John “Jack” Desmond Durand
John “Jack” Desmond Durand
December 14, 1933 – May 28, 2022
Our “Dear ‘Ole One in a Million” will be remembered for his music, his quick smile, and his great sense of humour. He had a taste for brandy and IPA and a passion for bluegrass. A fixture at many Ontario festivals, including Tottenham and River Valley, his participation in impromptu jam sessions is what he enjoyed most. His heartfelt singing and guitar-playing entertained all who gathered ’round, from his youth until the very end. He touched so many lives with his unique style of play, whether it was through music or humour!
Dad also enjoyed many hunting trips over the years and always looked forward to time with his “adopted son”, Johnny Best, at his hunt camp. He said he enjoyed the challenge of tracking the moose. His daughters like to believe that he didn’t have the heart to pull the trigger and that’s why he never came back with a prize. It remains a mystery.
John spent many an hour tinkering around at the cottage, whether building a dock, an addition or a pair of stilts. The grandchildren loved being wheeled around in his wheelbarrow and his rendition of “Camptown Races” played on a gold necklace guitar charm. A silly grandpa he was and much loved for it!
John collected friends everywhere he went, young and old, and they figured prominently in his life – the Newmarket Durands and neighbours; the Hawkedon originals; the Centennial Park gang; his Antiquary Beach family and countless others. Bank tellers and waitresses everywhere will miss him!
John passed peacefully with family by his side on Saturday May 28, 2022, at Southlake Hospital, Newmarket.
Beloved partner of Pauline Smith, cherished father of Cheryl Durand (Jonathan), Darlene Tanner (Jim), Wendy Durand (Mark) and Liana Durand (Fausto). Loving stepfather to Kevin Smith (Nancy), grandfather to Lucille, Mac, Jimmy, Eric, Trevor, Devon, Dane, Lukas, Christopher and Shannon, and great-grandfather to Arianna, Alec, Abbey, Holden, Jude, Charlie, Levi and Aurora. Dear brother of Anne Mullen, whom he loved dearly, and predeceased by siblings, Antoine “Bunny”, Adeline, Joe, Frank, Jim, Christie, Theresa and Gerry. Uncle Jack will be lovingly remembered by his many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews, many of whom he was quite close to until his last days.
Much gratitude for the palliative Doctors and Nurses at Southlake, for the kindness and comfort given.
We will celebrate at a future date when we can safely meet.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Kidney Foundation or Myeloma Canada are welcome.
Offer Condolence for the family of John “Jack” Desmond Durand
My good buddy. A musical friend. A guy very easy to love and impossible to forget. Rip
I’m so very sad to be reading this. Always such a pleasant man to be around. My sincerest condolences to Pauline and the entire family.
So sorry for your loss but he is at peace and his melodies live on in all of his family.
Diana Ricard Turrell
John was one of the nicest men I have ever met. He was one of my parents’ best friends and was like an uncle to us Ricards. I have known him since I was a young teenager and have fond memories of him. He was so funny, always smiling and joking. He was in great demand at Centennial park, singing and playing his guitar around the campsite. He was always so friendly to me whenever I saw him. I could tell by his stories how proud he was of his 4 daughters. I will never forget that smiling face.
My sincere condolences to his family and friends.