Horton; John Thornton. 86, of Liverpool, passed away peacefully at Queens General Hospital, Liverpool on Monday, October 16, 2017.
He leaves a loving family. Husband of 64 years to Norma Horton, brother of Jim and Alice Horton, brother of Ruth Hoare. Father of David and Zenia Horton and Stewart and Cheryl Horton. Grandfather of Michelle and Rob Gowland, Amy Potruff, Sierra Horton and Josh and Sarah Horton. Great grandfather of Hayden, Kamryn and Ajay.
Born March 10th 1931 in Hamilton, John completed his BA at Wheaton College, MA and post-grad doctoral studies at Northwestern University before embarking on his career as an educator. He joined the University of Waterloo in 1961 shortly after its inception and spent the next 35 years as a professor in the School of Environmental Studies, specializing in urban and regional planning. John was active for many years in the Oxford University exchange program and a leader of the Pragma Council think tank. He continued his involvement with both U of W and Pragma as an advisor for many years after his official retirement in 1996. He was revered by his students as a man of wisdom, care and compassion.
John had a lifelong passion for athletics. He wooed his future wife on the tennis courts and loved to ski, golf and took up hockey in his late 40’s. John and Norma also shared a love for travel and spent many years skiing in Vermont and golfing in South Carolina. Life was scheduled around Hamilton Tiger Cats games, you did not visit while a game was on. A true fanatic, if you listen closely you will hear Pigskin Pete joining him in an Oskee Wee Wee cheer. This torch has now passed to David, be yours to hold it high!
In December 2010, having lived all their lives in the Kitchener Waterloo area, John and Norma embarked on a new adventure and moved to Liverpool NS when Stewart and Cheryl and their family moved there. A new passion developed for them with a deep fascination and attraction to the sea. The daily contact John and Norma shared with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren during his final years were truly special. The opportunity not so long ago to enjoy a family round of golf with four generations is a precious memory.
As a Christian, John’s life was rooted in his fundamental belief in Christ. For many years John and Norma were members of the Lincoln Road Chapel in Waterloo. In living his life he did not preach at people but he did minister to them. His was the voice of reason, kindness, caring, compassion, thoughtfulness and forgiveness. His glass was always half full, not half empty. He rarely if ever complained, was slow to anger and never held a grudge. Most importantly he knew how to laugh. There was always a twinkle in his eye, mischief in his heart and laughter on his lips. Having learned at the foot of the master, his legacy is three generations who now tease each other mercilessly, laughing and giggling while loving each other unconditionally. We have been truly blessed to have loved him and been loved by him.
Dear God on High hear our prayer
His days are spent, he’s served you well
Though sad we may be, his time has come
Please take him now, to rest at last in peace with thee.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, October 20th, 2017, at 2:00 p.m., from Chandlers’ Funeral Home, Liverpool. Reverend Dr. Steven Hopper officiating. A celebration of his life will also be held in Kitchener Waterloo on a date to be determined and published in the future.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Dr. Mogan, Dr. Ernest, the nurses and staff of Queens General Hospital for their kind and compassionate care.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Queens General Hospital Foundation would be appreciated.
Online condolences may be left at www.chandlersfuneral.com
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Margo and Barry Cross
I only knew John for a short while but in that time I recognized a wise, sincere and compassionate man. May the memories that he left you and the strength of the Lord get you through the hard days ahead.
Norma and family:
I was very sory to learn of John’s passing. He was a fine gentleman and a great neighbour. He was a true Christian and a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. He will be missed.
Stew,Cheryl,Norma and Family
So very sorry to hear about your fathers passing. I met him and your mom a few times at different gatherings for our church. He would always engage in good discussions. He was well versed ,whatever the topic. And always spoke highly of his family. I’m sure you will treasure many memories.
So sorry to hear of John’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Barbera and Simon
We are so sorry to hear this sad news. He was a lovely man. You are in our thoughts.
Love from Barbera and Simon Eldon.
John and Donna Murray
Sad to hear of John’s passing. We had the opportunity to meet him at a social occasion and recognized his input and personality. We pass on our sincere condolences to Cheryl and Stew.
John and Donna
Sorry to hear of your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Kevin and Debbie Page
Norma and Family:
So very sorry to hear of John’s passing. Please accept my most sincere sympathy at this very difficult time. God Bless.
