July 9, 2019
John Wallace Shipman passed away at the West Parry Sound Health Centre on June 30, 2019. He is survived by his children Ellen, Anne (Jo Bossart), Mona (Steve Joudry), Gerry (Mary McDowall), and Peter (Kelly Snodden). He was Grandpa to 14 and Great Grandpa to 15. He was Uncle John to many nieces, nephews and children of family friends. John was predeceased by his wife Ruth of 64 years in 2017 and his parents Olive & Gerald.
John was an active member of the Boating Ontario Association for many years since taking ownership of Sound Boat Works in 1973.
Born in Kingston in 1929, John grew up at the Glen House near Ivy Lea on the St. Lawrence River. His fascination with the physical world took him to Queen’s University to become a Civil Engineer. Upon graduation (1951), he embarked on a 21-year career as a civil engineer with Spruce Falls Power & Paper Company in Kapuskasing. The blackflies were brutal, but he met the love of his life, Ruth Anderson. Together they built a family and left a legacy.
It was John’s love of the water that drew him to Parry Sound to become owner of Sound Boat Works in 1973. He was an active member and leader in community organizations and attained the rank of Major in the Algonquin Regiment in Kapuskasing. Once his five children were out making their way in the world, John coaxed Ruth onto a sailboat just as she had coaxed him onto the dance floor many years before. They enjoyed decades of winter vacations sailing with friends in the Caribbean. On summer afternoons they would head out onto Georgian Bay in their Folkboat knowing that their business was in the capable hands of their son Gerry.
John was a lifelong learner with the soul of a teacher. He had boundless patience whether teaching his children how to tie up a boat, use a slide rule, find the North Star in the night sky or the merits of not running away to Yorkville. For his grandchildren, he was the North Star.
Memorial Visitation for John will take place at the Logan Funeral Home, 81 James Street, Parry Sound (705-746-5855), on Saturday, July 13th, from 2:00 – 4:00 P.M.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation to Sail Parry Sound or West Parry Sound Health Centre would be appreciated.