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JOHN PROUDFOOT  Obituary pic JOHN PROUDFOOT  Obituary pic


Date of Passing: Jan 15, 2013

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JOHN PROUDFOOT Peacefully on January 15, 2013, John went to be with his Lord, following a lengthy struggle with dementia. He leaves to grieve his loving wife Sandra, son Cliff (Karen), Joan (Ian), grandchildren Alec, Bruce, Madeline, Spencer and Alex, two sisters Geraldine and Judy (Don), and brother James (Sandra). John will also be missed by his sisters-in-law, Gloria and Marina, and many nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by son Michael and parents Gerald and Helen. Son of a mining engineer, John lived in several parts of the world before coming to Winnipeg to attend United College in 1958. It was here he met Sandra and established many lifelong friendships. After graduation he quickly found that teaching was his true calling. He taught and was later a principal in St. James-Assiniboia until his retirement in 1994. He worked on many projects during his career, and was President of the Manitoba Association of Principals. His career was marked by his immense warmth and caring for children. At all of his schools he coached one or more sporting teams and derived great satisfaction from his interactions with young people. John's care and attention to all of his students helped inspire and, in some cases rescue, those on the wrong path. His work to develop a football program at Sturgeon Creek (now Sturgeon Heights) led to his being placed in the Manitoba High School Football Hall Of Fame in the builder category and there is an annual award in his name at Sturgeon Heights. John's life was rich and full, with his innate energy, optimism and zest, which led to a wide variety of interests. He loved sports, was an avid curler and golfer, and was a season ticket holder for the Bombers for 25 years. For John the glass was always half full. He loved to meet people, eat a good meal, work in the garden, read a good book, or have a good discussion. His time at the cottage at Falcon Lake was special, and he loved to share the accomplishments of his sons and grandchildren. While never parading it, he was a tireless worker at Grace Bible Church, and was underpinned with a strong foundation of faith. The last few years have been difficult for John and those around him. With Sandra always at his side, he succumbed to the relentless path of dementia. However, his warm smile, gentle manner and optimism never faltered. Family and friends all have wonderful stories about John, especially his funny escapades, but they are always marked by the love and respect everyone had for this fine man. A service celebrating John's life will be held on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. at Grace Bible Church at 366 Oakwood Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba. THOMSON FUNERAL HOME 669 BROADWAY, WINNIPEG, MB R3C 0X4 783-7211 Condolences may be sent to

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Jan 19, 2013

Condolences & Memories (34 entries)

  • Have just now in 2020 become aware of Mr. Proudfoot's passing. I was a student of his over 50 years ago! He remains in memories as being an outstanding English teacher. My favourite. He was interesting, to the point, clear, and was a "tell it like it is" type of guy. No fooling around in his class. Extremely strict but with a caring and kind heart. There were those who were a bit afraid of his classes! If you didn't do assignments... you were in big trouble. I remember he had a funny "quirk" about the word "nice"! You better not ever use that word! It was a completely meaningless word and he would become quite angered by its usage. Find something that has meaning and packs a punch! If you wanted to learn; he was the best teacher....what a gift he had for imparting diverse ideas and instilling motivation in students. I will always remember you, Mr. Proudfoot. It was a gift to have you as a teacher and may you be blessed. - Posted by: Patricia S. (Student) on: Mar 06, 2020

  • John was a good neighbor and always had a smile on his face. Sandra, Clifford and family so sorry for your loss. Margaret, Don, and Lesley Campbell - Posted by: Margaret, Don, and Lesley Campbell (Neighbor) on: Feb 10, 2013

  • Mr Proudfoot and I met at Westwood Collegiate, where I spent alot of time in his office and again when his son Micheal taught my sons. I would also see him with his wife at Safeway and he never hesitated to stop and talk to me. He was a wonderful man and a great inspiration to all that knew him. - Posted by: Barb Taylor(Small) (former Student) on: Jan 31, 2013

  • John and I met for the first time during my first position as a physical education teacher at Brooklands Junior High School. The challenges that faced us brought the staff very close to one another. John was always very supportive of our efforts. I always appreciated the support he had for me. I particularly remember taking my volleyball team to a sister junior high school where a fight broke out after the game. As a rookie I had no idea what to do. Even though there were things I could have done differently he supported every thing that I had done that evening. Later in my career I net up with John again at Sturgeon Creek and his support was unending. Eventually through my involvement with John, I moved to administration. John was an excellent role model and a great person. He was full of energy and saw posibilities and worked for the betterment of all of his students. I will never forget the influence he had on my life. - Posted by: Jim Tomes (collrague) on: Jan 28, 2013

  • Mr. Proudfoot was coaching our grade 7 girls basketball team at Alexander Ross and I realized rather quickly that it was not the sport for me. Mr. Proudfoot was the type of educator that created inclusiveness. He asked me to be his assistant and I recorded the stats of my team mates. He still gave me purpose. I always found him to be fair and genuine with how he treated the students. I also knew Mr. Proudfoot as a neighbour and was always grateful to his annual tree banding of our neighbourhood elm trees. - Posted by: Marci Watson Sealey (student/neighbour) on: Jan 23, 2013

  • John was a very kind and caring man. We will always remember his friendly manner and his wonderful smile. We wish to extend our sincere condolences to Sandra and family for their loss. - Posted by: Antonio & Maria Aiello & Family (Neighbor) on: Jan 22, 2013

