Andre John Marais

September 12, 1963 - October 30, 2020

Funeral Details:

André John Marais was born September 12th, 1963 in Cape Town, South Africa and passed away on Friday October 30th, 2020 in Barrie, Ontario. Husband to the love of his life, Deborah Marais and loving father to his daughter Hailey, 20, and son Jonathan, 19. He was the eldest son of John Marais and Patricia Marais, both in heaven with him, and brother to Wendy and Glenn. He was very close to Deborah’s parents, John and Carol Anne Sanders who thought of him as their own son. He was well loved by all of Deborah’s family and remembered as a man who always had time to listen and be there when needed for them.

Family was the most important part of Andre’s life. He treated his wife, Deborah, like his queen every day of his life and she called him the “King of their Castle”. He was a patient and loving father to his children. André was kind, thoughtful, and full of guidance and lessons in life. Perhaps the greatest lesson was the example shown, while living his rich and full life. André had time and a smile for everyone and believed in kindness as his guiding principle in life.

André lived and breathed music from a very young age, with his parents always playing music in their home. He was a huge fan and a brilliant singer, guitarist and bass player in several bands. He loved playing guitar and singing to friends and family around a fire, on his boat or anywhere the mood struck. No matter where we went, he would always bring his guitar with him and would play in the most unlikely places, including one time a gate at the airport while waiting to board, drawing a crowd around him. People told him that they wished he was going to their resort so they could hear him again. He used music to connect to others and to bring a smile to his friends, family and even complete strangers’ faces.  His daughter Hailey studied piano and voice and inherited his passion and talent for music, often performing together at different events. Hailey has performed at a very high level, performing the national anthem for several years at the Barrie Police Award Ceremony and singing at the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice of WWI at Vimy Ridge.  You could see the pride in his face when we watched her sing and when they performed together.

André was an avid sportsman who played soccer, tennis and hockey throughout his whole life. Hockey was a game that he truly loved, playing goalie for the Aurora Rep team for years, and continuing to play for several different teams throughout his life. He loved the game, and when Jonathan started playing hockey he immediately got involved as an assistant coach. The team won two Ontario Championships with André as their assistant coach.  He eventually became the Head Coach for Jonathan’s team, the Barrie Colts, leading them to a third Ontario Championship. Coaching his son was a huge source of pride for him.

André loved being on the water on his boat. Entertaining his friends and family, and taking sunset cruises with his beloved Deborah by his side brought him so much joy. He owned several boats in his lifetime, including Sweet Dreamz, the Bond Boat, and Back in the Saddle. It was his place of relaxation and somewhere to go and forget about the world for a while. He performed with his brother and friends at Big Chief Island for years, playing on top of the boats to audiences of hundreds of people. It was one of his favourite things to do in life.

André was an extremely devoted and hard worker and he built an incredible career at MAGNA-Massiv Automated Systems. He worked his way from the shop floor in tool and dye to being one of the top people in the company, designing and implementing robotic lines and working with the top automotive minds in the world. He was the go-to guy at Magna and brilliant at his work. He had enormous pride in his career, and it showed in the passionate way he would share his stories and achievements with his family.

André’s spirit and love for life will be sorely missed, as will his kind and generous heart. His compassion and generosity towards others knew no bounds or limits. He was universally loved and admired for his smile, laughter and open, warm heart.

The following link can be used to book a time slot to attend the visitation period:"



28 Condolences
  • Cindy and Joe Hoyda
    Posted on: Thursday, November 5, 2020 Reply

    I’m so sorry Deb to hear the news of Andre’s sudden passing. It’s a painful reminder of how fragile our lives are. Our deepest sympathy goes out to you and Hailey and Johnny. May you find peace and a source of healing through all of the friends and family who surround and love you dearly. Our prayers are with you.

  • Cindy and Joe Hoyda
    Posted on: Thursday, November 5, 2020 Reply

    I’m so sorry Deb to hear the news of Andre’s sudden passing. It’s a painful reminder of how fragile our lives are. Our deepest sympathy goes out to you and Hailey and Johnny. May you find peace and a source of healing through all of the friends and family who surround and love you dearly. Our prayers are with you.

  • Mike and Pat
    Posted on: Thursday, November 5, 2020 Reply

    Andre my brother, forever my friend, your friendship, your soft voice (:)), your loud singing, and your smile will live forever. You will be so missed, love you, and I will see you on the other side. Deborah, Hailey, and Jonathan, you are in our thoughts and always in our hearts. Your friends forever, much love, Mike and Pat

  • Rose Milos
    Posted on: Friday, November 6, 2020 Reply


    It breaks my heart hearing the sudden loss of Andre.

