S: Spencer's Family Book By: Leanne and Matt Arch
FC: The Spencer Arch Family Book | By Leanne and Matt Arch
1: The Spencer Arch Family Book By Leanne and Matthew Arch
2: Copyright 2011 Written and produced by Leanne and Matt Arch In collaboration with Nana, Grandma and Grandpa
3: Dear Spencer, This book is especially for you, so you can to learn about some wonderful family members you never got a chance to meet. These people are very special to Mommy and Daddy. We are sure some day you will find you have some characteristics and traits passed down from each and every one of them. We decided to make this for you and share some pictures, stories and facts about them to help you feel closer to them and learn more about where you come from. Nana Arch and Grandma and Grandpa Cyncora helped provide some stories and pictures for your book. We hope you enjoy this book about your family and that it sheds some light onto who you are and who these family members were to us and you. They would have enjoyed meeting you and without a doubt would have loved you tremendously. We see parts of each of them in you everyday. Lots of Love, Mommy and Daddy xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
5: Chapter One George Davidson Baxter “Grandpa” Daddy’s Grandpa George Davidson Baxter was born on April 19, 1920 in Toronto, Ontario to Charles and Margaret Baxter. George along with his siblings Albert and Irene grew up in the east end of Toronto. George married Kay on August 22, 1942 at St. Joseph’s Church on Leslie St in Toronto. They had 3 children Patricia (your Nana), Anne and Judy. Grandpa Baxter was a member of Catholic church. George worked as a District Manager for Brewer’s retail (The Beer Store). He was responsible for many stores in and around the Oakville area. In World War 2 Grandpa Baxter was a Lancaster Mechanic at Downsview Air force base in Toronto. Grandpa Baxter enjoyed gardening, reading history books and was a huge hockey fan. His favourite team was of course the Toronto Maple Leafs. George Loved Kay’s homemade rice pudding, soups, butter tarts, and cinnamon buns. He enjoyed drinking percolated coffee from the older style percolator with the glass top and on special occasions he would enjoy a glass of scotch. Grandpa Baxter’s best quality was that he was a true gentleman who never used bad language in front of his family. He was a very quiet and introspective man. He was lots of fun at parties and was always asked to MC his niece and nephews wedding receptions. An interesting thing about George is that he had handmade suits custom tailored by 'Dabby Dubois'. The tailor came to the house with his fabric samples and tape measure. Grandpa Baxter was often overheard using the expression “Jerry Rig”. It was used when something was “creatively” fixed or put together. Your Dad uses this expression to this day. An interesting fact about George is that he loved to curl and square dance. He and Kay loved speed skating and spent many hours skating around rinks in Toronto.
7: Chapter Two Peter David Arch “Dad” Daddy’s Father Peter David Arch was born on March 11, 1945 in St John New Brunswick to Robert and Juana Arch. Peter was an only child who at the age of 6 months moved from New Brunswick to St Catherines, Ontario. His family later moved to Oakville when he was 17 years old where he continued to live Peter married Patricia on August 16, 1969 (YES they missed Woodstock!) in Oakville, Ontario. They had 2 children. Andrea and Matthew (your Dad). Though Peter’s family was Anglican he regularly attended Catholic mass with his family. Peter at the early age of 19 began teaching at Centriller Elementary School in Oakville. He also taught at Brookdale Elementary where he taught your aunt Judy in grade 4. In 1974 he switched from Elementary to teach high school at Nelson High School At Nelson he was primarily an English teacher who also taught Geography and Photography. Peter was an inspiring teacher that students adored. He loved his job and enjoyed taking many field trips including ones to the theatre. Peter was and still is a highly regarded teacher and to this day. When meeting his students, they speak highly about him. They always say he was an amazing teacher and was often their favourite teacher. In 1978 Peter became a part time Municipal politician serving the Oakville Community until 1992. He was on countless committees and boards and was very proud to serve his community. Peter was very handy (just like daddy) and spent a lot of his spare time renovating his home (no wall was safe from demolition). He loved to fly and at one time even owned his own airplane; a 1965 Piper Cherokee 140 he flew out of Burlington airport. He also enjoyed sailing, gardening and older cars. He owned a HUGE 1975 Red Chevy Caprice Classic convertible for a while and helped daddy work on fixing up and old GMC pick up truck. Peter loved roast beef dinners. He is also fondly remembered for having always having had a cup of tea in his hands. No project could be started without a cup of tea. Peter’s best quality was his dedication to his family. No matter how busy or involved he was his family came first. He never failed to have dinner with his family and always had time to read a bedtime story to Andrea and Matthew before he went off to a council meeting. Peter was a true friend. His peers have many memories of good times had together and still speak of the many jobs he helped them to complete. There was never a job that was too big that he wouldn’t tackle. A funny thing about Peter was that he detested the WIND. It made him angry for no good reason. He had a passion for cleanliness and insisted on having things clean. He would vacuum the house and wash his car daily! Peter was also left handed. An interesting fact about Peter is that there is a tree planted in recognition of his services to the Children’s Aid Society at the Halton Region Headquarters Building on Bronte Rd. The tree is an Oak in recognition of his dedication to the town of Oakville. Peter always encouraged his family to be the best they could be and was never too busy to help. He was a devoted family man who never missed a moment to spend quality time and create wonderful memories with his family. On top of that he invested endless hours into his community and was known as an honest Politician.
