Cover photo for Edwin Torrence (JR) Coutts's Obituary
Edwin Torrence (JR) Coutts Profile Photo
1938 Edwin 2020

Edwin Torrence (JR) Coutts

March 23, 1938 — June 6, 2020

COUTTS, TORRENCE - It’s with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Edwin Torrence (JR) Coutts on Saturday, June 6, 2020.  He passed away peacefully with loving family members at his side. He was so happy to have the company of longtime friends and family during his final few days. While in stroke recovery the pandemic restrictions cruelly kept him from ‘his people’ who he loved and missed so much. We would like to recognize the caring individuals from Bluewater Health and Rosewood for their kindness during these past few months. Torrence, also known as Ed and JR by many friends was born in Holstein, Ontario on March 23, 1938. He was the youngest son of Rachel Isabel (Haas) and James Andrew Coutts and was the beloved brother of two sisters and three brothers. He is survived by his sister, Zelma Dobson (& Bruce 2013) of Stayner, ON. He was predeceased by his sister, Melva (Melvie) MacPhee (2012 & Doug 2014), and brothers Carwen (1991), Alastair (2018 & Elizabeth 2017), and Alwyn (2016 & Pat 1999). He was a kind, sweet uncle to his many nieces and nephews. Torrence left the family farm in Holstein at the young age of 17 and moved to Sarnia, where he boarded with relatives. He began working with Cope Construction and then retired from Reid Aggregate while in his 50s. He was a member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 793. JR was well known to be a hard worker with a generous heart. He built and maintained many friendships over the years. He had many ties to the community through his work, Scouting, Devine then Central United Church, and the countless connections made at coffee shops. He was an Associate member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #62 and had a keen interest in reading and history. As a younger man, he enjoyed flying planes and travelled often with a variety of friends. He always loved watching the water and had a passion for all sizes of boats, especially the freighters. He was blessed to have been able to live in homes where he could enjoy spectacular waterfront views most of his adult life. Torrence had a great smile and a wonderful sense of humour. He will be missed by all who knew him. He had many special people in his life and he treasured his time with each one of them. “He never met a stranger. Every person in the world to him was just a friend he hadn’t met yet.”

Cremation arrangements have been entrusted to the D. J. Robb Funeral Home & Cremation Centre, 102 N. Victoria St, Sarnia, ON, N7T 5W9. Interment will be at Holstein Cemetery and followed by a small family gathering at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #134 of Mount Forest in honour of his father, a WWI Veteran. Locally, please consider making a donation to City of Sarnia towards the purchase  a commemorative bench dedicated in JR's memory or a charity of your choice. Memories and messages of condolence may be sent online through

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Edwin Torrence (JR) Coutts, please visit our flower store.


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