farm equipment with his former employer.
I spent seven summers as Oscar's hired man, and for a time our sister Lucy was the housekeeper. With hard work, profitable potato and grain harvests and some livestock, he managed fairly well. Several years later, Oscar decided to venture to California, hoping to get into ranching, but an investment there was beyond his hopes and means.
He returned to work as a farm mechanic in Caledonia, Ontario In 1955 he had the opportunity to purchase a 100-acre farm in York. Pigs were the livestock of choice at the time, but gradually he switched to sheep. Through study and determination, his animal husbandry and veterinary skills made him an expert in their care and management.
In his late 50s, he married Marian BAKER, who proved to be a great helpmate on the farm and at home. He also gained a stepdaughter, Lorraine, a son-in-law and grandchildren. Marian died in 1996.
When our kids and grandkids went to visit him, he would enjoy showing them how the sheep responded to the pet names he had for them. The wagon and tractor rides to the back forty were always exciting for the kids; occasionally they would see a fox or a deer.
As his illness grew beyond treatment, Oscar never complained, even cracking a joke or two with the caring medical staff when things didn't seem promising. The parting message he left with brother Albert was: "Have a lunch after the service, I don't want anyone going home hungry."
Tom BOCHSLER is Oscar's brother.

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BOCKFELDT o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2007-10-19 published
ALAJAN, Valdeko
Passed away peacefully at Toronto East General Hospital on Thursday, October 11th, 2007, in his 93rd year. Loving husband for 65 years of Koidula, beloved brother of Erika BOCKFELDT and dear uncle to Katrin with Steven (COOPER.) Valdeko matriculated as a medical student at Tartu University in Estonia in 1933. In the same year, he was accepted into the Estonian academic fraternity Korporatsioon Vironia, whose faithful service over all the ensuing decades, both in Estonia and abroad, he chose as a principal life task. Valdeko and Koidula arrived in Canada from Sweden via Ireland in 1950. Valdeko was a longtime councillor for St. Andrew's Estonian Lutheran Church in Toronto. A funeral service will be held Tuesday, October 23 at 11: 00 a.m. at St. Andrew's Church, (383 Jarvis Street, Toronto). Interment York Cemetery. Donations may if desired be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

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