Obituary of John James Mays
MAYS, John James
It is with humble hearts that we announce the passing of John James Mays. on January 27, 2024, a few short weeks shy of his 96th birthday. His wife, RoseMarie, was by his side and will miss him dearly.
John was the eldest son and last surviving child of Myrtle (née Boyle of Dawn Mills near Dresden) and James Xavier Mays of Chatham. He is predeceased by his brothers Paul, Richard and Ralph. Beloved husband to RoseMarie who, with great tenderness and love, cared for him while his health failed over the last years of his life. Loving and devoted father to his children from his first marriage, James (Sheila), Patricia (Paul) and Michael (Judy). Cherished grandfather to his grandchildren Gillian (Wes), Rachel, Ellen, Ian, Duncan (Jacqueline), Connor, Alex and Dylan. He leaves two great-grandchildren Theodore and Willa. He will be missed by his brother-in-law Bob Rupcich (Diane) as well as his nieces, nephews and cousins.
John was raised in Chatham where he attended school and worked in his father’s candy store. He attended Assumption Boarding School in Windsor for the last year of his secondary school education where he met his lifelong friend, John Poisson. John’s early career took many adventurous turns. He started his professional life as a teacher at St. Patrick’s High School in Sarnia, then moved on to making candy at the Nestle factory in Smith Falls, having been trained by his father. When his aunt and her family invited John to visit them in California, he ended up staying for several years. He enjoyed many adventures in California and, had he been able to register as a legal immigrant, he probably would have stayed. Upon his return to Canada, he obtained employment at Ford Motor Company of Canada where he worked as a draftsman at Ford Body Engineering. He worked at Ford for 35 years and with great competency transitioned with the automobile industry’s adoption of both plastics and CADCAM.
John had the pleasure of witnessing three “acorns” he had planted with his children and watch them grow to fruition. The first acorn he planted was the love and value of education. His children all earned professional designations and have continued to seek learning opportunities in every corner. The second acorn was obtaining a remote property in the late 1950s on Georgian Bay, north of Parry Sound. With significant effort, he cleared land, floated in lumber and, with only hand tools, built a small cottage. He then cleared a trail to the cottage and developed that trail into a road with stone and dirt, brought in the trunk of his car, so that the family car could eventually access the cottage. His children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren all have enjoyed, and will continue to enjoy, very special times at “the cottage”. The final acorn planted by John was a love of skiing. Knowing nothing about the sport other than it looked to be a fun family activity for the winter, he bought (on sale) inappropriate equipment and a “how to” book. From that first effort he quickly learned that better equipment and education was needed. With the tenacity and resourcefulness required before the internet, he found a ski school in Eastern Quebec and got all his children appropriate equipment, starting his family on a lifelong love of the sport. His daughter loved skiing so much she and her family live part-time in Whistler, B.C. and all ski with great skill. John’s family will enjoy the shade of the “oak trees” he planted for many years to come. John was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Bishop John T. Kidd Council #4924.
John’s family wishes to thank the staff at Heron Terrace Care Home, especially those in the Birdsview unit, for the exemplary care and dignity which they shared with John. Visitation will occur at Windsor Chapel Funeral Home (Banwell Chapel) 11677 Tecumseh Rd. E., Windsor (519) 253-7235, on Sunday February 4, 2024, from 2:00 -- 4:00 pm and 6:00 - 9:00 pm. Parish and Knights of Columbus prayers at 7:30 pm. Family and friends will be received on Monday, February 5, 2024 at Most Precious Blood Church, 1947 Meldrum Rd. at Tecumseh Rd. E. for visitation from 10:00 am until time of John's Funeral Mass at 11:00 am. . Cremation to follow.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County or the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County. Condolences and cherished memories may be shared with the family at www.windsorchapel.com.
Parish and Knights of Columbus Prayers
1700 Tecumseh Rd. East
Windsor, ON N8W 1C7
Phone: (519) 253-7234