April 10, 1947 – May 20, 2011
John Hunt, loving husband of Heather and father of Elizabeth and Reid, passed away on May 20, 2011 after an eight-year battle with cancer.
He is survived by his sister Carol Ann Westlund (Dennis) and their children – Sean, Jane, Kent and Jill; his brother Burt (Wilma) and their children – Julia, Maria and Jon; and many cherished relatives and friends.
John was born in Watrous, SK. For his whole life, John loved everything about the outdoors – plants, animals, water, rocks. His knowledge of the plant and animal kingdoms was remarkable. He always aspired to try different and exotic things. In 1970, after graduating from the Kelsey Institute in Saskatoon, he hired on with Federal Fisheries and worked in the Canadian Arctic as a Fisheries Officer for seven years. His working relationship with the indigenous population was very rewarding to him because he respected the people, their lifestyle and their culture. He met Heather in Inuvik, NWT, where she was teaching and in 1974, they were married there. In 1977, he was accepted to work in Papua New Guinea on the United Nations Crocodile Project. Those three years in the jungle were as fulfilling and rewarding as his job in the Arctic. In both environments, on opposite ends of the earth, John’s greatest wish was that his work would result in a lasting impact on the conservation of whale and crocodile populations.
After he and Heather returned to Canada in 1980, John was hired by Petro-Canada in Calgary and spent twenty-three very fulfilling years working in a number of different positions. He was an integral part of the Olympic Torch Relay in 1988. In the 90’s, while working for Petro-Canada in Ontario, John had the frequently touchy job of handling public relations during the ‘energy crisis’ of the late 80’s and during the last years of the Mississauga refinery. Following a company move back to Calgary and until he fell ill in 2003, John busily and eagerly handled stakeholder relations with the communities in and around Fort McMurray, the Mackenzie Delta and Alaska. John’s sincerity and honesty pervaded his work and whatever the stakeholders’ and public’s positions may have been on the activity or the product, all those impacted and affected admired and respected him greatly. John’s work frequently led him into Aboriginal communities and perhaps his legacy there is best captured in the words of Roger Connelly and Nellie Cournoyea, respectively Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer-Chair of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, who described John as ‘a true friend of the Inuvialuit’. His work ethic and people skills were two of his strongest traits and he was indeed a great and true friend to many. John donated blood fifty times before he was diagnosed and encouraged Elizabeth and Reid to become blood donors also. He took very good care of himself, being an avid runner and cyclist. John loved cars, airplanes and music from the 40’s and 50’s. He was unbeatable at identifying all three. He always said his only regret in life was not learning how to fly. John loved the early morning; shopping; listening to CBC radio; making and sitting around campfires; eating flapper pie; enjoying a good Scotch; having a beer (but never before 5pm); watching Seinfeld reruns on TV; buying new tools; camping with his family; driving holidays; gardening; finding just the right rocks for landscaping and building Inukshuks; and buying unique eyeglass frames, stylish clothing and shoes, both for himself and Heather. John’s first love, however, was his family. He and Heather were married for thirty-seven years, did everything together and were each other’s best friend. They have two wonderful children, Elizabeth and Reid and John was very proud of them. He set high standards for himself and he succeeded in passing these along to Elizabeth and Reid. His favourite saying was, “See what needs to be done.” John was dearly loved and will be missed so very much by all who knew him.
A celebration of John’s life will be held later this summer. You may forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Alberta Cancer Foundation, c/o Tom Baker Cancer Centre, 1331 – 29 Street N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 4N2 Telephone: 1 (866) 412-4222. www.albertacancer.ca/memorial. Thank you – Dr. Chaudry and the staff of Unit 57; Dr. Stewart and the staff of the Bone Marrow Clinic; and the staff at the Carewest Sarcee Hospice.
In living memory of John Hunt, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Crowfoot Chapel, 82 CROWFOOT CIRCLE N.W. Telephone: (403) 241-0044.Print This Obituary & Condolences