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Obituary - Ouellette, John (Jack)

Ouellette, John (Jack) Victor

John Victor Ouellette (Jack) passed away Monday, Jan 15th, 2024, at St. Martha’s hospital, in the company of Peggy, his wife of over sixty years. Jack was born in 1938 to Josephine and Victor Ouellette and raised in Amherstburg Ontario. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy, graduated from Canada’s Naval College, Venture and was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant. While studying Jack had the chance to try flying, and he decided to become a naval aviator. He trained with the US Navy and after having flown various planes and helicopters from HMCS Bonaventure, and Shearwater he left the Navy in 1963. Jack and Peggy returned to Amherstburg and he studied at the Detroit School of Fine Arts to pursue his love of art. There he was introduced to pottery, and when the couple moved their young family to Dartmouth, Jack graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In 1972, Peggy was hired by the Richmond District School Board and the Ouellettes moved to Arichat, Cape Breton. It is there that Jack opened his pottery studio and where he practiced and refined his craft for the next 40 years. His work was available in art and craft galleries large and small all over Nova Scotia.

Jack was a man of high principles and a strong social justice advocate. He challenged himself, his family, his friends and his community to be better, to consider those less fortunate, and was always willing to express his beliefs to whomever would listen. He was active in his church, an active member of the New Democratic Party and a founding member of the Strait Area Palliative Care Society. Jack battled mental health his whole life and was open and honest about this illness long before our society was comfortable with the subject. Jack and Peggy built a life and a home that was open to so many over the years. Their house in Arichat has been a gathering place for many debates, celebrations, and became a home for a large extended circle of friends.

Jack had two sisters, Judy (Joel Bezaire) and Pat (Paul Bondy) and three brothers, Tom (Sandy), Donald, and Tim (who passed away at  age 21). Jack and Peggy lost an infant son, Timothy, and raised two sons John (Linda) and Michael (Monique). His pride and joy were his four grandchildren, Jacob, Hannah, Shannon and Timmy. Jack will be greatly missed by his family and especially his wife and partner Peggy. His legacy lives on in those he touched over his lifetime and in the thousands of kitchens all over the world where people use and admire his pottery. A Funeral Mass and Celebration of Life will happen later this year. In honour of Jack, please consider a donation to the Strait Richmond Palliative Care Society. 

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