John William 'Jack' Stephens
Lieu de naissance : Sydney, Nouvelle Ecosse, Canada
Date de naissance : 10 juillet 1928
Lieu de décès : Sydney, Nouvelle Ecosse, Canada
Date de décès : 29 juin 2012
We the family regret to announce that Jack passed away peacefully on Friday, June 29, 2012, at LeVatte’s Lane, Kenwood Hall, Harbourstone Enhanced Care, Sydney, N.S.
Born in Sydney, July 10, 1928, the only son of the late W.J. ‘Bill’ and Dorothy (McLean) Stephens.
Jack is survived by three sons, Bill (Patty), David (Cathy) and James (Suzanne); grandchildren, John, Michele, Derek and Bella, and great-grandchildren, Zion, Jack and Sophia. He is also survived by his “baby sister”, Diane and was predeceased by his sisters, Faye and Elaine, his parents, and by his wife and loving companion, Ameta (Pike).
Jack was a wonderful man who embraced all with his infectious smile, his wit, charm and charisma. His true focus was his family — at the core of his heart. Jack loved the art of conversation, and the challenge of debate. He was a true wordsmith with a passion for reading, combined with his love of the cultural heritage of Cape Breton Island. He was an avid collector with a vast knowledge in many areas including antiques, books, post cards, numismatics and “Cape Bretoniana”. A fixture in the village of Baddeck — Jack always found time to stop and talk at length with any and all — often with one of his beloved whippets, Stoney and Beinn waiting patiently in the car. Jack was an active and founding member of The Freewheelers, Baddeck, and a long-standing member of St. Andrew’s Lodge, Sydney.
Jack was well known in the lumber industry having been employed with H.R. MacMillan Co. of Vancouver, and it was while living in Vancouver that Jack and Ameta were wed. He spent several years as sales manager in the family lumber business, J.W. Stephens Ltd. Jack and Ameta also operated Iron City Coins and designed and struck three Cape Breton commemorative medallions, The Black Friday Medallion, marking the 1967 closure of the Sydney Steel Works, The Miner’s Museum Medallion, marking the 1967 opening of the Glace Bay Miner’s Museum, and the John Cabot Medallion, commemorating the first sighting of North America. Jack also wrote a weekly article, “Coin Corner” for the Cape Breton Post.
Jack later pursued a career with Parks Canada — first in Halifax as Atlantic Region Interpretive Advisor, and then in Baddeck where he was the Superintendent of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. As a young man, Jack served with The Royal Canadian Regiment and with the Nova Scotia Highlanders — having attained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel — serving as Aide de Camp to three of Nova Scotia’s Lieutenant Governors. He was also a “Kentucky Colonel” — the highest title of honour bestowed by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to nation.
During his life Jack faced many challenges, including his bout with cancer — but, true to form, he never complained or let things get the better of him and he faced each day with a smile and a good word for all. Jack spent the last sixteen months of his life on LeVatte’s Lane where his engaging personality shone through as he comfortably interacted with the staff and fellow residents — his new-found family and community. He was a true gentleman to the very end.
The family would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the dedicated staff of LeVatte’s Lane who took loving care of Jack — and embraced him as their “Papa” — with a special thank you to Cheryl, whom Jack held in high regard.
Jack has donated his remains to Dalhousie Medical School. There will be no visitation. A service will be held at Knox Presbyterian, Grant Street, Baddeck, on Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 2 p.m. The Rev. Dr. Cameron Brett officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Baddeck and Area Lions Club in support of the learn to swim program at Kidston Island.