8: Chapter Three Juana Kathleen Arch “Grandma” Daddy’s Grandma Juana Kathleen Irwin was born to Rose and James Irwin on October 4, 1908 in Toronto, Ontario. Juana was the oldest among 5. Don, Larry, Mona, Nancy and Juana all grew up in Toronto. Juana was married to Robert in 1944. They had 1 child Peter (your Grandfather). Juana was a member of the Anglican faith. Grandma Arch was in uniform and worked as an Encoder during World War 2. Her job as an Encoder was to scramble messages for the military. She learned to drive during the war driving army jeeps. She retired after working as a bookkeeper at Procor, a factory in Oakville that manufactures tanker cars. Juana enjoyed playing bridge and loved to lawn bowl. She had her picture in the Oakville paper several times for lawn bowling. She also liked to travel; in particular she liked to go by train to the West Coast of Canada. Grandma Arch’s best qualities were that she was strong and independent. She used to travel by herself and would often drive to Florida solo during the wintertime in her blue Datsun. She lived comfortably on her own until she was 94 years old. An interesting thing about Grandma Arch is that she had a very competitive spirit, especially when it came to lawn bowling. Some interesting facts about Juana is that at a towering 5’1” she played in a Toronto basketball league and was a star player who received many pins and awards. Dunsford, Ontario is named after her great grandfather Hartley Dunsford. There is an Inn named Eganridge in Fenlon Falls that is the original house where Hartley Dunsford and his family lived in the late 1800’s
11: Chapter Four Steve Cyncora “Pa Cyncora” Mommy’s Grandpa Steven Raymond Cyncora was born on July 22, 1931 on a farm in Winnipeg Manitoba to Stephania and John Cyncora. Steve along with his siblings Jack, Loui, Stanley, Joe, Henry, Benny, Francis, Sophie, Pauline and Leona grew up in Beausejour, Manitoba. Steve was married to Shirley on May 15, 1954 in Toronto followed by a Ukrainian style reception with homemade cooking by family and friends. They had 3 children Stephen, Richard (your Grandpa) and Darlene. Steve was Catholic but didn’t attend mass regularly. Steve worked hard on his family’s farm in his early years and then worked for many years and retired as a Boilermaker. An interesting fact about Pa Cyncora is that while working on a building in Toronto, he survived a 40 Ft fall onto a pile of steel. He had injuries to many parts of his body including his knees, back and head. Steve and Shirley had just begun dating when he had this accident and Shirley came to the hospital everyday and helped him in his recovery. That is a large part of how the two fell in love and were eventually married. Pa Cyncora enjoyed many things including watching cartoons (his favourite was Foghorn Leghorn), cooking, playing cribbage and euchre with his family. He also loved to sing and play his guitar. His favourite thing to eat was everything and anything!! He particularly enjoyed making and eating perogies, cabbage rolls, borsch and meat on a stick. His favourite beverage was beer. Steve’s best quality was his perfectly styled “salt and pepper” hair. He was gifted at telling the most ridiculous children’s stories. He was known for repeating the same story but the funny thing was, no story ever ended the same way twice. He was very generous and loved his family, especially his grandchildren. A funny thing about Pa Cyncora was sometimes he was hard to understand. He would slur his words or talk fast and laugh. He enjoyed a good argument and liked to make your Grandma Cyncora cry & make her mad. He was most effective at this during a game of euchre. When he did, he always had a good laugh out of it! He also was known for unplugging ALL electrical appliances because he felt he was going to be charged for needless power to the appliance. This was prior to anyone knowing about phantom power. He also loved lottery scratch tickets. Some interesting facts about Steve was that when he was a teenager he wanted to leave Manitoba and start a new life somewhere else and find a new job. In order to accomplish that he hopped on a train to Toronto and began his new life there. Steve was an amazing guitar player and singer. He always aspired to be a Country music singer. When he was in his 30s he went to Nashville Tennessee to record his country music record at the Double B Barns. He recorded Six 2 song records (4 in the USA and 2 in Canada). Names of the songs he recorded were; Here in my room, Honkey Tonk Bar, How Much Longer, I Never Knew, I’m Afraid to Love You Again, I’m Afraid, Lonesome Track, Long Time Away, Make The Hurt Go Away, Shutdown Blues, Still on My Mind and You were my Sweetheart. Pa Cyncora was a man who enjoyed nothing more than having his family around and watching his grandchildren grow. He was forever giving his grandchildren cash ($5-$20) during a visit. He was outspoken when it came to politics (he hated Pierre Trudeau). He was known for loving to watch cartoons, the news, all types of sports and the blue channel (news and weather all in letters).
