Death of Retired NRPS Officer – (Cst) Gerry Letford

LETFORD, Joseph “Gerry” – left us in the arms of the love of his life on Saturday, January 28, 2023 at the age of 78.  Beloved and devoted husband to Karen Sneath for 18 years.  Loving step dad to Sierra Sneath and devoted dad to Aaron (Jen), Vince (Brenda), and Charles “Chas” (Leah).  Grandpa to Mikey, Valerie, Shailey, Grant, Russell, Clark and Great Grandpa to 4.

Gerry will forever be missed by his in laws Michael (Julie) Sneath, Jim (Bev) Sneath, Anna-Marie Sneath, and Colleen Sneath.

He will also be missed by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Predeceased by his parents Charlie and Marjorie Letford.

Gerry was retired from the Niagara Regional Police after serving over 30 years on the force. Gerry was a dog lover and you could always find him with his bloodhound “Reba” in the backyard smoking up a storm on his smoker. He was never short of a story (or opinion!) which was always embellished by his sense of humour. Wherever Gerry went – near or far – there was always someone he knew and those he didn’t he got to know. He was an avid HAM radio operator which gave him the opportunity to connect with people worldwide.

In lieu of flowers donations to the Humane Society would be greatly appreciated by Gerry’s family as Gerry never went anywhere without a dog treat in his pocket.

According to Gerry’s wishes cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to PLEASANTVIEW FUNERAL HOME. Please share your condolences, memories, and photos online at



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Death of Retired NRPS Officer (Insp) Jack Stevens

Stevens, Jack – Passed peacefully, on Christmas Eve, with family at his side after suffering a stroke in his 92nd year.

Born to Albert and Lucy Stevens on February 13, 1931; Jack was one of seven siblings, all of whom have predeceased him.

He married the love of his life, Gertrude (nee Grottick) in 1950, going on to have four children, Kim (Sandra Kroeker), Kathy Mason (Don), Mark (deceased 2016) and Laura Anzik (John Brown) and was unofficial ‘Dad’ to many more. Family meant more to Jack than anything else in the world. His children and in particular grandsons: Zachary, Alex and James Mason were the light of his life.
Together Jack and Gertie built the family home in 1954 which became the gathering place for all celebrations and welcomed many visitors. He was a ‘Jack of all trades’ who could fix anything and could often be found puttering in his garage. Anyone who met him knew that he was a kind and gentle soul always willing to help anyone.

A lifelong resident of St. Catharines, Jack worked in the family concrete business after high school before a career in law enforcement called. First joining Grantham Township police in 1958; he later retired from Niagara Regional Police as Inspector after 33 years service.

In honouring Jack’s wishes cremation has taken place. Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at Considerate Cremation & Burial Services, 26 Nihan Drive. Memorial donations made to a Charity of Your Choice would be appreciated.

Arrangements entrusted to Considerate Cremation & Burial Services, 26 Nihan Drive, St. Catharines (between Lake Street & Scott Street), 289-362-1144. Online condolences may be made at

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Death of Former NRPF Officer (Cst) Richard Ruthven

With family at his side Richard Harold Ruthven peacefully passed away at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington on October 25, 2022, in his 74th year. Rick was predeceased by his wife Susan (March 2, 2022) and his parents Norma (Cox) Ruthven (1980) and William Ruthven (1983). Rick is survived by his daughter Tanya Ruthven (Brandyn), sons Kevin Ruthven (Kirsten) and Jonathan Ruthven, and his grandchildren Ethan, Kennedy, Griffin, and Phoenix. Rick was born in Huntsville, Ontario, on February 27, 1949. He grew up in Huntsville and several cities where his military father was posted, including in Germany, Virginia USA, and North Bay, ON. He met and married his first wife Nancy (Brown) in 1972 and he became a Niagara Regional Police Officer in St. Catharines. He joined the Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band when it formed, and he enjoyed touring with them for some years. Later, Rick relocated to Burlington where he and Susan raised their daughter. Rick worked in the fashion industry for many years and later for Rondo Canada, and ATM Canada. He also maintained a rural paper delivery service for many years. Rick was one of the founding members of an online gaming group in the late 90’s with members throughout the US and Canada which continues to meet online most mornings. A special thank you to Dave and Karen Webb for their care and assistance in recent months. As per Rick’s wishes there will be no service, but a private interment will see Rick and Susan laid to rest in the Burlington Memorial Gardens at a later date. Arrangements entrusted to Dodsworth & Brown Funeral Home. If desired, a memorial donation to a local Humane Society would be appreciated by the family.

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83rd Annual Herman Rogers Shoot – November 7, 2022

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Death of Retired NRPS Police Officer – (Sgt) Tom Carter

Thomas Carter lived a full life. How does one define anyone in a few words. Some words that applied to Dad were; Paddy, Plasterer, Police Officer, Partner and Parent.