Bill and Anna Cox
Sad to hear of John’s passing, I (Bill)will miss meeting him for coffee and conversation. Our deepest sympathy to Stew and Chery.l
Dear Norman and Family,
John was a true gentleman in every respect. We loved our times together and missed you so much when you moved to Nova Scotia. Thinking of John with his Lord and Saviour at peace. Our door is always open Norma. Lovingly Gord and Heather
How can one put into words a personal and spiritual ‘touch’ of friendship so deep it resides in the soul.
John was a blessing in my life and to the world he touched and a true model of faith.
I will miss John beyond words and hold him lovingly in my heart for all my time.
Please accept my sincere sympathy on your loss.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Dear Norma and Family,
Heather and i are sorry to hear of your loss. We remember John with great fondness from your years with us at Lakeshore Bible Chapel. I remember John as a very thoughtful man regarding his faith and always enjoyed my conversations with him. His obituary is beautifully written. It describes the man we knew perfectly.
Kevin and Cathie Wentzell.
Norma and family,
Take comfort in your memories.
Jan and Garnett Winchester
Our thoughts are with your family.
Jan and Garnett
Our thoughts n prayer go out to the Family from the Johnson Family from Kitchener
Stew and Timmer,
Gone from our sight, but never from our hearts. My sincere condolences to you and your family
John and Nancy Leefe
Nancy and I were sorry to learn of John’s passing. He led a long and productive life. He was kind enough to spend time with me when I was mayor to chat about planning in which he had national expertise. In later years we solved many of the world’s problems in our encounters at Queens Place gym. He was also good company and will leave many happy memories in his wake.
So sorry for your loss
Norm and Jean Coombs
Jean and thank you for reaching out to restore our connection. We really appreciate it. We are truly sorry for your los. You had been married even longer than we are. We married in 1959 and we are not yet to 60. It is amazing how after so long you really feel connected. My mother said it felt like losing part of herself.
My teaching career and John’s covered almost the identical years. Moving away however really breaks connections with the past. I am glad you have family where you are. Our one daugher has lived a few minutes from us. Now the second family and family just moved to Los Angeles about an hour away. It is really comforting to have our family near. I am thankful you aren’t alone.
We will try to continue our renewed connections thanks to the internet
Norma, it’s been many years since I have seen you and John but have fond memories of both of you. My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Lynda Veitch
Dear Norma and Michelle and Family,
I was saddened to learn of John’s illness. He has been Promoted!. John was such a gentle and thoughtful man, full of grace. He has blessed many. It was a privilege to know him.
May you experience the extravagant love and comfort that Jesus promises in the Gospel of John as you journey through your new normal. May warm and positive memories be foremost in your minds and hearts.
So sorry to hear about this.Please take care of each other at this sad time
Len and Joan Habermehl
Dear Norma and Family
We remember John as a warm and transparent friend, who loved and and followed Jesus. In a caring and thoughtful way, he listened and then would offer his response. Almost always after that, a warm little, infectious chuckle followed, and a smile.
The times that you both spent with us staying in our home, will always be precious memories, and you have been greatly missed over these past years since you left us .
He leaves a lasting heritage to his family, friends and students.
Our love and prayers go out to you Norma, and to all your family, at this time of loss.
May you receive the Lord’s comfort and peace.
Len and Joan
Norma and family;
I am sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you, may God bless and comfort you.
Brian & Stan
Stew, Cheryl & Family,
Our thoughts are with you at this time of sorrow. A great loss for you all and your Mom.
Brian & Stan
Al & Savi Rahamut
To Norma and family,
Savi and I are blessed to have known John and to have you both in our lives over the years.
We knew from the very first Bible Class that we would have a lasting relationship with both of you.
We treasure those long distance calls and your visits back to Waterloo with Savi and I. I recall his passion for the Pragma Program and all his energy he poured into each and every meeting.John was a well learned man. John was certainky an inspiration to many of us and will remain a special and dear friend as we reflect on our times together.
Our love to you Norma and the family.
Marsha & Gordie Arthur
Thinking of you all at this very sad time.
Dear Norma and family..so sorry to hear of your loss. My sincere condolences..
Dear Norma and family,
Randy and I are so sorry for this loss. We feel for you deeply. Your church family at Lincoln Road Chapel has been praying for you!
With love, Debbie and Randy
John was a great builder of community and creator of linkages between the community and the university. His wise counsel and compassionate manner will be missed.
May peace be with you.
Dear Norma ,& family ….
Words cannot express how sorry we were to hear of your dear John’s passing…..
