In memoriam: John Paterson Paton

June 24, 1927 – May 16, 1997


Jack Paton's family pays tribute to the Apex businessman, who died 20 years ago this month. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PATON FAMILY)

Jack Paton’s family pays tribute to the Apex businessman, who died 20 years ago this month. (PHOTO COURTESY OF PATON FAMILY)

Jack Paton, our Dad, was a smiley man. He seemed happy and light-hearted throughout our life with him.

Jack was the only son of Mary-Ann (Molly) and Paterson Paton, born at Doonfoot, Ayr, in Scotland. His father died when Jack was six. In his teen years he became an apprentice carpenter. His early work is standing in the wooden balconies and doors at Loudon Hall, in Ayr.

Still in his teens, at the end of World War II, Jack joined the British Army, where he became a Royal Engineer, eventually sent to build bridges and peace-keep, in the Middle East. Upon discharge from the army, Jack took up carpentry again, and found himself in New Zealand, renovating a hotel at Mt. Cook.

From New Zealand, Jack moved to Canada. His first job, on the cleaning staff of the Montreal General Hospital, brought him together with our mother, Pauline White, a nurse from Labrador, working at the hospital.

Jack moved on to Ottawa and a job with Indian and Northern Affairs; his travels led him across the Eastern Arctic. Pauline travelled the Eastern Arctic on the C.D. Howe, as the onboard nurse. They would eventually settle together in Apex, in the early 1960s.

Upon his retirement, in the early 1990s, Jack was a successful businessman and mentor to many. He moved to Ottawa, where he cared for his mother.

His legacy lives on in his children and grandchildren and in “the house that Jack built.” Every day he is thought of and missed.

Fiona, Richard, John, James and Pauline Paton

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