Tom Carter was born on a farm in Strandhill, Sligo, Ireland in 1934 to Sarah and Robert Carter who had five sons and three daughters. Tom’s early life was not an easy one. His mother passed when he was only 3 years of age, so he and the youngest siblings were either sent to a church sponsored boarding school, or passed on to other relations, as his father could not raise them all on a working farm. Despite being separated from his siblings at an early age, Tom always did his best to maintain his familial bonds, even after he moved from Ireland.

At the age of 17, Tom moved to England as a plasterer’s apprentice where he not only learned the trade, but also discovered a passion for ballroom dancing that he would enjoy for the rest of his life. He reconnected with his elder brothers in England, and in 1957 Tom moved from London, England to Dunnville, Ontario with is older brother, Bob. Although he knew no one upon arriving in Canada, it only took him a short while to make life long friends in that community, as a founding member of the Dunnville United Soccer Club.

In 1959, Dad heard that the Welland Police Force was hiring. He drove from Dunnville to Welland to apply, and had to walk the last few miles after his car broke down. Tom, unknowingly, spoke to the current Chief of Police when asking to apply. That Chief was a World War II Air Force veteran who had an Irish partner in flying sorties over Europe. Dad always believed that his Irish accent got him the job, since as we all know, there really wasn’t a set hiring protocol back then. Tom worked in several capacities during his 30 year career; Patrol Constable & Sergeant, Fraud and General Assignments investigator and Sergeant, retiring from the Niagara Regional Police Department on April 1, 1990. He had many partners over the years who were involved in his investigations and escapades. Some of the more memorable ones were, or are; Marty Welychka, Paul Bruno, Bob Clarkson, Steve MacLeod, Mickey Riddle, Gary Beaulieu, and Bob Shennan who was close to Dad up until his passing.

Tom not only served Welland and Port Colborne as a police officer, he was also the Chairman of the Rose Festival for seven consecutive years. Early in his career, he also organized youth dances in Welland when he saw that there was a lack of activities for youth in the area. He undoubtedly thought that his love of dance would be a useful social activity for others.

Every Saturday night, Mom and Dad could be found at the Welland Royal Canadian Legion dancing the night away in the company of friends. Dad often said that he was adopted into the Forand (Bob) and Nesbitt (Tommy, Jimmy, Billy and Jack) families whom he met as a new arrival in Welland and remained close with over the years. Tom also had a very close friendship with the late Claire Simpson (founder of Claire’s Delivery), and they enjoyed much mischief making and laughs over the years.

Dad’s life partner was his wife Truus Carter (nee Van Eyk), who was a Dutch immigrant. They met in 1961 while Dad walked the beat and was having a coffee in the Majestic Restaurant where Mom was working. In 1963 they were married, and in 1964 and 1965 had a son and daughter; Desmond and Teresa. In those days, police didn’t make much money, so Dad supplemented the family income with plastering jobs and renovating houses. He often worked his police shift and then immediately went to work on a building project. Over the years, Dad and Mom made some investments in real estate, and although they came to Canada with next to nothing, they were well provided for in retirement.

Tom and Truus lived in Fonthill for the latter part of their lives. Tom being the quintessential Irishman took great pleasure in telling the locals stories (both real and nonsense) at pubs. Dad probably lost count of the number people he regaled with his story of Neddy the Donkey, and many others.

Mom passed in 2021, and Dad was never quite the same. During the final year of his life, Tom would be spotted on his mobility scooter as he whipped around Fonthill, or popped in somewhere for a pint. Wherever he went, Tom was greeted and assisted by many people, and for that he was grateful, as is his family today. The Carter family is also very thankful to Tom’s former neighbours in Kinsman Crt., and to the staff and residents of Lookout Ridge for their friendship, care and kindness.

Tom Carter passed away peacefully at the Welland General Hospital on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at the age of 88. He leaves Desmond Carter, Teresa Hamilton (Glen) and grandchildren; Carter, Breean and Larissa. Tom is also survived by his youngest sister Gladys who resides in Ireland. He is fondly remembered by a wealth of nieces, nephews and extended family in Ireland, England and Canada.

According to his wishes, Dad was cremated, and although there is no visitation, a celebration of life will be held. We hope you join us in remembering Tom Carter on Saturday, November 12th at the Fonthill Royal Canadian Legion between 1 – 4 p.m. At 2 p.m., comments and stories about Tom are welcome and encouraged.


