Born in Oshawa on January 21, 1933 and passed away on April 22, 2020 in Orillia in his 88th year.
John was the son of the late Clifford and Dora (Ayers), youngest brother to Roy (Ruby Sears) and Edythe (Howard Black). Survived by his wife of 67 years, Gweneth (Kaye). Father to David (Juliana), Daniel, and Marlene (Todd Lalonde). Grandfather to Jennifer, Erin, Karlin, Shannon and Ryan. Great-grandfather to James, Toby, Avery and another great-grandson about to be born.
John grew up in the Lake St. George community and spent his adult life working in Orillia. After graduation from Orillia District Collegiate Institute in 1951 he worked in several positions within Dorr-Oliver-Long including the drafting department and later selling mining equipment across North America. He then attended the University of Toronto to obtain his teaching certificate and 1966 he began teaching at Park Street Collegiate Institute (Orillia), being a well-respected teacher of mechanical drafting and auto shop; he was also a staff advisor for the popular Outward Bound Club's shooting section. While at Park Street he started Ontario’s first girl’s drafting and auto mechanics classes. In 1988 he retired from teaching and began a new career with Century 21 Real Estate that lasted 9 years.
John was always interested in youth programs and was a Sunday School teacher and superintendent for many years, starting with Lake St. George United Church and later with St. Paul's United Church and then Westmount United Church.
From his youth and into his adult years, John was a strong member and supporter of Scouts Canada. Starting as a patrol leader with the 1st Washago Scouts in 1947, he later became Assistant Cub Master and then Cub Master for the 2nd Orillia and 1st Orillia packs, and then founded the 9th Orillia Cubs and Scouts based at Westmount United Church. John served on the Scouts Canada District Council for many years and eventually became District Commissioner. In 2011 Governor-General Michele Jean awarded him the distinguished Silver Acorn from Scouts Canada for his outstanding contributions.
Always a handyman, many buildings in and around Orillia have been renovated by his hand, with St. Paul's United Church receiving much attention from his hammer and saw.
John and Gwen loved to sing and dance, attending many social events in and around Orillia. He loved to play piano and would accompany himself as he sang Bless This House and How Great Thou Art. For several years John was a member of the O.P.P. Choir and toured southern Ontario with this ensemble providing entertainment at a variety of events and venues.
John passed due to complications with diabetes. Cremation has occurred; interment will be in St. James-St. Andrews Cemetery. Due to the current pandemic protocols, a gathering of family and friends will have to be postponed.
Condolences may be sent to [email protected] or Marlene Lalonde, 547 Bay St. Midland Ontario L4R 1L4 or to Mundell's Funeral Home. Donations in the memory of John Hawke may be made to The Couchiching Conservancy land trust.