    You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Jennifer Panasiuk
    Posted on: Friday, November 6, 2020 Reply

    I am so sorry to hear of this sudden loss of a great man Andre. Although I did not spend time with him, I know from our many conversations Deb, that he was a devoted husband and father.
    I loved that every time I saw you Deb, Andre would always be calling you on his way home from work and the first thing he always said was ‘hey cutie’ from that I knew he adored you so much. Hoping that’s a nice memory you can have of him.
    Sending you all lots of love during this difficult time ❤️

    • Johanna Rubly & Family
      Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

      To hear the sudden passing of Andre Marais was a shock!
      I got to know Andre during the Global Perspectives Programm and had the chance to be part of his family. He was a true family man, a passionate musician and a whole blooded hockey player!
      All our thoughts and prayers are with Hailey, Jonny and Deb.

      Johanna Rubly & Family

  • Carolyne Rodrigues
    Posted on: Friday, November 6, 2020 Reply

    Deborah. I am so sorry to hear about Andres sudden passing. I send my deepest sympathies to you and your kids. May you find peace knowing how much you are loved and the legacy life you built with Andre.
    Carolyne Rodrigues

  • Marais familty Cape Town
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    From Cape Town to Canada Andre will be sorely missed and grieved by family and friends.
    His love for all of his family and friends encompossed us all. His presence and demeanor was strong and quiet which everyone
    felt when being with him. He was an awesome friend, the best brother, most amazing husband and father and the greatest
    family member.
    With a smile to comfort and light up the day he will be greatly missed.

    Dave, Jenny & Kelly Marais

  • Steve
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    I was a friend of ANDRE since we were kids back in Aurora.
    He was always very kind to me even when he should not have been.
    Andre had a great personality that just made you like him more.
    I always enjoyed talking to him …. he just made sense in a weird world.
    Loved hearing him and his brother Glenn play guitars together. They were always great 🙂
    Andre was the kind of guy that we ALL wanted so desperately to be more like.
    Like … more loving … Like more generous .. like … less judgmental .. like more caring … like more empathetic .. like more understanding … he was great period … RIP … I will never forget you or your ways … my condolences to the Marais Family … gone far far far too young 🙁

  • Val Hargreaves
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    So sorry to hear this, Johnny. Your Dad sounds like an amazing man. May your memories bring you smiles.

    Coach Hargreaves

  • Katerina and Will
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    We are so sorry for your loss. Andre was a great neighbour and kind human being. It was always a pleasure to talk to him or listen to his guitar playing in the back yard. May he rest in peace and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  • Stephen Huston
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    I played hockey when his kid(rep. hockey Aurora) My condolences to his family

  • Dan Lalonde
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    Little Buddy, too many memories to mention. So many laughs, so many good times. Thirty years. I remember when we lived together you had to have a shower every morning even though we would get dirty at work. Every morning I waited in my truck for you and you’d finally come out and say “sorry man” in that low voice. We’d be driving to work in the winter and you’d have icicles on your ear lobes and in your hair shivering but you had to have that shower. I remember the only time you got mad at me was when I dipped my banana in your coffee, the first time I did it wasn’t too bad, the second time you growled at me . The black rhino , watching you play in the band, seeing you fall in love with Deborah and become an amazing husband and father. We had some crazy times, some hard times, but you were and will always be my little buddy.
    Dan Lalone Son love ya Buddy

  • Stephen Spiers
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    My friend, my bandmate, my teammate, my brother. Rock in Peace Andre.

  • Stephen Spiers
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    A great memory of sunny days on the water.

  • Stephen Spiers
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    Baby Guinness to end a great day on the water, jamming on the J dock. Memories we will never forget. Stephen & Janet Spiers.

  • Ruth (Wheeler)
    Posted on: Saturday, November 7, 2020 Reply

    Deb and family,
    Learning of this saddens me.
    I did not know Andre, but have grown to respect him through seeing your family’s love and respect for him.
    His love will always be with all of you. ❤

  • Jon Tanner
    Posted on: Sunday, November 8, 2020 Reply

    Deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Marais family. Andre left a colourful, indelible mark on many people and the world is a poorer place without him.

  • Shaw Stockman
    Posted on: Sunday, November 8, 2020 Reply

    Andre, you truly were a man of character that all men should aspire to emulate. Your peaceful nature, honesty, commitment, integrity and lust for, and joy of life were clearly evident in your actions and your successes.
    Although I hadn’t seen you in person in many, too many years, I have many good memories of early years as we grew up in Aurora whether it be public school, ball hockey games, outdoor park rink hockey, house league hockey, public skating, parades, carnivals, roller rockin… And as we got into our teens / twenties just the scene around town. I have always looked back fondly at the brief period when we rehearsed together with your brother Glen under the Thompsons furniture store. Your talent, commitment and joyful nature were clearly apparent. During that jam time you introduced me to a song I had never considered because it wasn’t “rocking” hard enough, it later in my life became a song I would sing to myself, even turn to in difficult times to reassure myself that things would be OK. (That’s the way- LedZeppelin.). When you reached out to me on fb as I was wintering in Jamaica and mentioned that maybe one year we could get together there on one of your family vacations, I was truly very excited about the prospect of seeing you and spending some time, possibly even sharing a stage at a resort show. Unfortunately negative events for my partner kept me home on the year you ended up going and we never got that chance. I thank you for your friendship, and the kindness you bestowed towards all men, nature… You will be sadly missed by all who had the good fortune to meet / know you. To your family (Debra, Children, Glen and Wendy, nieces and nephews etc…) and current close friends in your life, my heart is with you all as you deal with what surely must feel like an overwhelming loss. Rest peacefully my friend, I hope I will see you on the other side.
    Peace and Love