12: Chapter Five Kathleen Patricia Baxter “Nana” Daddy’s Nana Kathleen Patricia O’Brien was born on December 9, 1918 in Toronto, Ontario to Christopher and Edith O’Brien. Kathleen along with her sisters Margaret, Rita and Eveline grew up in the east end of Toronto. Kay married George on August 22, 1942 at St. Joseph’s Church on Leslie St in Toronto. They had 3 children Patricia (your Nana), Anne and Judy. Nana Baxter was a member of Catholic church. Kay worked in munitions during WW2 and became a homemaker after marrying George. Nana enjoyed travelling, sewing, gardening and golf. Kay was a great baker and introduced her family to strawberry/rhubarb pie which became a family favourite dubbed “pusher pie”. It was named that because she always encouraged our guests to try it. Kay enjoyed drinking percolated coffee from her older style percolator with the glass top and on hot days after gardening she enjoyed half of a cold beer. Nana Baxter’s best quality was her outgoing personality. She always rose to be president of every organization to which she belonged. She was a lifelong member of the Oakville Horticultural Society, where she shared her love of gardening. An interesting fact about Kay is that she loved to curl and square dance. She was a member of her church’s CWL (catholic women’s league) and also became a Eucharistic Minister there. Nana Baxter loved to laugh and had many friends who loved her dearly. She had a zest for life that could not be matched and she had a smile that could brighten anyone’s day.
15: Chapter Six Douglas Walter Lawton “Pa Lawton” Mommy’s Grandpa Douglas Walter Lawton was born to Dorothy and Thomas Lawton on March 17th,1931 in Brantford, Ontario. Doug along with his siblings Bob and Linda grew up in Brantford. Doug was married to Ona on April 20, 1951 in the house of Mr and Mrs Marlatt in Brantford, Ontario. They had 6 children Sharon, Jim, Diane, Sandra (your Grandma), Terry and Dorothy. Doug was a very religious man and was a devoted member of the Christadelphian faith. Doug was a man of many talents and he worked in many different fields throughout his life. He was a builder, draftsman and teacher. Doug was a savvy businessman. He retired after many years of working at the successful laminating business he created and managed on his own. Pa Lawton enjoyed both fishing and ice fishing, playing cribbage and nightly bible readings. He was an avid coin and bill collector. His collection had a $3 bill from the Bank of Brantford. He loved to watch sports. His favourite to watch was hockey and his team was the Toronto Maple Leafs. His favourite radio station to listen to was CFRB 1010 and Toronto Blue Jays baseball. Pa’s favourite meal was steak with mushrooms and onions as well as homemade fish and chips. His favourite beverage was Coca-Cola. From time to time he also enjoyed a whopper with cheese from Burger King during his lunch break from Plastic Laminating. Doug’s best quality was his strong family values. Every winter Pa even made an ice rink for his family in the backyard. An interesting thing about Pa Lawton is that he was a man of little words who at times could be a little impatient. He was also known for telling very corny jokes. One of his corny jokes was “ A snail went in to buy a car and wanted S’s painted all over the car, so people could say”look at that s car go!!” An interesting fact about Pa Lawton is that he was very handy. He helped his father Tom build their family home when he was just 15 years old. He also helped Wellington Easton (Ona’s father) design and build the family cottage just outside of Bancroft (in the channel called Beaver Creek which is between Limerick and St Ola Lake). He was also involved in the design and construction of Cosburn Avenue Christadelphian ecclesia in Toronto that he and his family attended for over 50 years. His grandparents were scheduled to come to Canada on the Titanic. They lived in England and did not receive the money from Canada in time to purchase their tickets and because of that, thankfully, never ended up boarding that ship. Because of this Pa was often overheard saying “we missed the boat”.
