John Arton Doughty, beloved husband of Susan (née Pearson) for 58 years, died peacefully at Bethell Hospice, after living with bone cancer for the past 8 years. John is survived by children Sarah (Dan Clark), Angus (Sian Leyshon), Michael (Lesley), and Hamish, and his cherished grandchildren Tavish, Kynyn, Erik, Zach, Samantha, and James, and his sister Karen (Lloyd Latour). A visitation will be held in Christ Church Anglican, 22 Nancy Street, Bolton on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 9:30 AM, with a Celebration of Life to follow at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Bethell Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 75, Stn Main, Inglewood L7C 3L6.
John grew up in Coventry, England during WWII, and lost his father at a young age. Raised by his mother (Mary Simm), John never let the hardships of life in post-war Britain dampen his eternal optimism. A better life in Canada was just what John was after when he emigrated in 1958. That dream materialized soon after, when he met his love Susan, on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park.
John began apprenticing as a tool and die maker after high school, rather than continuing his schooling. He found work with Stelco in Canada, but never lost his passion for learning. Insatiably curious, he read widely, on topics ranging from theology and philosophy, to ecology and the natural world. In retirement he learned to play the piano, took computer courses and joined the church choir
John was always active in the community — serving as a warden at Christ Church Bolton, coaching or refereeing youth sports teams, and being instrumental in helping the fledgling Humber Valley Heritage Trail Association establish their 15km trail system across Caledon.
John loved the outdoors. From canoeing and family camping, to daily runs and walks in the Caledon area, John found wonder in the natural world around him. The outdoors was also his gym. He completed two marathons, became the Canadian masters’ steeplechase champion at the age of 55, and paddled his canoe in 247 consecutive months before illness and winter conspired to end his streak.
The eternal child in John made him the perfect playmate for all his grandchildren. His improvised outdoor play structures may not have passed today’s safety standards, and a trip to visit Pops (on the banks of the Humber River) was affectionately known as going to “Camp Danger”. John had a special relationship with his oldest grandson, Tavish. Tavish opened the doors, John made the introductions, and they were almost always welcomed, whether it was to have tea with the monks at a Buddhist temple, to join in with a zumba fitness class at a local community centre, or to enjoy the weekly rehearsals of the Caledon Concert Band. They had each other and a whole world to explore at their own pace.
In September of 2017, after a very difficult summer, John took the courageous step of ceasing his chemo treatments, and entered Bethell Hospice. However, he surprised everyone again, and was ‘kicked out’ after two months because he no longer showed any imminent signs of dying. He may be the only Bethell ‘graduate’ to have participated in their own fundraising hike. As John’s cancer progressed, and his care needs exceeded what could be provided for at home, he moved back to Bethell Hospice. The relationships he had established, and the compassionate care he received, ensured that his final days were spent peacefully — surrounded by loving family, friends, staff and volunteers.
Arrangements by Egan Funeral Home, Bolton (905-857-2213)
Condolences for the family may be offered at www.EganFuneralHome.com