  • Marilyn Meloche
    Posted on: Monday, November 9, 2020 Reply

    Deborah, I am so sorry for your loss. There was so much love in your family and I hope this will bring you some comfort as you remember all the great times you all shared. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • The Parkinson Family
    Posted on: Monday, November 9, 2020 Reply

    On behalf of the Parkinson Family – Doug, Marlene, Tracy, Nancy & Doug – we were extremely saddened and sorry to hear this news. We were next door neighbours with the Marais family in Aurora in the late 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s and have such fond memories of that time with Andre and his loving family. It warms our hearts to see these photos of how Andre grew up and created such a full and happy life. Our thoughts and prayers are sent to his wife and children and Glenn and Wendy. xo

  • John and Patty Thompson
    Posted on: Monday, November 9, 2020 Reply

    Debbie we we’re shocked to hear of Andres passing. Oh Dear Lord in Heaven bless him. Condolences to your Beautiful Family. Sincerely John and Patty Thompson and Families……😔

  • Glenn Dobie
    Posted on: Thursday, November 12, 2020 Reply

    I was shocked to hear of Andre’s passing. I was immediately flooded with memories of growing up with Andre and Glenn in Aurora.
    André was not only the coolest kid I met – he was the nicest too – always a smile and always trying to help his buddies.
    I fondly remember his dad trying to teach me tennis – and André patiently trying to help me.
    My sincere condolences to Andre’s wife and kids. My heart goes out to Glenn and Wendy.
    Andre’s smile and spirit will live on through all of us – rest well my friend.

  • Doug Goobie
    Posted on: Friday, November 13, 2020 Reply

    Andre, as we get older in life we do not have many close friends. I have known your family for 35 plus yrs and you and I had become best friends the last 10 yrs. Words cannot express how much I will miss your phone calls on your way home from work, the hours every week we spent on the phone, the great times at hockey twice a week, the great times on our fishing trips, the nights/events with our wives, listening to your music etc etc. It goes on and on. These times help keep me at peace with myself. There will be a big hole in my life forever. It will haunt me forever that I wasnt at hockey that night to help. Alot of people find solice in life talking bad about others. That trait was not in your DNA. I never heard you say a bad thing about anybody ever! Your enthusiasm and energy for life was inspiring. Your dedication to your family/friends was unrivaled.
    I will miss you always. Your friend Doug Goobie.

  • Mike Peroni
    Posted on: Saturday, November 14, 2020 Reply

    My deepest condolences to you and your family, Deb. I am very fortunate to have known Andre. Most memorable moments were the guys camping trip to Eyelet Lake, everyone was there and we were the best of friends. We had the time of our life that weekend. I remember that Andre had the biggest backpack I had ever seen and it was covered in clanging pots and pans, lol. We definitely did not need to worry about bears over those gruelling portages, lol.
    So many other memories of great times at Jeff and Sandy’s place with Andre and others and always the guitars. Andre was there in the beginning when we were all hacking away on those strings and we would all be amazed at his talent!! Still trying to learn Over the Hills by Zeppelin, more now than ever. So very happy I had the privilege of knowing him and I know he will live on in your mind, your soul, and most importantly in your heart. Stay strong for your King.

  • Merle and Rushmond May
    Posted on: Saturday, November 14, 2020 Reply

    Today we bid farewell to my beautiful cousin, Andre Marais. It was so good to have spent the previous Christmas and New Year with Andre and his lovely family here in Cape Town.

    Andre, although we through circumstances were separated by many miles, we were always so close in spirit, and in love. That is very important. A part of us will be missing now. We never expected you to go so soon after Aunty Pat.

    We will remember a gentle, smart, fit, successful, musical and family person. Very proud to have called you cousin. Love always
    Merle, Rushmond, Cara and the Abrahams Clan

  • Tim, Blake and Brooklyn Deremo
    Posted on: Saturday, November 14, 2020 Reply

    Deb, Johnny and Hailey,

    Our heartfelt condolences to you and the rest of your family. We were so saddened to hear this news. Andre was one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. From belting out the tunes at our many hockey “after parties”, to trying desperately to get a players attention with his quiet speaking voice (how does he sing so loud?), but most of all, to that giant, infectious smile he always seemed to have. He will be missed by all.

    Much love,

    The Deremo’s

  • Tara Jack
    Posted on: Saturday, November 14, 2020 Reply

    Sending so much love to all of you My heart breaks for you
    I will always remember Andre’s kindness and gentleness
    A soft spoken soul with a passion for life
    His love for you three, especially, knew no bounds
    Xo Tara

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