Wayne Dowswell


2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Monday, June 3, 2024
Hawk Ridge Golf & Country Club
1151 Hurlwood Lane
Severn, Ontario, Canada

Obituary of Wayne Beverly Dowswell

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It is with great sadness that the family of Wayne Dowswell, of Orillia, shares the news of his passing on Saturday May 11, 2024. Wayne was in his 83rd year, and passed peacefully with family by his side.

Wayne will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 58 years, Alice (nee: Myrfield), his daughters Alison (Chris) and Lynn, and his son Miles (Paula). He was a proud grandfather to 5 grandchildren: Jenna, Amy, Carley, Alex, and Trevor; and great-grandfather to Hunter and Cheyenne. Wayne is survived by his sister Cheryl Dowswell, of Sarnia Ontario, and 3 nephews: Drew (Inna), Chris, and Timothy (Stephanie); his son-in-law Steve Schandlen and brother-in-law Gerald Myrfield. Wayne is predeceased by his parents Wesley and Ella Dowswell of Sarnia, ON.

Wayne led a very full and adventurous life. He attended high school in Sarnia, Ontario, and went on to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan to obtain his PhysEd Degree with minors in English and History. After that, Wayne obtained his Ontario Bachelor of Education, plus many more courses in PhysEd Specialty, Guidance Specialty, and Co-op Education Specialty. After teaching for 5 years elsewhere, he spent 29 years at Park Street Collegiate in Orillia as a PhysEd teacher, where he introduced wrestling and Olympic-style weightlifting to the school athletics. Along with his wrestlers, Wayne also introduced wrestling to elementary schools, which is still going today. Wayne started the Orillia Wrestling Club (now called Mariposa Wrestling Club), which is still coached by some of his former wrestlers. Wayne has coached many GBSSA and OFSAA champions in wrestling, as well as coaching some Ontario, Canadian, and Pan-Am champions in weightlifting. The highlight of his coaching career was coaching his son Miles to a World Masters Gold Medal in Olympic-style weight-lifting in Cephalonia, Greece, in 2008.

Wayne’s hobbies included woodworking, hunting, fishing, and refurbishing sailboats. He sailed in Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching, Georgian Bay, The North Channel, and the British Virgin Islands. Many family summer holidays were spent having sailing adventures on local lakes. In 1979 he designed and built a house in Oro-Medonte, where he and Alice lived for 45 years.  Always community-minded, Wayne belonged to the Orillia Y’s Men, taking his turn as President and also helping to raise money for the construction of a new YMCA.

In 2020, Wayne was inducted into the Orillia Sports Hall of Fame, a beautiful tribute to his many years of building sports programs and mentoring young athletes.

Many thanks go to the staff of Trillium Manor for their exceptional care over the last year and a half.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Palliative Care Program at Trillium Manor in Orillia, and the Orillia Youth Centre would be greatly appreciated.  Donations can be made through the Coldwater Funeral Home.

A Celebration of Life for Wayne will be held at Hawk Ridge Golf & Country Club in Severn on Monday, June 3rd from 2-5pm. Speeches, memories, and stories will be shared at 3pm. So bring your favorite memories of Mr.D. – “The Coach”!   

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