“Never-give-up-Jack” finally surrendered to cardiac amyloidosis on Saturday, January 4, 2020, at his home in Mississauga, with family by his side. He surpassed his goals in life and loved every day working for the City of Toronto, as well as 2 other successful careers. It was a life well-lived, with skiing, sailing, and Roadtrekking adventures that took him and Jane around the world on travels during their 50 year marriage.
Jack leaves behind his loving wife Jane, and their three children, Deborah Smyth (Ian), Cindy Grzeskowiak (Marek), and Brent (Teresa). He also had 3 Grandchildren, Marek (Marla), Karen and Kelly, and 4 Great-Grandchildren, Ryan, Olivia, Cameron and Claira.
For those who wish, donations may be made to the UHN Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (Amyloidosis Research).
Jack was unique, life was a game, enjoying every challenge. He was generous, loyal, immensely curious, forever wanting to learn and eager to share his knowledge and experiences. Always a gentleman, he lived life with courage, strength, charm and dignity. Jack loved inspiring others to achieve their potential, often giving frank but honest advice on everything from recycling greeting cards to career challenges and opportunities. His opinions and judgement were greatly respected by family and friends, knowing he always had your best interests at heart.
Jack carved his own path. From his beginnings in 1928, on Emerson Avenue, Toronto, he was the middle child of 5. It was the depression and times were tough. The stories of his youth have been enjoyed by all the family. From the age of 9, when he wasn’t collecting coal to heat the family home, he was selling magazines, radio licenses, meat pies, lamps, until he was old enough to get a job with the local grocer. At age 11 he began working with Peter Rotenberg, his mentor, whose work-ethic and encouragement, sparked his passion for success. He was the ultimate entrepreneur.
He loved every day of his 30 years working for the City of Toronto in the Old City Hall, climbing the ranks from delivery boy to Storekeeper ending up in Management, meeting lifelong friends and unforgettable experiences. It was here he met the love of his life Jane, 20 years his younger. This only encouraged him to work and play harder, enjoying any challenge he faced. Jack raised 3 children, Deborah, Cindy and Brent, as a single parent, and today enjoys the love and kinship of all of them, along with 3 Grandchildren, and 4 Great-grandchildren.
At the age of 48, Jack retired from the City of Toronto, continuing with his own active business interests. He then took up downhill skiing, sailing, and tennis, these sports taking both of them on world wide travels. As if that wasn’t enough, he bought a Roadtrek, joined a travel club, and spent the next 30 years visiting as many ski resorts as possible, and spending time with fellow RV’ers.
It was a life well lived, with no regrets, maintaining excellent health, a loving marriage and close family relationships. Most recently he enjoyed spending his life in the backyard on Flagship Drive, the house he loved so much that he bought it twice! where he lived for over 60 years, by the pool, with Janie and a Manhattan in hand.