John Pleasence

PLEASENCE, John Beverly…

John passed away in his home in London, with family by his side, on Thursday, May 5th, 2022, in his 80th year. Predeceased by his wife, the love of his life, Charlene (nee Dent) Pleasence and by his parents Joe and Clarice Pleasence of Chatham. Loving father of Alicia Pleasence (Ben Cekuta) of Toronto and Lara Pleasence (Chris Jones) of Montreal. Proud and supportive Grandfather to Pasha and Toren of Montreal. Beloved brother-in-law of Michael and Edna Dent of Chatham. Adored uncle of Sean, Shellee and Shannon. A close and devoted companion to Sheila Rideout.

Born in Chatham in 1942, John grew up in the hospitality industry working in his family’s hotels – The Rankin and The William Pitt. He attended Michigan State University then continued his career with Commonwealth Holiday Inns moving up the ranks to Senior Vice President.

He loved spending time at the family cottage in Rondeau Park, where he enjoyed boating and fishing. Even when he left the hospitality industry, it never left him. Being invited to eat at John and Charlene’s was like dining at a Five Star restaurant serving up multiple courses with accompanying wines, on beautifully set tables – which was always a trademark of John’s. He was also known for his plaid shirts and his love of ironing “everything” including his jeans, to ensure a perfect crease. He and Charlene loved their years traveling North America by motorhome and cruising various parts of the world.

After the loss of his wife, his daughters are so thankful for the love and support that he found with Sheila Rideout, who helped renew his zest for life and travel.

John was a gentleman and a “gentle man” whose kindness and consideration for others made a huge impact on everyone he met. He will be greatly missed and in keeping with his wishes, cremation has taken place.

A Celebration of Life will be held at “Shelly’s Tap & Grill” located inside the Best Western Lamplighter Inn, 591 Wellington Road, London, Ontario on Monday, June 6th, 2022, from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

As an expression of sympathy, donations in memory of John can be made to The Breast Cancer Society of Canada, 420 East Street North, Sarnia, ON N7T 6Y5. Arrangements entrusted with Cremation London & Middlesex, 519-858-2467. Online condolences shared at www.cremationlondon.com


  1. John loved his family deliberately each day. He and Charlene created a home filled with honour, honesty, compassion, learning, love, and drive. His fire lives in his children and grand children. He goes on in them. He was my friend and my hero.

  2. John was indeed a “gentle man” and a gentleman. He was a part of our younger years together, and the love he shared with his family is very clear. My thoughts are with you all as you travel this burdensome path of grief and healing. Know that we are all here to help carry you until you feel that you can do so on your own.

    All all our love
    Shannon, Ross, Montana & Ripley, Woodhouse

  3. I am so saddened to hear this news and so very sorry for the family’s loss. I have wonderful childhood memories of John and Charlene, Alicia and Lara. He was such a lovely man.

    Alicia and Lara, you had an amazing Dad. My heart is with you.

  4. I had the great pleasure of working with John on the publication of a book on the history of the Rankin Hotel, Chatham, which his family owned for more than fifty years.

  5. John was new old friend. In Saint Catharines, he and Charlene were our next-door neighbors. We shared dinners at both our homes and went to sample new restaurants.

    When John lost Charlene way too soon, he and their sweet dog “McGoo” moved away from us to London, Ontario. Geographically, he was farther away but we stayed in touch often and occasionally drove up to met John halfway in Brantford. On several occasions John and I drove together to Montreal to see our respective daughters. Of course McGoo came along. We enjoyed those long rides as John and I shared stories and told jokes. Over the past few years, we continued sharing “silly stuff” online and monthly phone calls.

    I had only met John since 2007 but it felt like he was a childhood friend. We shared political views and solved most of the problems of the world. We we thrilled when Sheila came into his life. It seemed like the right time and the right place.

    I knew that his health was failing earlier this year. It had been over a month this since we last spoke, so on Thursday May 5th, unaware that he had passed, I said to my wife Marta, “I have to call John. I haven’t spoken to him in over a month.” Something came up, as it often does, and I put it off for day….and then I received the news. I will miss those phone calls when we both yelled several times before actually starting a real conversation. “HELLO! HELLO! HELLO!” John was hard-of-hearing”, so we both yelled at each other. Then we just laughed a lot.

    HELLO JOHN! HELLO! I’ll bet you can hear perfectly now, my friend. By the way, I miss you.

    Love, Alex and Marta

  6. So sorry for your loss Alicia, Lara and family, thoughts and prayers with you through this difficult time.

  7. Alicia, Lara and family… We are so sorry for the loss of your father. Although we were never fortunate enough to meet him, his gentil light shines through you! We send you much strength and love.
    Michelle & Mark

  8. John epitomized the character and spirit of Commonwealth and the hospitality industry by his manner, his style and his devotion to and with everyone. Not only will he be missed, he will and should be emulated by us all. RIP John. You are loved….still. Our condolences to all.

  9. Alicia and Lara, I am so very sorry for the loss of your Dad. I have wonderful childhood memories of you both and your amazing parents. Spending weekends at your house seemed magical because of them. I remember their energy and their warmth. I have never witnessed two people who loved each other more. So inspiring and they are missed. Thinking about you both and your families.

  10. Our condolences to the Pleasence family. John and I were friends during our teen years. There were so many great times in high school and at Rondeau Park. The best memory of John was when he used his many talents to organize and supervise our wedding reception 60 yrs ago at the William Pitt Hotel. Each anniversary Joanne and I think of him.

  11. My sincere condolences to Johns family.
    Although its been many years, I remember John very well from my time in Canada.
    John was an outstanding professional hotelier and a real gentleman, for whom I always had the utmost of respect.

  12. My sincere condolences to John’s family. Although it has been many years I have fond memories of our high school days. He was a great guy and will be missed.

  13. We first met John in Charlene in 1970, in Destin, Florida. Our friendship grew and we continued to get together whenever we could! Our first meal with them was all decked out to the nines as always when we got together, when we lost our friend Char, we still continued our friendship with John. And even when it was only once a year, we had fun! We had great meals, lots of laughs, some sad ones too!
    Memories will stay always in our hearts! Nobody can take that away….

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