John "Jack" Garner
September 16, 1934 – October 20, 2021
Passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at Bayshore Rehabilitation in Barrie.
Jack Garner at the age of 87, loving husband of the late Joan Garner. Cherished father of Jeff (Marilyn) Garner and the late John W. Garner. Proud grandfather of Ryan, Daniel, Katy (Shane) and Brett (Amy) and great grandfather of Ayden, Wyatt, Quinn, Caleb, and Keira. Predeceased by his parents William and Clara; siblings Valerie Emms, Ian, MaryJane Vallbacka, Bill, Dave, Ted, and Douglas. Jack is survived by his brothers Bob, Tom, and Larry; and will be fondly remembered by his dear daughter in-law Beth Garner and his wonderful circle of friends. A huge thank you is extended to the staff of Woods Park Retirement Home for their wonderful care and compassion.
Born and raised in Barrie, Jack attended Prince of Wales Public School, Barrie Collegiate, followed by post-secondary education at the Royal Military College in Kingston. Upon his return home he operated Garner's Sports on Dunlop Street in Downtown Barrie, which, for decades, was the "go-to" place for outfitting young and old, amateur and pro athletes, and everyone in between.
A gifted all-around athlete, he not only enjoyed playing various sports, he was involved for years in management of many teams in Barrie Minor Hockey.
Never seeking attention or self-promotion, Jack was an ardent believer in community. His desire to serve was fuelled by his passion for fairness and improvement of life for all. His contributions were both extensive and far-reaching throughout Barrie and Simcoe County. As an advocate for accountable government and development in Barrie for over 50 years, Jack served as an alderman on Barrie City Council. Motivated by his passion for a prosperous Barrie, he served as Chairman of the City Development Committee, the City Finance Committee and the 1967 Centennial Park Development Committee which ended up being a defining legacy on the development and preservation of public land around Kempenfelt Bay.
Jack served as Trustee of the Simcoe County District School Board where his desire for an efficient and transparent government again led him to serve as Chairman of the Board's Finance Committee.
Besides his dedication to political leadership, Jack believed in giving back to the community he so loved by volunteering for countless initiatives, including being Chairman of the City of Barrie's Recreation Comittee, the Board of Parks Management, the Mayor's Committee on Downtown Safety and Development, and the Barrie Downtown Improvement Association.
He also served as Director of the Barrie Chamber of Commerce, was a member of the Barrie Downtown Neighbourhood Committee, the Ontario Economic Council, The Georgian Bay Regional Development Council, the Ontario Child and Family Review Board, and the Rotary Club of Barrie (member since 1964). As a director with GO Transit, Jack played an instrumental part in bringing the GO Train to Barrie.
For his relentless contributions over the years, Jack became a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International, Barrie Citizen of the Year, Barrie Civic Award of Merit, the All Ontario Award, and both the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond and Golden Jubilee Medals.
In order to continue his tradition of helping others, the Jack Garner Foundation was established to support youth in sports, mental health, and education.
A gentleman and a gentle man, fondly remembered, he will be forever missed.
Family and friends will be received at LEGACY FUNERAL HOME, 55 Cedar Pointe Drive, Barrie (705) 728-8282 on Friday, November 19, 2021 from 1-4 and 7-9 p.m. A *Celebration of Jack’s life will be held at Legacy Funeral Home on Saturday, November 20, 2021 at 11 o’clock a.m.
*By family’s request, those who wish to attend Jack’s Celebration of Life on Saturday will need to RSVP below (as attendance is limited) and will require proof of full vaccination, at the door, prior to entry.
Memorial donations to CMHA Simcoe County - Youth Services or RVH Foundation-Youth Mental Health would be appreciated by the family.
RVH Foundation-Youth Mental Health
201 Georgian Drive, Barrie ON L4M 6M2
Canadian Mental Health Association Simcoe County-Youth Services
134 Anne Street South, Barrie ON L4N 6A2