John Ross Daniels

Passed 12/15/2022


Obituary For John Ross Daniels

Life is a series of stories. Perhaps sharing a few of those will help you to know our father better. John Ross Daniels was born at McPhee's Corner in Shubenacadie, N.S., on May 6th, 1924. He died on December 15, 2022. He was the eldest child of Arthur and Margaret (McPhee) Daniels. He grew up a few miles down the road in Mill Village on the same farm his father did. This farm life definitely shaped a strong work ethic, evident throughout his life. He said that at the age of ten, he would plow the fields behind his “buddy”, Barb, a large draft horse that would be bouncing him off the ground, as he was small in stature. Dad was a homebody, so on the first day of attending his one room schoolhouse, he resisted, but was walked there by his mother. When she arrived back home, he was waiting for her on the doorstep, having run away from the school and taken a shortcut back.

Formal education was not for him. After two months in grade eight, Dad left school to work in a lumber mill in New Germany, along with his father and grandfather who were sawyers. Money was scarce, and what he earned was needed at home. Dad always regretted not completing school but that was not uncommon in rural areas at that time. Although not 'book smart', Dad was very intelligent and resourceful. At 15, he was yarding logs in the woods in Mill Village. His aunt saw him bringing three large horses out of the woods one day and was “all shook up” because he was small and she thought he would get hurt. His traits of being stubborn and fearless started at an early age.

At 19, Dad was driving a truck for Herb Frame, building the Maitland airport. That's when his life took a drastic turn. This young farm boy was called up to join the army during World War II. It wasn't what he wanted but he was determined to do his duty. In Germany, he drove the lead tank in A Squadron of the Kangaroo tank division, involved in front line fighting. These tanks were the first infantry carriers, making them not well known at the time. There was a fair bit of secrecy surrounding them. The turrets were removed from Ram tanks and troops were carried inside them to the battles, thus the name Kangaroos. Dad said the Germans could not figure out how the Allied troops seemed to just appear. There are now only two surviving Kangaroo members in all of Canada. We really have no idea how this time overseas affected and shaped Dad. Some stories were shared...others were not. On May 5th, 1945, the day before his birthday, Dad was making breakfast and heard on the radio that the war was over and not to fire on the enemy. He said it was the best birthday present he ever got!

The next year was spent peacekeeping in Germany. During this time, Dad's sergeant was recruiting volunteers to learn to play the bagpipes. On a lark, eight of them volunteered. The next day, when they were to be picked up, the men tried to back out, saying they were just joking. “Get on the truck!” they were told, and so began Dad's love of the bagpipes. Over the years the neighbours were entertained by the sound of bagpipe music carrying across Grand Lake.

After returning from overseas, Dad drove the Bell buses in Dartmouth for three years. This is where he met our beautiful mother, Marilyn Bateman from Port Wallis. They married in 1949 and had five daughters over the next six years; Bonnie, Pam, Christine, Heather, and Shelly. Mom and Dad leave behind five grieving daughters; Bonnie Currie (Reg), Pam Woodill (Fred), Christine Daniels, Heather Fisher (Carson) and Shelly Fifield (Mike).”

Home for our family was in several places: Graham's Grove, Port Wallis and then in 1964, with the help of Veterans Affairs, our parents purchased their own home on Sunnylea Road in Wellington, N.S. This was a good move and today, many of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren live close by. Our home was modest but cozy and filled with love. Friends and family were always welcome. Dad worked hard and took great pride in his home and property. No matter where he lived, until the age of 90, Dad planted a large vegetable garden. Family and neighbours enjoyed the extra produce from the garden. During these years Dad worked as a heavy equipment operator at Shearwater, retiring after thirty years of service on Dec.30, 1980.

At age 65, Dad got his motorcycle licence. He and Mom enjoyed travelling with friends to various Maritime provinces on their Honda Goldwing.

Dad was a lifetime member of the Canadian Legion and the last surviving WWII veteran of the Waverley Legion.

Dad is survived by his sisters, Ruth Weir (Don), Sharon McPhee (Lealon) and foster brother Lee McCulloch (Queenie),as well as his sister-in-law Shirley McNaughton, brothers-in-law Tom Bateman (Jewell) and John Bateman (Hans Kahlert). He was predeceased by parents Artie and Maggie Daniels, his brother Phil and his brother-in-law, Jim McNaughton.

Thank you, Dad, for all the lessons we learned by your example: a strong work ethic, discipline and responsibility. They have helped us immensely in our lives. All of our family, including your many nieces and nephews, will miss you dearly.

A special thanks for the compassionate care given by his private caregivers Patricia, Donna, and Emily, as well as VON and Palliative Team members.

For those who wish, a donation may be made to the Waverley Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 90, or to the Canadian Kangaroo Regiment.

A combined Celebration of Life will be held for Ross and Marilyn at a later date.

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  • 01/16/2023

    My very deepest sympathy to my dear cousins Bonnie, Pam, Christine, Heather and Shelly, as well as their husbands, children and grandchildren. They will miss the love and laughter that happened when you were with Ross. Each year, for the past several years, when I travelled home to Nova Scotia I would go to visit Ross and Marilyn and any of their girls and/or husbands who happened to drop in while I was there. They both made me feel that my visits were special to them and Marilyn would tell stories of when she used to babysit me. I always felt so loved. When I came home this year, Ross was in his bed. I bent over and gave him a kiss. He had a big smile on his face and he said something like "we haven't seen you for a couple of years". Because of covid of course. I am so grateful I got to see that smile one last time. I shall miss my visits with Ross and Marilyn very much.