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Death of PPAN Executive Board Member – Carol Berry

It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Carol Marie Berry (née Rhodes) on August 27, 2022, at the St. Catharines hospital, surrounded by her loved ones. Carol is survived by her husband of 42 years Mark, son and wife Paul and Katarina Berry, daughter and husband Natalie and René Romero, grandchildren Lukas, Sophia, Michael, William and Claire, mother Margaret Rhodes, siblings, nieces, nephews, and many great friends.

Carol was born in Liverpool, England, to Denis and Margaret Rhodes. Her family moved to Canada in 1973, where she met her husband Mark and began a successful career at the Niagara Regional Police Service, proudly serving her community for 40 years. Her sparkly and bubbly energy lit up every room she entered. She loved Christmas, dancing, singing, and spending time with her friends and family. She was deeply loved and will be missed dearly by all who knew her.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday September 6th from 2-4 and 6-8pm at George Darte Funeral Chapel, 585 Carlton St. St Catharines, ON, L2M 4Y1 (905)-937-4444, with memorial mass at St Alfred Church,  272 Vine St, St. Catharines, ON L2M 4T3 on Wedensday September 7th at 11am.  At Carol’s request cremation has taken place.  If so desired donations to the charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.

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Retirement Celebration for Scott Johnson – September 15/22

Click HERE for more information (your PPAN password required to view)

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Death of Retired NRPS Officer – William Duchart

Duchart, William John

Passed away peacefully in his 93rd year at the Woodlands of Sunset, August 17, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.

Beloved husband of 72 years to Irene (Hegedus), loving father to Sharon Porter (John Miller).

Predeceased by his father, John Bain Duchart and his mother Anne McCullough Duchart, his brother Douglas and sisters Barbara and Margaret.

Cherished grandfather of Christopher Rocco (Anne Hu) Michelle and William Duchart. Great grandfather to Preston, Justin and Joshua.

Born in Toronto 1929, the family later settled in Fort Erie. Bill began working for the CNR in Fort Erie. He joined the Bertie Township Police Force in 1958 and retired from the Fort Erie Detachment of the NRP in 1989 with 28 years of service.

The activities which gave him the greatest sense of pride were those related to the Military. Bill was a very proud veteran and began his service in 1947 and ended in 1979. Bill was Chief Warrant Officer, CD, Regimental Sergeant Major, Royal Canadian Artillery and R22 ER. He was a generous, kind, and thoughtful man who gave his time and wisdom freely.

Bill was a lifetime member in the Royal Canadian Legion and was a Freemason with the Palmer Lodge, Fort Erie, for 60 years.

He was active with the Meals on Wheels Program after his retirement. He was immensely proud of being a Canadian and his Scottish Heritage.

The family wishes to send a very special thank you to the staff at Lundy Manor and Woodlands of Sunset for their excellent care and compassion. Bill loved them all dearly!

We will keep his memory alive and honour all he believed.

And just feel so grateful for all his love we received.

Heroes never die. They live on forever in the hearts and minds of those who follow in their footsteps.

We will always love you and miss you with every passing day.

Private funeral arrangements were entrusted to Benner Funeral Services.

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Death of PPAN Member – (Sgt) Peter Ruch

Peter passed away suddenly on July 13, 2022.  Beloved husband of Darlene (nee Lake) for 56 years.  Loving father of Corrine Dawn Ruch (Chris Tanz) and Steven Wayne Ruch (Wendy Miller).  Grandpa Pete to Brayden Tanz (Brianna Meyers).

Predeceased by his parents Harold and Bernice Ruch.  Sadly missed by brother Robert (Joan) Ruch and sisters Christine (Ted) Piuni and Karyn (Jim) Lidbetter.

Peter was a member of the Niagara Regional Police Service for 30 years and President of the Niagara Regional Association for many years retiring in 1996.

He dedicated his life to Wado Kai Karate, teaching for over 45 years.  He was an avid boater and woodworker.  He truly loved his 22 winters in Mexico with his extended family.

He was a generous man who gave his time and wisdom freely, leaving behind an inspiring legacy with his lifetime achievements.

Williams Funeral Services, Ridgeway entrusted with private funeral arrangements.  If you wish to make a contribution to honour Peter, please consider Shintani Wado Kai Karate P.O. Box 20028 Grantham, St. Catharines, Ont. L2A 7W7 or etransfer to

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Death of Retired NRPS Officer – (Cst.)Tom Prentice

THOMAS PRENTICE  -Passed away suddenly at his residence on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at the age of 65. Survived by his sons Scott and Christopher. Dear brother of Ron (Josephine) Prentice and Lois (Howard) LeMesurier. Predeceased by his sister Joyce. Cremation has taken place. In memory of Thomas, donations, in honour of his career as a Niagara Regional Police officer, to Niagara Beyond the Blue would be appreciated by his family. Online condolences at


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