Andrew Peter Neelands
April 17, 1959 - May 2, 2020
Lifelong Massie resident, Andy Neelands passed peacefully in the love of his family at GBHS Owen Sound on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at the age of 61. Loving partner of 27 years to Lorrie Ferguson. Survived by their cherished daughter, Jessica Ollerton (Matthew) of Owen Sound and by his siblings, Maxine Seabrook (Norman) of Walters Falls, Constance Neelands (Carl Seeley), Hugh Neelands (Carol), both of Massie, Patricia Campbell (Peter) of Holland Centre, Wendy Neelands, Edward Neelands, both of Massie, in-laws, Linda Steele (Richard) and Larry Ferguson (LeeAnn) and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents, W. John and Bernice (nee Collins) Neelands, brothers William Neelands (Lola) and Robert Neelands and sister-in-law, Rosemary Neelands.
Andrew Peter Neelands was born in the Centre Grey Hospital, Markdale and was raised on the fourth generation Neelands family farm in the proud hamlet of Massie. Andy attended Holland-Chatsworth Central School and OSCVI. Growing up on the farm as the youngest of nine siblings enabled him to develop many talents; he enjoyed working with his hands and was always tinkering with motorcycles and small engines. He was an avid motorcyclist and his dirt bikes and street bikes became a lifelong passion for him. Like his grandfather, Andrew Neelands Sr. who left for Saskatchewan as a young man, Andy left for Alberta and worked there for several years. Upon the death of his dad, John he returned to Massie to stay. He was very much a traditionalist; devoted to hard work, family and faith, although he never wore it on his sleeve. He worked on the construction of electrical transformer stations throughout southwestern Ontario as part of the Labourers Union, Local 1059. Love came Andy's way when Lorrie entered his life in 1993. As a bonus, she brought her young daughter, Jessica whom Andy would also grow to love. They tell of his softer side, his casual nature, his colourful jokes/stories and dry sense of humour, all of which made them laugh. He had a witty talent for story-telling that kept them entranced with his every word. Andy, like the other members of the Neelands family was interested in politics/government and always kept himself well-informed by listening to CBC Radio and reading the newspaper. It was a house rule, however that the Word Searches were Andy's! At first, Jessica thought of Andy as a friend, or as a “more annoying older brother”. Perhaps this was because the one TV in the house would usually be tuned to racing or Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and 007 movie marathons. However, this was the man that would pick Jessica up while her mom was at work and teach her to use the push mower, trim the lawn and celebrate afterwards with a game of croquet or crokinole. This was the same tough, masculine guy whose face lit up when Jessica unconsciously called him `dad` for the first time at Zehrs. He was also the man with two left feet and no sense of rhythm who would practice dancing, Sunday nights with Lorrie from 7-11pm listening to Country 93's Golden Oldies- because that's what Lorrie liked, instead of Andy’s preferred Pink Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd or Tom Petty. These dancing sessions prepared Andy to proudly dance with Jessica on her wedding day. Memories of the quiet times with Andy are what Lorrie treasures the most; sharing a drink on the deck, overlooking the freshly cut lawn or working in the garden. He was laid back and easy going. He made her laugh; this kind, determined man who was the love of her life.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Garafraxa Hill Funeral Home, Chatsworth. A private family service will be held at Massie United Church with Pastor Michael Henkel officiating. Interment to follow at McLeans Cemetery, Bognor. If desired, donations to Massie United Church, McLeans Cemetery or the charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family. Online condolences may be expressed at www.garafraxahillfuneral.com