May God continue to bless you through the memories & family you & John created…
George and Pat Fralic
Will totally miss your humour and smile
Dear Norma and family,
My sincere condolences for your loss. John’s kindness, empathy, and compassion remain unprecedented. As a newcomer to Canada and to the university 10 years ago, I was extremely fortunate to have John as my neighbour both at school and at home. He will be dearly missed.
May he rest in peace and may you find solace in the lovely memories,
John and Barbara Irving
Dear Norma and family,
We were saddened to hear that John’s had lost his battle with his recent health challenges. John was very dear to our hearts and we were greatly blessed to have had such wonderful fellowship with him in Bible Study groups at Lincoln Road Chapel. May God infuse you with His peace, knowing that he is with his Lord and Saviour. John’s life was a radiant reflection of his love and faith. He impacted so many lives over his long life. We will continue to uphold you and the family in prayer in the days ahead.
Jean & Wayne Cole
Norma, Stew, Cheryl & Family
We we’re saddened to hear of John’s passing. Please accept our sincere condolences for your loss.
Jean & Wayne
Jeff and Daria Casello
Dear Norma and Family:
When I arrived in Waterloo almost 15 years ago, John became one of my very closest friends. I admired him so much – his passion for life and compassion for others. His generosity, thoughtfulness and Christian kindness were unmatched. The more I knew him, the more I felt honored to have him call me a friend. Every moment with John was upbeat, funny, and warm, even when he was beating me on the golf course.
I will remember him with much love and I will continue to try and emulate all the grace, humility and strength he always exhibited.
Daria and I will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers.
Jeff and Daria Casello
Dear Dave and family,
We are so sorry for your loss. Please accept our most sincere condolences.
Irma, Stan and Sonia Kadela
Roger and Petra
We remember John with fondness for his warmth, good counsel, quiet kindness and strong faith. He’ll be missed!
Sorry to hear of your loss . Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Harry and Cathy
Vic & Lynn Cowie
John’s passing leaves an empty space in our lives, yet we have been wonderfully blessed to have had the friendship that we treasured so much. We seemed to bond in the context of a bible study and it grew to all the other areas of our lives. We will always treasure the times of vacationing, visiting, walking, feasting, partying, commiserating, laughing, studying and praying and seeking to support one another in the trials and joys of our lives.
We are thankful for the advice and example that has enlightened both of us at various times in our lives. We’ll miss the fun side of John that exhibited such a great sense of humor gave us many light moments as well as being able to have deep theological discussions and feel free to expose our ignorance and ask many big life questions. It was a privilege to compare the books and new insights we were currently dealing with, …even when it became a long-distance endeavor. Thanks for being John Horton. May God bless all of the family at this bittersweet time mourning and rejoicing of John’s entrance into glory. Vic & Lynn.
Kim Masland, MLA Queens-Shelburne
Please accept my sincere sympathy on the loss of your beloved family member. May you find comfort and peace in each other and the memories that you share.
Allan and Elizabeth Aucoin
Norma, our sincere sympathy on the loss of your beloved husband. He was a lovely person and a wonderful neighbour, and the kind of person who would not say a bad word about anyone. I am sure he will be watching over you, may your lovely memories of him be a comfort.
Dear Norma and family,
Please accept my deepest condolences on your loss. John was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. He touched many people through his kindness, wisdom and genuine desire to contribute to his community, whether at home or at the university. I have fond memories of his smile, his laugh and especially the twinkle that would appear in his eyes as he shared a joke with friends.
Our sympathy and thoughts are with you.
Dear Horton Family: Shirley and I would like to offer our deepest condolences to you in your time of grief. May our loving Heavenly Father wrap you in His warm embrace. Our prayers and thought are with you. Wayne and Shirley Gowland
Aunt Norma, David, Stuart and family, I am so sorry to hear of Uncle John’s passing. Although he was not a blood relative I always felt he was a true uncle and wonderful lifelong friend to my Dad. I have fond memories of all of you at the farm with the horses growing up, Christmases together and skiing in Aspen. These memories are a treasure to me. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Faculty Association of the University of Waterloo
Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of a valued colleague.
Just received this very sad news. John was my professor at the School of Planning, University of Waterloo from 1982-86. He certainly loved land use planning and was dedicated to the School. But what was absolutely clear from the moment we all arrived was John’s concern and care for us as people and his fundamental decency. i am deeply sorry for your loss and our loss.
Dear Norma and Family,
I had the pleasure of working along side John for a few years helping him organize the Pragma Council Conference here at the University of Waterloo. He will be missed but has left us all with so many wonderful memories. I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep condolences to you all.