SIMON, John Maxime ‘Max’

John Maxime Mishibinijima Simon, better known as ‘Max,’ began his spirit journey on August 5, 2022, at the age of 90 surrounded by his loving family.

 

Max will be missed immensely by his devoted wife, Margaret, of 70 years and their 10 children–Dan, John, Gordon, Theresa, Rudy (predeceased), Barry (predeceased), Gina, Gary ‘Sandy’, Donna, and Darlene. In addition, he will be missed by many extended family and friends. Cherished grandfather ‘Mishomis’ of 18 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. He was the oldest son of Sophie Mishibinijima Simon.

 

Max was born in Wiikwemkoong, Manitoulin Island on February 6, 1932. For 13 years he attended Garnier-Spanish residential school located in Spanish, where he found solace in hockey.

 

Max was six years old when placed at Garnier and spent the little free time he had on the outdoor rink. Despite being given skates too large in size, he filled them with rags to make them work. As one of the last surviving students, Max made a lasting statement about the Indian Residential schools, “May this never happen again to any other child.”

 

After an exchange of vows, Max moved his wife, Margaret and first born to Wawa, Ontario where he found work and rooted his family. His children describe their dad as a leader, warrior and committed father, who did his best to instil good values and Anishnabe pride. Max loved the outdoors, woodwork, fishing, hunting, painting, dancing, and his many dogs, two last memorable ones — Sam and Cap.

 

For 70 years Max resided in Wawa, finding work at the Algoma Ore Division (A.O.D) as a miner, and recreation in various baseball and hockey leagues. His skills on the ice and wrist shot were legendary, who knows what might have been if the NHL scouts had ever travelled to Wawa in the pre-highway days.

 

Max still got on the ice regularly before reluctantly hanging up the skates in his 84th year. There are many folks who prided themselves on the opportunity to lace up and skate with him, better yet receive one of his precision passes. “He may have played centre, but never did he expect to be the centre of attention.”

 

He was well known throughout the Northshore and Manitoulin. A piece of his heart remained with the island, a place he would often return with his wife and children, to visit family and relatives. Max’s last trip to his home community, was just days before his passing– his hope was to attend the Wiikwemkoong Pow Wow, visit friends and family. As hard as he tried, physically he could not make it, Creator had other plans and returned him to Wawa.

 

Max was a kind and gentle soul who will remain in the hearts of all who knew him. He was admired by many for his kind and humble nature. Of his decades in Wawa he said, “We love the town, and you won’t meet any better people anywhere than you will in Wawa.” His smile, kind words and twinkling eyes made everyone who met him, feel special.

 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations, in Max’s memory, be made to the Lady Dunn Health Centre. The Simon family would like to acknowledge the care and love provided by all staff and doctors of the Lady Dunn Health Centre and Sault Area Hospital Renal Clinic.

 

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, August 20th, at 1:00 p.m. at St. Monica’s Catholic Church, followed by Celebration of Max’s Life at 3:00 p.m. at Royal Canadian Legion Hall, Branch 429, 51 Broadway Avenue, Wawa.

 

BAAMAAPII AGA WAABMIGO

 

Visit www.osullivanfuneralhome.com to share photos or leave condolences for the family. Arrangements entrusted to O’Sullivan Funeral Home, Sault Ste. Marie.

 

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12 comments

  1. We both came to Wawa around the same time
    Max was an all around great guy
    Glad he was blessed with a long full life
    May your memories comfort you as you grieve the loss of a special person in your lives

    Jack Aitkenhead & Judy Scott 💜

  2. So sorry for your loss, Margaret and family. He was such a nice person and will be missed. Happy and Betty Robertson

  3. My condolences to Margaret and family. Max will always have a special place in my heart.
    I was one of the lucky ones at the receiving end of his precision hockey passes. That smile, twinkle in his eye and gentle chuckle were always a highlight of my day.

  4. David and Tracy Blackmore

    our condolences to the Simon family with the loss of Max, he was a wonderful guy and will be missed by all those who knew him.
    Dave and Tracy Blackmore

  5. condolences to the SIMON FAMILY ALL SUCH WONDERFUL PEOPLE I LOVED SEEING HIM ANY WHERE IN WAWA HE ALWAYS HAD A SMILE FOR ME

  6. My sincerest condolences on your loss. Max was such a great man and I always remember seeing him with a smile. He will be missed by all.

  7. jude and don charbonneau

    So sorry to hear this news. Sincere condolences to all the family. We will miss seeing him around town. A kind and gentle
    man.

  8. Dearest Margaret and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I have emotional memories when I first met Max, I saw that twinkle in his eyes too!! What a special day that was meeting everyone. My heart goes out to you. Blessings from Lorrie (Audrey’s daughter) Peace to you all.

    • Lorrie it is so good to hear from you. Thanks for taking the time. I will be sure and share your sentiments to mom and rest of family.

  9. WENDY DEBORAH DEBORAH

    Our heartfelt condolences to your family. Both of your parents were like second family to us while we were growing up on Main Street. Always kind, generous and compassionate. Your Dad always welcomed us to your home with an open heart and kindness. So many wonderful memories of us growing up together as children. Our hearts are with you all.
    Wende (Andrechuk & family) Cameron
    Harley Botham

  10. Condolences to his family and friends. Max was a true icon of Wawa and he embodied the best of all the town stood for, belief in hard work, compassion, neighborliness, putting others before yourself and love. We have lost a real hero.

  11. Thank you Charles Shamess