  • 01/16/2023

    Our deepest condolences to Bonnie, Pam, Christine, Heather & Shelly and families from the Oickle Family (Gary, Keith, Jim, Brad & Chrissy) We have many fond memories and stories of Ross, Marilyn, and our parents. (Barry & Ida) Our sincere sympathy for the loss of your loved ones. Heaven has received two wonderful, kind people. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Keith Oickle

  • 01/15/2023

    So happy they are together. Two of the best people in the world. Love to you all. Patricia Mifflen

  • 01/14/2023

    Please accept mine and Jan's, sincere condolences on the recent passing of Ross. He was a good guy to know and a great neighbor to have if you were lucky enough to live on Sunnylea Road. I remember he loved to garden and offer advice (tips) to anybody else who might live close by and have a garden. He can rest now, his days on this earth are over and it's on to the next world. Rest in Peace Ross. Terry & Janice Skirten.

  • 01/14/2023

    Condolences to all of the Daniels Family. That was a beautiful tribute for your Mom & Dad. Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts. Sincerely Dorothy & Harry Beazley. Neighbor of Sharon & Lealon MacPhee.

  • 01/14/2023

    Hello, Sorry to learn of Ross's passing. Our families were neighbours in Graham's Grove which became constants throughout our lives. My sister Sue (aka "To- To") and Heather Daniels (aka "Ha Ha") are life-long best friends. "To-To' and "Ha-Ha" are nick names dubbed by my father, Murray Connor, which were derived from Sue's and Heather's best efforts of pronouncing their names when they were barely old enough to speak. What I remember of the earliest days of Ross was him working on TVs in the workshop under their home. This would be in the mid 1950s at which time they had the first TV in the Grove. We, as the Connor kids, used to watch the Daniels TV through their living room window. From time to time, Ross would drive home a military bus from work. I well remember the night the log cabin which was dismantled in the Grove and reassembled in Lewiston, Sheet Harbour as the "Camp". Ross drove the huge truck (on "official" loan from Shearwater?) loaded with logs for transport to Sheet Harbour. From time to time, you would know when the Daniels had been at the Camp because of Ross's handiwork. As examples, he made steps up to the Camp by carving notches into the clay hillside and he build a pole clad vanity under the sink in the Camp. Sorry to see you go, Ross. Rest-in-Peace. Well deserved. Peter Connor

  • 01/14/2023

    deepest condolences to heather and the rest of the family. I remember heather from school and also carson too. Haven't talked to you two for a long time.Tony Weeks.

  • 01/13/2023

    Your father's smile and laugh will forever be in our memory. He has left this earth but you can be sure he will still be watching over his girls. You will feel his presence. Hold tight to your memories and they will carry you through. Bruce and Terry Caldwell

  • 01/13/2023

    Lovely tribute to a man who lived a life full of adventure, love and family devotion. Only appropriate that both should pass within weeks of one another. Our sincere condolences to the family. Debbie and Rob Miller

  • 01/13/2023

    We have special memories of both Ross and Marilyn ... Saturday evening visits, sharing our engagement, introducing our babies, a lifetime of hugs and warm welcomes ❤️

  • 01/13/2023

    A beautiful obituary for a beautiful human being. In our wildest dreams, we cannot imagine his patience in raising 5 girls. That is our best memory- his patience always! With love to all, Jimmy and Bea.

  • 01/13/2023

    If anything positive out of their passing is they went together... Mr Daniels was such a sweet man ..always had a chance to chat during his Remembrance day visits. How proud you, his family, are of him. My heartfelt hugs to Pam Shelley and all. Will hold him in my memory. Janet Lugar Miller

  • 01/13/2023

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your Father and Mother, Heather and Pam. They lived a long life and now are happy together.

  • 01/13/2023

    So sorry to hear of the passing of Ross. Both he and Marilyn knew both of my parents when they were all young in the Port Wallis area. Please accept my sincere condolensces. Sandra Oickle (Butler)

  • 01/13/2023

    Rest in peace friend. We will never forget your contagious smile. Sending sincere and heartfelt condolences to all the family. May you all find peace in the knowledge that your father and mother are together in heaven with our Lord Jesus Christ. Sincerely, Bob & Denise Wilson.

  • 01/13/2023

    I wish to thank his family for sharing Ross with all of us. He was part of the great generation that help liberate my parents during WW2 and for that I will always be eternally grateful. May Ross and Marion find eternal peace Lest we Forget We will remember them Peter Stoffer Windsor Junction

  • 01/13/2023

    Our deepest condolences to the entire extended Daniels family. Ross and Marion were truly the Matriach and Patriarch of our little Sunnylea Road. They always had a smile, a wave, and a kind word for everyone. Their door was always open to anyone. I remember once being in the house for coffee and ccokies when Ross pulled out a photo album and showed me what Sunnylea Road looked like before it was "developed". Our property was just a pasture and the famous fish hatchery and dam were all in place and in operation. The King farm could be seen in the background. It was beautiful. We, like so many others enjoyed hearing Ross play the bagpipes on Saturday mornings, especially in the fall when a fog would hang over the lake and the sound would be haunting, reaching right into your soul. One morning I decided to answer his music by playing Loch Lomond on my electric guitar from our front porch. I wish I could have seen the look on his face then. While Marion was more of a home body, Ross liked to wander. He also had a lot of respect for hard work and he often would come by our house during our renovation years with a six pack under his arm and a head full of stories to tell. We enjoyed them all. Ross would do anything for his neighbours....except Noel. A number of years ago I had the misfortune of experiencing a severe herniation of a disc while in my forties which required surgery and had me laid up from January to April. While I was learning to walk again a few steps at a time using a walker Ross diligently cleared our driveway every time it snowed. He was in his seventies at the time. I will never forgot the gesture, or the irony. I had a favorite saying that I would always give to Ross whenever we spoke. "When I grow up I want to be just like you!" I say it again today with all my heart. Ross and Marion will truly be missed. Alan and Jody Aitken

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