Family Trees by Marion

The Families of Marion (Rath) & Warren Peterson

Direct Ancestor of the Month


This month I'd like to feature my paternal grandfather, Joseph John Rath.

Joe grew up on his parents' farms, first at N 1/2 Lot 2, Concession 2, North Dorchester Township, then at Lot 4, Concession B. He was the fourth in a family of four boys and four girls.

His sister, Luella, remembers that Joe was a great climber. He could climb to the top of the windmill as well as the barn roof to sweep off the straw after the threshers had been there. Joe played on hockey teams (including Banner's hockey team). Joe's high school days were interrupted when he broke his leg while playing rugby. She also remembers his beautiful art work while at high school.

Joe and Vera were married by Rev. R. Keith Love of the United Church. Frank Rath of Putnam and Alberta Stainton of Kintore were their attendants. Joe and Vera began their married life in the "cement block house" on the north side of Hamilton Road, moved to the main farmhouse, and retired to the "cement block house" when Gordon took over the farm.

Joe was a farmer. He took over his father's mixed farm just west of Putnam on the Hamilton Road (225 acres at Lot 4, Concession A and B). Joe bought a threshing machine. With his brothers Frank and Elmer and a neighbour Bill Fryer, they had their own threshing gang.

Joe became a member of Putnam United Church on May 18, 1920 by profession of faith. Joe was active at Putnam United Church, serving on the Official Board and with the Sunday School. He was a member of this congregation until his death.

Joe was a member of Hope Lodge No. 69 at Harrietsville and a member of the Canadian Order of Foresters Court Banner No. 750 at Banner.

He lost some of his sight in his later years and partially got it back after about two months. He attributed this to using DDT on the farm.

Joe enjoyed music and loved to sing old hymns. In his later years he was active in lawn bowling and five-pin bowling. He did many oil paint-by-number paintings in his retirement years. He loved to win at games.

Joe had a heart attack and passed away suddenly at age 66.

(Written by Marion Peterson with contributions from Gordon Rath, Luella (Rath) Elliott and Irene (Rath) Hansford)

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