Annette DeCrombrugghe, 79
Annette de Crombugghe at her Grade 12 graduation.
AWARE News Network
Another water warrior has left us.
Annette de Crombugghe was one of those who fought back when an alliance of First Nations, farmers, cottagers and local residents forced Simcoe County to back down on a planned dump site – known as Site 41 – on Tiny Concession 2 West.
Annette passed away at Matthews House Hospice in Alliston on Friday, December 4, 2020.
She and her husband John were a constant presence at the protest camp and meetings during the summer of 2009. He remembers their hearing about what was happening on Dale Goldhawk’s radio show when driving back to Alliston from Texas – and they decided to go and check it out.
“The first person we met was Keith Wood,” John says. “He sat in my truck and we talked and we talked and we talked.” Keith, a local farmer, and his wife Ina, became prominent and well-loved leaders in the Site 41 battle.
Annette and John then became active participants in the successful battle to stop a mega-quarry in Melancthon Township and were also founding members of AWARE Simcoe.
Annette Fournier was born in 1941 in Timmins, Ontario. Her father served in the Canadian army in England during the war and was then posted to Germany. That’s where John, who had signed up in 1956, met her in 1957. Annette, then 17, and a friend were hosting a pop music show for the Canadian forces.
John and Annette returned separately to Canada, and married in 1961 at Ipperwash, where Annette’s father was posted. The couple moved to Gagetown, New Brunswick, after John was posted to the army base there, and then settled permanently in Alliston when he was posted to Camp Borden in 1964.
John left the army in 1967 and had a career in commercial and industrial air-conditioning and refrigeration. Annette worked for dentist Bruce Hudgins for 28 years, during which time she achieved certification as a dental technician, graduating at the top of her class.
She was the only one in the class who didn’t have her Grade 12, John remembers, and when she retired, she went back to school and graduated. “She was very determined,” he says.
Memorial donations to Matthews House Hospice or the Alzheimer Society of Canada would be appreciated. A celebration of life is planned for later in the year.