Event Date : Tuesday, August 28, 1979
Event Type : Death
Description : One of the Holland Marsh pioneers, John Wist Sr. died last Tuesday (August 28) at York County Hospital in Newmarket. He was 83. Born in Yugoslavia, Mr. Wist emigrated to Canada in 1927, residing first in the west, then moving to the Leamington area. He and his wife Elizabeth worked on a sugar beet farm weeding for $12 an acre - tough work that lasted from sunup to sundown. Forty years ago, Mr. Wist and his family settled in the Holland Marsh where he cleared a five-acre parcel of land. He built a home on the King Rd. near the Fourth Concession, carrying every piece of lumber for the house the distance of one mile. Back in those days work really meant work" his son John Jr. commented. While he officially retired about 30 years ago Mr. Wist still kept busy on the family farm near the Muck Research Station. He helped with the back-breaking job of clearing the land and his son recalled one incident where his father had fallen during the clearing operations. Shrugging off the pain Mr. Wist suggested more work could be done on the drainage ditches. It was only later that he discovered he'd cracked two ribs in that fall. For the past two years Mr. Wist and his wife lived in retirement in Bradford. He became ill about one month ago. Mr. Wist leaves his wife Elizabeth Ernst and his son John Jr. He is predeceased by his son Frank. He also leaves a brother Mike of Toronto, grandsons Jim, Rick, Gary, and Paul, and great-grandchildren Kim, Teressa and Jaimie. Friends called at the Lathangue & Skwarchuk Funeral Home in Bradford and funeral mass was held at the Holy Martyrs of Japan Roman Catholic Church last Friday. He was buried at the Holy Martyrs Cemetery in West Gwillimbury Township."