It is with great sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of John Kingsley Jacobi on January 16 at 8 pm. This came as a mixed blessing after a difficult year attempting to keep the devastating Lewy Body Dementia at bay through the COVID Pandemic with its multiple lockdowns, isolation periods and limitations. Through it all, he miraculously maintained his positive outlook and sense of humour until his ability to speak was stolen from him as the final blow, just days before the end.
John - a gentle, nature-loving friend to so many - was born in 1940 in the village of Swansea which was a little green oasis surrounded by water on 3 sides before its amalgamation into the GTA. He attended Swansea Public School, UTS (University of Toronto Schools) for secondary school, Victoria College at U of T ’62 for his BA, and McMaster University for his teaching degree.
His 25 year career as a Phys Ed teacher was mainly spent at Lawrence Heights Junior High where he became fast friends with many colleagues. In every facet of his life he created lasting friendships – “ families of friends” that he carried with him.
His summers from the age of 5 were the highlight of every year. At the family cottage on Green Lake he learned to fish – his lifelong passion – and pay close attention to nature’s creatures. Miners’ Bay Lodge in Haliburton became his heart’s content every single summer for 75 years. First as a weekly guest with the family, then as a teenage member of staff and finally, for many decades a much loved trailer park community member, playing tennis, fishing and regaling his admirers of all ages with his wit and sense of fun.
This same quick wit and an ability to listen endeared him right to the end to nurses and PSWs at the many facilities he had to move between. His final 3-month stay at Kensington Gardens was marked by wonderfully caring healthcare workers who not only looked after John’s physical needs but also appreciated and encouraged his limitless sense of fun. It was a fitting final chapter to his joyful life.
Predeceased by his parents, Kathleen (neé Woolley) and Bill Jacobi, he leaves his loving sister Nancy, brother-in-law Peter Jones, step-granddaughter Tara and family, numerous cousins and a loyal contingent of dear friends whose lives were made lighter and brighter by their association with John.
Celebrations of his life on ZOOM, at Green Lake and Miners’ Bay Lodge will be arranged with time.
Donations to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, World Vision or Kensington Gardens in his name would be appreciated.