It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear brother John d'Esterre on Tuesday November 16, 2021 peacefully at Providence Manor at the age of 70. John is predeceased by his parents Meg and John d'Esterre. He was a loving big brother to his sisters Valerie (Joe Godin), Jane (Mike McDougall), Marion (Peter Rubens). He loved dearly and was very proud of his nieces and nephews Robyn (Paul), Kenzie, Reid (Stephanie), Calvin and Claire and his great nieces and nephews, Oliver, Margaux, Elliot and Ruby.
John lived a full and productive life and prided himself in living independently for many years. He attended Sunshine School until the age of 18 and went on to work at ARC Industries, Kinnear d’Esterre Jewellers, Robertson Holder, March of Dimes, OHIP, and Mutual Development Agency. He volunteered for the Mayor’s Walk, Prepco Co-op, and then for many years at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes at Kingston. He officially retired from work at the age of 55. Throughout his life, John was an avid bowler and swimmer, and played floor hockey in the Special Olympics. He was an enthusiastic sports fan and cheered on the Kingston Frontenacs, the Ottawa Senators, the Kingston Ponies and the Toronto Blue Jays. Music was his passion, and time spent with John meant being serenaded by bagpipes, Big Band Music, Irish jigs and polkas. He was a great believer in equal rights for everyone and was very proud to be a member of People First, holding the positions of Secretary and Sergeant at Arms. He was an active member of Community Living Kingston and District from 1988, and attended their Annual General Meetings only missing 1 year until his health declined. John loved to travel far and wide venturing to Vancouver and Edmonton, and down to Disney World in Florida and sailed in the Virgin Islands with his family. He could play a wicked game of checkers and never missed an opportunity to pull a practical joke on unsuspecting targets.
John may have been short in stature but he had a great big generous heart and touched those who had the privilege of spending time with him. He taught us all how to live life joyfully and to love each other unconditionally. He was a strong, kind man who took his role as a Resident of Kingston and citizen of Canada very seriously, voting in every election from the age of 18 on.
The family would like thank his many Community Living Support workers, in particular Janice Couch, and Golden Garland, who were such an integral part of John’s life and a support to us as a family over the years. We are grateful for all your care in supporting John and fostering and encouraging his fierce independence. We thank Meghan Dew for lovingly caring for John in his final days. To the wonderful staff at Providence Manor who loved him and held him in their hearts and made Providence his home for 15 years, we express our heartfelt gratitude. John loved every one of you from the receptionists, and the housekeeping and custodial staff, to the amazing nursing staff, the PSWs, RPNs, and RNs on Montreal 4, the recreation staff, volunteers and all of you who snuck him extra cookies and ginger ale when he was busy listening to his hockey games during snack time. We thank you all. To honour John’s incredible life, donations may be made to Community Living Kingston and District in John’s memory.
A celebration of life will be held for John in the spring. Details to follow.