Peacefully, following a short bout of pneumonia, Jack Crean passed away on October 30, 2023 at St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto.
Jack was a loving father to John (Cindy) and Maura (Greg) and adoring grandfather to Madeleine and Austen. He is survived by his children, his wife Peggy of 61 years, sister Philomena (Hibbert) and sister-in-law Eileen Larkin.
Jack’s ninety plus year life-journey began in rural Ireland (Co. Roscommon). Orphaned at 3, his early years were spent in an orphanage in Sligo and later with extended family. His humble beginnings motivated him to build the home and family absent from his childhood. He left Ireland in his late teens, first to the UK for a brief time and ultimately to Canada where he put down roots and began to build a life for himself. A graceful dancer, it’s not surprising he met his wife, Peggy, at an Irish dance in Toronto. They were married in 1962. Children followed, with John, born in late 1962, and Maura, born in 1964.
After settling into their first home in Toronto’s east end, he did what many Canadians aspire to do and purchased a cottage in 1963 in the Kawarthas, north of Toronto. Oak Lake was a meeting place and summer destination for family and friends, and many memories and stories were born there. Owning a “real” cottage, Jack always had a project on the go. Painting was his trade and where he excelled, but he didn’t shy away from plumbing, electrical and carpentry! There was always something that needed to be built, fixed, replaced or removed. No grass grew under his feet. His busy hands were always working to improve the lives and comfort of his family. In retirement, Florida was the chosen winter destination and outdoor shuffleboard the favoured recreation.
A sports fan through and through, he rarely missed a Leaf, Blue Jay or Raptor game. He was never happier than when throwing a football with his son John and the neighbourhood kids or playing road hockey with his grandson Austen. He took his children to the very first Blue Jay game at Exhibition Stadium on that snowy day in April, 1977 and always enjoyed watching Toronto teams in person when he could. Golf matches were on the TV most weekends. And even in his final hours, he demanded to be kept up-to-date on the World Rugby Championship, anxious to know who won.
His life accomplishments are impressive given his early challenges. He was happy; the family he built and loved made him feel like a rich man.
He will be remembered for his humour and humility. He was gracious to the end, always thanking the nurses at St. Joe’s whose attention and care were impressive and much appreciated.
He was much loved and will be forever missed.
Friends may call at Turner and Porter Yorke Chapel (2357 Bloor Street West, east of the Jane Subway Station and west of Windermere Ave, Toronto, on Sunday, November 5, 2023 from 4 – 8 pm.
A funeral mass will be held at Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church, 61 Jutland Rd., on Monday November 6, 2023 at 10 a.m.
Internment to follow at Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery.