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After a sudden and brief illness, Neil passed peacefully at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario in his 80th year. He was held by his beloved daughter and son and was surrounded with love by his son and daughter in law (Adam and Katelyn).
Neil was born in Toronto, Ontario. He was the son of the late Sydney Byam (Joan), and raised by loving parents Jack (Helen) and Elva Voutt. Neil is survived by his two children, Neil Voutt Jr and Heather Emms (Adam); “Grampa” to his grandchildren Finn Voutt, Chase, and Matilda Sydney Emms; his brother Terry Byam and “Uncle” William ‘Bill’ Byam. Neil was adored by countless friends who became like family over the years. Although we could never list everyone, Neil loved and was loved by so many; the Dejongs, Mckay, Birfer, and the Wardlaw families to name just a few.
Neil had an amazing life and career. His first job was pruning Christmas trees on a farm as a young boy; he joined the military in Chilliwack, British Columbia in May 1961 as a Sapper during the 10th intake of the Royal Canadian Engineers. He was released honorably in September 1965 to go onto many new things. Neil worked for several years as a draftsman for the Toronto Department of highways. He then worked his way up through Dominion working in the meat department and then onto sales. He had made several strong friendships during this period of his life which have withstood the test of time. One of his greatest and proudest accomplishments at Dominion was his work with the Canadian National Exhibition, a place his family will hold close to their hearts forever. Neil went on and started working for Dare Foods Ltd in April 1982 where he built the Food Service Division from just a vision to what it still is known as today. Neil retired from Dare in August 2010 after 28 wonderful years of service. Some notable accomplishments of his include putting the Dare cookie crunch in all the Dairy Queen ice cream cakes, and the mints you have all probably enjoyed after a meal at the Keg, Boston Pizza, and the Mandarin.
Mr. Neil, the man about town. A father, “Grampa”, brother, nephew, and friend to many. Neil lived a life filled with joy, adventure, hard work, and love. His charismatic nature lit up any room, he told the best stories. Neil lived life plain and simply, he adventured across the world, flew a plane, and skiid the Alps. Once, while scuba diving near Tobermory, Neil discovered a Brachiospongia fossil which was entered into the catalog and is on loan to the Royal Ontario Museum - a favorite story of his to tell.
Some of Neils greatest times were spent at Paradise Island, the cottage which Neil and Sally shared together with their family and friends. This place became the spot where Neil Jr., Heather and many of their friends also spent every summer of their childhoods. Paradise Acres, or the farm on 27, is somewhere that will always be Neils most treasured spot in the whole world. There are countless memories that have been made there, and so many people who knew him either knew this, or also created a memory here with our families. Neils daughter got married on the property in 2016 which sparked a wedding business. Many strangers have been lucky enough to celebrate the next chapter in their lives at his home. Neil was proud to have had five movies filmed at his property over the last several years. Neil was most proud though of his children and grandchildren who will forever share his memories.
We love you dad, and we will always remember you, your accomplishments, your cool cars like the Corvettes and the Challenger and your sharp outfits. You were incredible in everything you did in your life. From being a father, a “grampa”, a friend, and an amazing businessman. You would drop anything and everything for anyone and never expected anything in return. You created countless memories with anyone who would take the time to listen to your stories (no matter how many times you told them the same story).
Please join us for a visitation on Saturday January 6, 2024 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
There will be a celebration of life following the burial when Neil is laid to rest in Spring 2024. Details will be shared once they are finalized. Neil would have wanted everyone to come and celebrate his amazing life and legacy.
From paradise on earth to paradise in the sky
Donations in Neil's Memory can be made to Autism Ontario or Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation. The Donation Link are below the Visitation Details.
Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation