Cover photo for Burnell Hodgins's Obituary
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1933 Burn 2024

Burnell Hodgins

December 30, 1933 — April 12, 2024

Hodgins, Burnell Latimer “Burn”, P.Eng.

Burn Hodgins died peacefully at Amica Little Lake, on April 12th, 2024, at the age of 90. He was predeceased by his parents, Dorothy Burnell and Clark Latimer Hodgins, his sister Bernice “Bunny” Rickaby and his loving wife of 56 years Muriel Irene Hodgins (neé McLeod).  Burnell is survived by his sons Michael (Cathy), and Greg (Gretchen), his grandchildren, Frances (Sean), Clark, and William, and his great-granddaughter Wren. 

Burnell was born on December 30th, 1933, in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. His father, a graduate of Ontario Agricultural College, was teaching farming methods for the Saskatchewan Government.  The family moved to London, Ontario where Burn spent his early school years roaming his neighborhood, and, during the war, mobilizing on Saturday mornings with his Scout Troup, patrolling for German spies, who were generally rumored to have parachuted in the night before and could be found hiding out in the church basement. The family moved to Toronto and then on to Oakville, where Burn attended Oakville Trafalgar High for his graduating year.  It was there he met and fell in love with Muriel McLeod. They were Head Boy and Head Girl (as well as Prom King and Queen!). Burn and Muriel were a dazzlingly beautiful couple.

Burn attended Queen’s University, Kingston, where he completed a Civil Engineering degree in 1957. He loved Queen’s and was a lifelong supporter.  Burn and Muriel were married in 1956. Burn spent his entire career at International Water Supply, a groundwater development company.  The young couple moved to Ames, Iowa, then to London, Ontario and finally to Barrie in 1970. Burn remained at IWS for the rest of his working life, retiring, as president in 1992. During his career Burnell served as Chair of the Ontario Chapter of American Water Works Association, as well as Chair of the Simcoe County Branch of The Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario. In 1991 he received the George Warren Fuller Award for distinguished service, sound engineering skill and brilliant diplomatic talent.

Burn designed a stunningly beautiful home for his family in Barrie.  Their life was filled with wonderful friends, neighbors, and business associates. For many years, they enjoyed a rich social life that revolved around theatre, live music and the game of bridge, a magical entertainment underappreciated in a post-Netflix world. Burn and Muriel were active members of Collier Street United Church. Very private about his own faith Burn unfailingly supported Muriel’s service to the Christian community over the decades. He was a Steward at Collier, serving on the committee that undertook the construction of Collier Place. 

Burn was an active member of The Huronia Rotary Club and the Barrie Country Club. In these contexts, his quick and at times mischievous sense of humor shone. He was a dapper man, who loved fine dining. His tastes were formed by Muriel’s wonderful cooking, and then latterly sated by regular patronage of Barrie’s fine restaurants.

After Muriel’s death in 2012, Burn took great comfort in the companionship of friends and his wonderful neighbours, several of whom made it possible for Burn to stay in his beloved home until December of 2022. They are amazing people. The family is also grateful to the staff at Amica Little Lake, who cared for Burn in the last year of his life with attention, compassion, and professionalism. He was a lucky man. 

A memorial service will be held at Collier Street United Church, 112 Collier St, Barrie, on Saturday June 1, 2024. A visitation in the sanctuary at 10am will be followed by a Celebration of Life at 10:30am and a reception in the Church Hall. The service will be livestreamed. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, Barrie. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Burnell Hodgins, please visit our flower store.

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