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In Memory of
Fred Berlet
October 7, 1928 – September 26, 2023 - Age 94


It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Fred Berlet from Port Elgin, formerly of Tillsonburg, at Sakura House in Woodstock. He has been reunited with his adored wife Donna (2021) He will be greatly missed by his four children, Debra (Greg Beddoes) of Calgary, David (LeeAnn) of London, Sue (Graham O’Connell) of Tillsonburg, Greg (Diane) of Columbus, Ohio. Fred’s grandchildren Jordan (Christa) and Megan Parker (Jordan) of Calgary; Joelle Berlet of Toronto, Cody Vandommele (Natalie) of Grimsby, Cale Vandommele of Cambridge, Conor Vandommele (Amanda) of Sarnia and Callie Rhodenizer (Jonathan) of Nanaimo; Logan Pewitt (Zach) of St. Louis, Missouri and Jenna Berlet of Columbus, Ohio will all miss Grandpa/Poppa’s loving smile. Fred was also the Great Poppa of Isaac, Charlotte, Elliot, Des and Charlie of Calgary; Luke and Chloe of Grimsby; Lily and Violet of Cambridge; and Jack of Sarnia. Fred was predeceased by his grandson Austen (2009).
Fred was born in Monkton, Ontario to Walter and Anna Berlet, the oldest son of 5 children. He is predeceased by his brother Ross and sister Dorothy. He will lovingly be remembered by his sister Elaine (Gold Canyon, Arizona) and his brother Ron (Diane) of Adolphustown, Ontario
Fred was a devout Christian who will always be remembered as an honourable and talented businessman who enjoyed giving for others through charitable causes and gifts. He enriched the lives of all who met him and will be greatly missed.
It is in Monkton that Fred began his career working in the family appliance store, then working his way up to General Manager at McBrine Luggage in Kitchener, and then as a partner and shareholder at Fleck Manufacturing in Tillsonburg. Through this time, Fred put himself through university and received his Registered Industrial Accountant (now known as Certified Management Accountant) and then his Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario. Apparently Fred did have some spare time while at university as this is where he met and courted his future wife Donna. They were married shortly after Donna graduated.
In 1974, Fred incorporated the Berlet Family Trust and SGWB Enterprises Limited. However, Fred wanted to pursue his education further and thus attended many courses at Harvard University in Boston, Mass.
In addition to sitting on over 40 Boards of Directors – both here and in the United States – Fred’s hobbies included collecting antique Canadian pressed glass, photography, tennis, golf, and gardening (flowers – not vegetables!)
Fred was a man of great integrity with a keen sense of humour and a sharp wit. He always enjoyed a good laugh and a good story with his many friends.
His greatest pride was his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In Fred’s words, “I love my grandchildren and try to spend the time with them that I didn’t have the opportunity to do with my kids”
Friends will be received at Ostrander’s Funeral Home, 43 Bidwell St, Tillsonburg, ON on Saturday October 7 (which would have been his 95th birthday) at 1pm for a memorial service. A celebration of life will follow at The Carriage Hall, 25 Brock St W, Tillsonburg from 2 – 5 pm. A private interment of ashes will take place at Tillsonburg Cemetery for the family.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cystic Fibrosis Canada, 2323 Yonge Street, Suite 800, Toronto, ON, M4P 2C9. 1-800-378-2233 or online at
A belated note from Fred…..
“I have been unbelievably blessed with a wonderful wife, daughters, sons, their spouses, grandchildren, their spouses, great-grandchildren, great friends, health, wealth, and many other things. I pray that all of you will share in the peace that I have now entered.
Love to all.”