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The life of Mickey Hare

Mickey Hare

We are gathered here today to commemorate the life of Michael Wayne Hare, who took on many different roles for many different people, including cherished son, faithful husband, loving father, nurturing grandfather, dear brother, much loved uncle, and loyal friend. 

Mickey was born on December 10, 1939 to Eugene and Helen Hare, who resided on a tobacco farm in Simcoe, Ontario. Being raised on a tobacco farm in Norfolk County marked the beginnings of his lifelong goal of one day owning his own farm. Mickey was the oldest of four children and being the only boy in the family brought on extra responsibilities when it came to helping his parents on the farm. 

If you knew Mickey, especially during his teen years, you knew he was a handsome young man, and whether he liked it or not he looked stunningly similar to Elvis Presley. During his teenage years, his mother, Helen, would often tell the story of their trip to Memphis, Tennessee, where some of the people in a restaurant thought he was either Elvis or someone trying to imitate him. Not such a bad thing to be burdened with, as much as he didn’t like it when people told him he looked like Elvis.

In the early 1960’s Mickey met a beautiful young girl named Virginia from the tiny village of Bloomsburg. Virginia, or Ginny, would soon become the love of Mickey’s life and a whimsical romance soon turned into matrimony when they were married on April 18, 1964. They would remain husband and wife just shy of 60 years. While Mickey stuck to the dream of owning his own farm, Ginny took on a job at the bank. 

In 1969, Mickey was one of the first farmers in Ontario to grow ginseng, and that would become his legacy, as he would not only end up growing ginseng, but also doing custom work for many years to come, including planting, digging, drying and even selling ginseng root for anyone that needed his services. Eventually the dream of owning his own farm was realized when he and Ginny purchased property on Church Street in Waterford, where he grew some of his first ginseng crops. Eventually the young couple of two blossomed into a family of four when Shawn and Shannon arrived on the scene. In the late 1970’s, Mickey purchased a beautiful farm on the Cockshutt Road in Waterford, where he proudly displayed words on the barn that read M. Hare & Son Farms. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that prior to becoming an independent owner/operator, Mickey’s dear friend and first business partner was Bill Atkins, and the original partnership was called Atkins & Hare. On the Cockshutt farm ginseng was not the only thing being grown, as throughout the years there were ducks, geese, chickens and even a few cows, not to mention the family dogs and cats. 

One other salient point about Mickey that cannot go without mention is the fact that he loved wheeling and dealing for anything he could buy, sell or trade. He was known for visiting auctions anywhere he could find one, and would often return with a tractor, plow, filing cabinets or even the kitchen sink. One time he even filled the barn up with skids of items he purchased at a warehouse sale in Toronto, and he turned the place into a modern-day

Sanford & Son lot. All were welcome to enter just as long as you brought cash and a carry bag with you.

With all the hard work on the farm, Ginny took care of the essentials when it came to cooking, cleaning and the kids. If you knew Mickey, then you would know he didn’t change diapers.

One day when Ginny left Mickey for an afternoon to take care of Shawn when he was a baby, he noticed that a diaper change was needed. Mickey, being the quick problem solver that he was, drove into town, baby in tow, and had Margaret Wilson change Shawn’s diaper. Now that’s creative problem solving at its best. No need for a diaper genie when there was a genie named Marg close by!

When Mickey wasn’t working, he enjoyed spending time with his friends, often at the Waterford Legion, and in the later years you could often find him at Tony Yin’s infamous Chinese Legion on a Friday night. Spending time with friends also included an annual fishing trip in Huntsville at Nick Shira’s cottage. Mickey loved to fish, and although no one ever saw a picture of Mickey with a fish in hand, it was rumoured that he caught some of the most illusive fish ever caught up in Muskoka. Some of these fish were rumoured to include the rare northern Labbatt Blue stubby, and the Large Mouth Bud Light tall boy. One could say he always made a splash on those trips, but more so in the cooler, as opposed to the lake.

Family was always very important to Mickey, and he loved getting together on special occasions. For years he held family Christmas at the barn on the Cockshutt, and he rarely missed a family event, whether it was a Baptism, Easter celebration or a beach party at Carma and Scott’s in Port Dover. He loved chin wagging with his sisters, nephews, nieces and cousins. Mickey was quick-witted and had a great sense of humour, and you always knew something was coming when you saw that famous grin of his start to form when he was going to say something sure to get everyone laughing. He was never so proud when each of his four grandchildren (Larissa, Lucas, Nichole and Casey) were born, and he loved spending time watching them develop and grow, whether it was watching a hockey game at the arena or just spending time with them on the farm. He was a devoted and ever-faithful husband, never missing visiting Ginny at the Cedarwood, outside of COVID, week in and week out during the past six years. He loved her with all his heart and will wait patiently for her to join him again one day under our Lord God in Heaven, where I am certain a special place has been made.

Mickey was a truly remarkable person, leaving a lasting impact on all those who knew him. Generosity, humility, and compassion are qualities he possessed that will forever resonate with those close to him. His kind, gentle nature, coupled with his sense of humor, brought people closer to him. While his physical presence may be missed, the memories and the impact he had on people’s lives will endure, ensuring that he is never forgotten.

In honour of Mickey and his Irish roots it would appropriate to end with an Irish Blessing:

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon your fields, 

And until we meet again,

May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Written and presented by Todd Goodwin

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