Great Lakes Rehabilitation -
1970 – 2020
Irreverent. Passionate. Joker. Prankster. Goof.
Thoughtful. Generous. Devoted. Dedicated. Kind. Loyal. Loving.
Also true. Sometimes to a fault.
Those who knew Jeff. Really knew Jeff, were compelled to like him. Love him. Laugh. Jeff was an irresistible force.
Jeff graduated from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Kinesiology. In university he had really found his passions – anatomy, physiology, human movement. During his years at Waterloo he decided that he wanted to become a Physiotherapist, so he enrolled at McMaster University. Upon graduating, he and Tammy moved to Corpus Christi, Texas where Jeff worked at a regional physical therapy practice, setting up new clinics and honing his skills.
In 2002 the family moved to Simcoe. The next year, Great Lakes Physiotherapy and Sports Medicine opened on Union St., with Jay moving in with The Next Season. Jeff thought it would take two or three years to grow the business, but less than a year later the clinic was at capacity. Jeff’s clinical expertise, friendly demeanour and ability to connect with his patients started drawing people from all over Norfolk County.
As any sole proprietor can tell you, running a small business is full of difficult decisions. Each decision to grow or hire was cause for analysis, deep thought and anxiety. The responsibility for your family and employees weighs heavy on your shoulders. Jeff took this responsibility to heart, borrowing from his own savings and retirement to make payroll when times were tight, sharing the harvest when times were good. A few short years later the clinic needed more space and expanded into its current location.
Jeff was always learning new techniques to help patients. Clinic Services grew to
include acupuncture, compression injuries, concussion, vestibular disorders, pelvic
floor strengthening, etc. Learning of a new technology called spinal decompression,
Jeff and his friend and colleague, Chiropractor Dan Wilhelmus, imported the first
of its kind spinal decompression chair into Canada, working through Health Canada
to get it approved. The citizens of Norfolk were the first in Canada to get access
to this novel device! All of this work led to Jeff re-
Jeff was always active in his community, sponsoring many local sports teams, supporting local businesses and donating to causes. A member of the Simcoe Rotary Club, he was the driving force, chief bartender and setup guy for the beer tent at the annual Friendship Festival in Wellington Park for many years.
While always very busy running a successful physiotherapy practice, Jeff was also a devoted father to his three kids.
He was either team medic, trainer or coach for many, many of their rugby, hockey or soccer teams. If they had a game, he was there. When his son made the Canadian Juniors national rugby team, and his daughter’s team won the Ontario Summer Games Rugby Championship, he couldn’t have been prouder. Jeff led by example, showing his kids that hard work, commitment and dedication pay off, and that to show you care, you needed to be there. Jeff was always there. That’s why his friends called him “Superdad”.
Jeff showed his children that it was also necessary to have outlets that brought relaxation and joy to one’s life. He loved fast boats and cars, pushed himself to excel at cycling with close friend Don Williamson and cycled nearly all the roads in Norfolk county and many further afield. Relaxing at and enjoying the cottage at Long Point was his favourite go to place. But most of all, Jeff loved to share his toys, his blessings and his time with friends and family.
Jeff had a natural way of breaking through the standard reserved Canadian exterior. Not everybody ‘got’ Jeff. He was a diamond in the rough. Those who really got to know him knew that he was a friend who would always be there for them and would do everything he possibly could to help them when needed. A genuine friend who could be depended upon to be there.
Just after sunset on the evening of November 25th, 2020, Jeff was ripped out of our lives.
Dad, son, brother, fiancée, husband. Friend.
We miss you every day