On Thursday, March 21, 2019, John lost a brave fight against cancer. He died at home, since that was his wish, after a fulfilling life of service to his family, his teaching career and his community.
John was born and raised in Johnshaven, a fishing village of 700 souls on the north-east coast of Scotland. He was educated at the University of Aberdeen, earning an M.A. in Geography.
After being interviewed in Edinburgh Scotland John arrived here in 1968, to begin his career teaching Geography at Almonte District High School and his life in Canada..
In 1973, John married a fellow teacher, Mary Lou Murphy, and together they made a formidable team, both within the school environment and the community. In 1980 they coordinated the Almonte Centennial Celebrations a nine day festival featuring more than 75 events.
Afterwards, John was elected to the first of three terms on Almonte Town Council where, as EDC Chairman, he negotiated the initial development of the town’s industrial park. He also dedicated hundreds of hours as the founder and first Chair of the North Lanark Highland Games, subsequently serving as a Director for more than 30 years.
John has been active in many community organizations, but is perhaps most proud of his time as Executive member and President of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 240. John oversaw multiple renovation projects to its heritage building, collected the stories of veterans which he shared in a column for the Almonte Gazette, and partnered with ADHS staff and students to develop a WW II memory project which led to the publication of the book, “Age Shall Not Weary Them”.
John and Mary Lou were awarded the 2008 Mississippi Mills Cultural Volunteerism Award for their work on behalf of the community.
John was a proud and loving father to his sons and daughters-in-law – Dugald and Jodi, David and Valeria. He adored his grandchildren, Nea, Angus and Meaghan, and embraced the extended Murphy clan as his Canadian family.
Friends may visit to share memories at the
C. R. Gamble Funeral Home & Chapel,
127 Church Street, Almonte, Ontario. (613)256-3313
on Monday, April 1, 2019, from 2-4and 7-9 pm.
Legion Comrades are asked to assemble in the Funeral Home Chapel for a commemoration service on Monday, April 1, at 6:45 PM.
Friends and family are invited to a Ceilidh Celebrating John’s Life at the Legion Branch on Friday, April 12, from 6-9 pm with memories at 7:30 PM.
Donations in memory of John may be made to the Almonte Legion Branch 240.
Condolences & Tributes: www.crgamble.com