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John Daniel Macadams

It is with sadness the family of John MacAdams announces his passing on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Leaving to mourn with loving memories, his dearest wife of sixty years, Brenda; two much loved daughters Linda (John Youssef) and Ann (Steve Acrey); beloved grandchildren Ben, Sarah, Jessica, and Olivia; precious great granddaughter Sophia; and an extended circle of family and friends.
John Daniel MacAdams was born on a cold February morning in 1938 to Clyde Gordon MacAdams and Ida Christina (Davis) in the old homestead at the head of Port Joli Bay, Nova Scotia. John was the eldest of eight children; Rita (Maurice Snair); Robert (Christina); Betty Lou; Wilfred (Francis); Beverly (David Simpson); Gordon (Wendy); and Douglas (Christine).
The family lived with Grampie Dan, a swayer, of whom John was fond. He introduced John to working with wood. At eight years old, John took it upon himself to use the backyard mill saw and grazed his ring finger. But that didn’t deter him. He, along with his brother, worked to cut pulpwood with hand tools and hauled it with the horses, Nell and Pat. They also chopped and lugged firewood to feed the house wood furnace. As a young man, John went to northern Ontario to work in the woods and gained more experience. After his accident in Ontario, he returned to Port Joli. John continued to work in the woods cutting firewood with power tools and hauling it with a tree farmer and building a gas-powered wood splitter with his cousin. It made the front page of The Rural Delivery newspaper! He also loved hearty cooked meals and baked goods prepared by his wife, Brenda, in the woodstove.
At an early age John would cry to go with his father in the tonne trucks. Later John helped his father with the trucking business which hauled gravel for road construction; towed bait and salt for fishermen; transported seafood to the trains in Port Mouton; delivered lumber and pulpwood to mills; and moved people and their belongings from one community to another. With this experience, John made a living and enjoyed operating heavy equipment for local construction companies and operating snowplows for the Department of Highways.
Upon the family’s move to Saint Catherine’s River Road, his father arranged for John, Billy Robertson, and a surveyor to walk all the property lines. John listened to his peers and learned how to use a compass and cut out lines. He could remember every square inch; so much so that lawyers and surveyors would request his help to decipher property markers on old deeds in the area. He loved his land and perhaps missed a calling to be a land surveyor.
In the late 1950’s John courted Brenda of which they married in June 1963. John and Brenda made a multi-generational home with Cora MacDonald and later John’s mother, Ida. Over the course of their marriage, they worked together planting and harvesting gardens; cutting and piling the winter’s firewood; cleaning the woodstove pipes; mowing the grass; burning the leaves; removing snow and doing other property maintenance; even peeling apples to bake apple pies. Their partnership taught their daughters teamwork and good work ethics along with many other valuable life learnings. John would always say Brenda did the lion’s share of the work!
John wasn’t afraid of trying different things. He drove the high school bus; fished lobster tying up his boat at the Port Joli wharf; captured eels in wears and dipped kiacks in MacAdams brook to name a few.
He also liked plowing snow with Belle (family dog); listening to country music; drinking rum; playing cards with family and friends; chatting with Dude (bird); looking over property maps and driving up old roads with John; and talking with everyone he met. John taught Steve, a city boy, to cut down trees and plow snow; Jessica the safe way to handle a whipper snipper; Sarah how to drive the tree farmer with her sitting on his lap and when she was older, he taught her to operate a backhoe. He was the first one in the car for drives to get ice cream with Olivia. And he was always willing to help Ben work on his car. John was a kind man who worked hard and did his best for his family. He will be forever missed.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Chandlers’ Funeral Home, Liverpool, NS. A grave side service will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2023, at the Peaceful Hill Cemetery, Port Mouton, Nova Scotia, beside John’s mother and father. Donations may be made to the Victoria Order of Nurses (VON) Liverpool Branch or charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made to
The family appreciates the special care and compassion John received from Dr. Blackadar and the medical team at the Queens General Hospital, Liverpool, Nova Scotia. And the kindness and care provided by Rachael McConnell and Monica Roberts. Special thanks to the VON.


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