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John McTavish

Obituary of John Samuel McTavish

John Samuel McTavish As I was putting together a eulogy for John, and going through just a fraction of the photographs he has collected and taken, I realized that I needed to write him a final letter. Please indulge me. Dear John, You have been gone for a week now and I am beginning to feel that you are really, never coming home to us. My heart is broken into a million pieces and I miss you so much. My darling, you were always here for the hard stuff, we always worked as a team and now I must face these things on my own. But as I have immersed myself in your pictures, I am taking some comfort in still being able to see you. My love, I see you in the beautiful fall colours, in every wizened-up plant in our garden, and every leaf that falls. I remember your autumn float-plane picture on the waters of Honey Harbour and the cottages we visited and the Thanksgivings we shared with friends and family. I see you in every carved pumpkin sitting on a front porch. I see you in every old movie, like Rear Window and the war ones that you watched mostly with Scarlett. I see you in every Stephen King book and Star Wars movie. I remember you telling me how excited you were to see the first one on the plane home from your Europe trip. I see you in every old car and plane. You could name every one and tell us about them. Some of your best photos are of the details in these old vehicles. I see you in your daughter. Remember the first words that you said to her when she was placed in your arms? “Hello Emily, you are going to grow up to be a forest ranger.” She didn’t become a forest ranger but you helped to instill in her a love and an interest for nature. I see you in her sense of social justice. She accepts and respects diversity in people just like you did. I see you in every political discussion and conflict between right and left. You would have been glued to the news stations for the current fight taking place in the country below us. I see you in every wild creature I encounter;- the fox down the street, the snapping turtle that needs help crossing the road, the spider that invades our back deck, the heron that visits in the canal behind our home. Your photos preserve them for me so I can visit them over and over. I see you in your family;- the blue eyes and freckles, the sharing, the closeness. I want you to know that they have enveloped us in support but that is exactly what you would have expected. You loved them all. I see you in every parent. We worked hard to become parents and the pathway wasn’t always easy. Your spirit was so generous that you opened our home to many young people, fostered, sleeping on our couch, big-brothered and big-sistered. We never knew that one of them would wind her way into our hearts and become a permanent part of the family. You loved that plucky 13-year old from the start. I see you in every dog and their person. You put up with all of the pets that Scarlett and I brought home, but the dogs were most special to you. Brandy, Canoe, Ben and now Clementine. They loved you and you loved them. I see you in your coffee cup and the little routines we shared every day. My coffee always tasted better when you made it. You took care of your girls in every way and I see you even in the laundry and weekly recycling. I see you in paintings and works of art;- ones that we have created and ones by others, that we have enjoyed. I know that you had a special place in your heart for the Group of Seven and folk artists like Joe Norris. I see you in sports, from every little kid playing backyard hockey to the seasoned professionals that show their skill on the field or rink. You were such a Leafs fan. I remember skipping out during the middle of a wedding to see Johnny Bower at a local sports shop. I see you in every person who works hard at their job, whether or not they like it;- people that persevere and do their very best because they need to support their family and take pride in a job well done. Remember Mohammed’s surprise and delight when he found out that two of his favourite customers were a couple? I see you at every performance stage. As a family, we spent so many wonderful days at Summerfolk and the Mariposa festival. You loved the classic rockers. You always came to enjoy and support me and Scarlett in our musical theatre, choir and ukulele adventures. I see you at Christmas, in every Santa and the magic he brings to all of us. For way more than the fantastic white beard and the twinkle in your eye, you were a natural for the role. You were the embodiment of Santa;- kind, generous, gentle and playful. Sweetheart, I can no longer hold your hand, stroke your brow or snuggle under your beard. But I see you, my darling, every day, everywhere. All my love, for always, your Laurie


1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Simcoe Funeral Home
38 James Street East
Orillia, Ontario, Canada


Georgian Bay Cremation Services
90 Toronto Road
Flesherton, Ontario, Canada

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