16: Chapter Seven Shirley Cyncora “Ma Cyncora” Mommy’s Grandma Margeurite Shirley Jessome was born to Maud and Alphonse Jessome on April 18, 1934 by a midwife in her family’s home on Shack Rd in Sidney, Nova Scotia. Shirley along with her siblings Maria, Teresa, Lois, Delores, Bobby and Joseph grew up in Little Bras’ Dor Nova Scotia. Shirley was married to Steve Cyncora on May 15, 1954 in Toronto followed by a Ukrainian style wedding reception with homemade cooking by family. They had 3 children Stephen, Richard (your Grandpa) and Darlene. Shirley was raised in the Catholic faith and was taught by nuns in elementary school. Shirley worked very hard all her life and had many jobs. She started off babysitting, working in factories; one of the factories was Hallmark. She retired after many years working in home care and in nursing homes. Ma enjoyed swimming when she was younger and spending quality time with her family and her family’s pets. She enjoyed feeding her family and she could cook!! Some of her specialties were perogies, cabbage rolls, chilli and turkey dinners. There was always enough food to feed the neighbourhood. Her favourite thing to eat was garlic mashed potatoes and she loved to drink tea. Shirley’s best quality was her huge heart. She loved her family so much, especially her grandchildren. She was an amazingly kind and loving wife, sister, mother and grandmother. She would gladly give the clothing off her back to make sure her family’s needs were taken care of. She loved to laugh and had an amazing sense of humour. She would do just about anything for a laugh. A funny thing about Ma Cyncora was that she often swore. She never used it in a bad manner and continued to swear right until the end! Everyone who knew her loved her. She had an amazing sense of humour and was so amazingly wonderful to be around. An interesting fact about Shirley is that when she was just 13 years old she saved a young girl from drowning in the Atlantic Ocean. Ma and Pa had Cynar pop delivered to their house. They always ordered cola, ginger ale and gazoza (like sprite). When Ma was just 16 years old she left Nova Scotia, her mother, sisters and brothers to go and live with her father Alphonse in Toronto. It was while in Toronto that Shirley met and fell in love with Steve and the rest, as they say, is history.
18: Chapter Eight Anne Margaret Baxter “Annie” Daddy’s Aunt Anne Margaret Baxter was born on April 7, 1950 in Toronto, Ontario to Kathleen and George Baxter. Anne along with her sisters Patricia (your Nana) and Judy grew up in Willowdale. She continued to live in Toronto, she later she moved to Victoria, BC. Annie was never married and didn’t have any children. She lived with her best friend Barb Trahan for many years. She was also known for having numerous animals throughout her life. Anne was a member of the Open Door Spiritualist Sanctuary. When Annie lived in Toronto she had a successful career in property management. She was responsible to take care of several housing blocks in low income communities in Toronto. Anne, who’s real passion was for animals, received her Master’s certificate and began dog grooming. Anne enjoyed playing the guitar and singing. Annie was an entrepreneur. She had many businesses of her own over the years. She owned and operated The Groommobile and also the Pet Essentials Boutique in Victoria. She also had a dream of running her own doggie daycare called Wigglebums. Anne’s best quality was her love of animals. In her lifetime she had many animals. She had many cats; marmalade, blueberry, jelly and wafer to name a few. She also had 4 dogs. She had 2 sheltie’s named Duffy and Brady. A shih-tzu named Shades and lastly Anne had a Norfolk terrier named Obie, whom you’ve met. An interesting thing about Annie was that she was always an entrepreneur, even from a young age. In 1950 Anne decided to make some extra money and charged her friends 5 cents to meet her baby sister (Aunt Judy). She had her friends lined out the door. An interesting fact about Anne is that she was the one who started the “Red Dish” tradition in the family. She started the wonderful tradition by giving the first ever red dish set to the Arch’s. Anne Baxter loved to write. She was very creative and a gifted writer. Here is one of her pieces written on November 10, 2009. The earth has giggles from the rain last night. She’s so full of air with hiccups, that all I can hear is the bubbles and laughter. The morning brings joy, crows soar through the mist looping and diving and calling to friends. Such a racket they make but what fun they have. The sun slowly rises, peaking above the clouds< She’s lazy, she’s sleepy and she’s late for breakfast. The day is mine to do as I please so I walk and I sing and I just am.
20: Ways I am like my family: