In his 89th year, Francis Gustaf DeBackere was welcomed home into the arms of his savior, Jesus Christ, at Sakura House, Woodstock. On July 6, 1932, Frank was born in Belgium. At a young age, he came to Canada with his parents Gustaf and Godelieve (Vanneste) on the Queen Mary, and he spent his childhood on their tobacco farm. As a young man, he attended the Provincial Institute of Trade and became a master carpenter; if you wanted something built right, you came to Frank. On local drives Frank would point out the many buildings he helped construct. In later years, he was an employee of the L.C.B.O. He served on the Belgian Fair Board, Langton Minor Hockey Association, the Sacred Heart cemetery board, and parish council. Francis was a life- long member of Sacred Heart Church where he served proudly as an usher for almost 60 years. In his youth, Frank earned his recreational pilot’s license and impressed his soon-to-be wife with plane rides. An avid hunter and angler, his seasons were marked with moose hunting in the fall and fishing on the French River in the spring. A gardener extraordinaire, Frank shared his vast gardening wisdom and award-winning vegetables with family and friends. He enjoyed hockey and played well into his seventies with the Norfolk Old Timers League. He was also a great card player, and the “forty-niner” could always be found at the euchre table. He will be greatly missed by his devoted wife of 63 years, Angela (Willaert), his children Nancy (Scott), Pat, Theresa (Gerry), Joseph, Jerry (Kathy), Rita (Matt), and Jeff. Proud grandfather of Nick (Janet), Tyler (Ashley), Aaron (Melissa), Matthew (Kara), Stephanie (Ryan), Nathan, Jessica (Mike), Emily, James and Angela. Great Grandpa to Hayden, Callen, Everly, Lily, Brecken, and Atley. Loved brother and brother-in-law of Mary (Frank) Vandermeersch, Marguerite DeBackere, Roger (Lillian) Willaert and Paula Willaert. Also survived by several nieces and nephews.
Friends and relatives are invited to offer their support and care by sending flowers, posting photos, sharing favourite memories, and hugs from home on Frank’s tribute page at www.verhoevefuneralhomes.com. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, public visitation will be limited to only guests that sign up for a specific time to attend. Each person attending must be listed as a guest. Guests must bring and wear face masks and maintain social distancing rules. Guests are asked not to attend if they are ill, if they have been around someone else who is ill or have travelled. Guests are encouraged to attend only when their time slot begins. Public visitation will take place on Sunday, December 6th, 2020 from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. and 3:15 to 4:00 p.m. in the Maurice J. Verhoeve Funeral Homes- Burial and Cremation Services Inc. Chapel, 40 Queen Street, Langton. Time slots are available via RSVP on Frank’s tribute page or by calling (519-842-4238) between 9am and 4pm. Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Monday, December 7th at 10:00 a.m. in Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, 24 Albert Street, Langton, by Rev. Fr. Thomas Kuriacko. Due to COVID-19 attendance-related restrictions, attendance for Mass will be by invitation only. Interment follows in the Sacred Heart Cemetery. Memorial donations to the “V.O.N. Oxford” (for Sakura House), or to “Sacred Heart Church- Building Fund” or to the “Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital Foundation,” would be gratefully acknowledged by the DeBackere family and can be made through the Maurice J. Verhoeve Funeral Homes, Langton, entrusted with all funeral arrangements, with confidence.