  • Sorry to hear of John's passing. John will always be remembered as a very dedicated and caring professional . John had a special place in his heart for the students who struggled with life and academics. He had a great admiration for staff who went out of their way to assist students. I will always be thankful for having had the opportunity to have worked and learned from a man who loved his profession. John loved to engage in a good debate. I have some very fond memories of our political debates. A great man who left many wonderful memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sandra and family . Stephanie and Ernie Baydock - Posted by: Ernie and Stephanie Baydock (Colleague- VP) on: Jan 22, 2013

  • We would like to send our condolences to you Sandra and the rest of your family in the loss of John. - Posted by: The Broughton Family (Neighbour) on: Jan 21, 2013

  • I will never forget the impression that John Proudfoot left on me and on his students and teachers. Many former students and staff have already written on their fond memories of John. I for one owe my career to John. I was on his teaching staff at Sturgeon Creek one day when he came out of the office headed for the Board Office and said to me, "Why don't you try administration?" My chat with him later on was the impetus for me to put my name forward for a promotion which I subsequently was rewarded (likely with John's assistance). His smile, integrity, and enthusiasm for improving the lot of his students will always remain with me. - Posted by: Rick Strongman (Colleague and friend) on: Jan 21, 2013

  • Great man! An AMAZING gift to be one of many who were blessed to call him principal, teacher, and leader of all students whether our focus was academic, sports, or vocational....a man who moulded so many youth! Sympathies, and prayers to the loved ones of our scholastic angel - Posted by: Cheryl Miller (McAlpine) (Student) on: Jan 20, 2013

  • Our sympathies go out to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you...Charleswood ADC - Posted by: Darlene B (Friend) on: Jan 20, 2013

  • John was someone you could always depend on to give an honest opinion on any issue. I always respected his leadership qualities as well as recommendations and thoughts to help problem solve. He was a true statesman in the St. James -Assiniboia School Division - Posted by: Scott Johnston (St. James -Assiniboia School Trustee) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • Very sorry to hear of John's passing. We spent many enjoyable times on the Falcon Lake golf course. Principal meetings were always better because of John-he never held back. We will miss him. - Posted by: David Frye (Friend and Co-worker) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • Mr. Proudfoot was a great man who cared deeply for all the students and teachers of sjci. So sorry to hear of his passing. My thoughts & prayers are with his family at this sad time. He will be missed. - Posted by: Georgett Pasley-Epp ( nee "Nott") (Student at SJCI (1983-86)) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • I had the pleasure of having Mr. Proudfoot as a principal at Sturgeon Creek from 1991-1994. He was an amazing administrator who always knew every students name. - Posted by: Chris Blackham (Former Student) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • He was my principal at Sturgeon Creek and was a good man. He always seemed to be involved in things around the school and easier to talk too. He stood out for me as a principal and was the only I still thought of. After so many years out of school there are only a few teachers that stand out that I remember well, he was definitely one of then. He will be missed. My condolences to the whole family. - Posted by: Patrick Dawe (Student) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • I have many fond memories of John in my early and later years both as fellow educator and as a friend. John cared for people and was well respected. Thanks John! - Posted by: Diedrich (Dick) Toews (Fellow Educator-Sansome) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • Saddened to hear of the passing of a very decent person. I had John as a vice- principal and principal and as several other people have mentioned he was a very fair, concerned and dedicated educator. My condolences to the family. - Posted by: John Cooke (Colleague) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • Mr. Proudfoot was one of my best teachers and also was a friend. I had him for history at John Taylor and my brother had him at Westwood. We both respected him and remember his classes. He was a strong man - which made us strong also. He will never be forgotten. RIP Mr. Proudfoot - Posted by: Jack Kuypers (student) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • He was easily the best principal I had. He was always smiling, and loved what he did. He was one of the positive influences in my life that lead me to where I am today. - Posted by: Kevin Wilson (Student) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • John Proudfoot was my 11B home room and English teacher at John Taylor Collegiate in 1969. We were a group of rabble rousers who were either repeating the year or didn't have high enough marks to be in 11A. He knew how to be firm and at the same time he made school fun. Everyone respected him. I remember him placing a record player on a chair at the front of the room in English class one day. He played Simon & Garfunkel's album, Sounds of Silence for us. Afterwards he talked about the significance of their music and their poetry. John new how to get through to us. That has always stuck with me. There was a hamburger joint on Portage Avenue that we used to go to when we skipped classes. John cancelled our English class on the last day of school that year to go there with us for a hamburger. We rode in a procession with him on the back of one of our motorcycles. It was like the end of a movie. I didn't see him again, but he sure left his mark. Well done "Mr. Proudfoot". - Posted by: Don (Comack) on: Jan 19, 2013

  • John hired me for my very first teaching job at Sturgeon Creek. I was there for four great years and will forever be thankful to him for giving a young rookie like me a chance. I've been teaching ever since. Thanks John. - Posted by: Dean Cooper (Colleague) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • Mr. Proudfoot was my Principal & we spent a great deal of time in his office. However, it was because I was often trying to explain why I shouldn't be in trouble. I often remember his words even today. "Imagine what would happen if you took all that creative thinking & put it to better use?" I would come away with a feeling he was waiting for me to answer that question with a better explanation than "I don't know." He would express his disappointment but always ended our discussions with let's see how you feel in a few days & talk further after you finish your detention. Detention was my middle name & he knew it. Yet today over 20 years later. I work in a field he always told me I would find intriguing & self teaching. He was certainly right. I have worked with & for so many people who needed more than I ever did & I have been rewarded with knowing that life gets better after high school & we do move forward if we choose to. I think Mr. Proudfoot gave me a gift I didn't know was a gift at the time. Wisdom & patience with those who struggle can get through if you never give up. Mr. Proudfoot I can tell you today. I never gave up! Thank you so much. - Posted by: Danielle (Former Sturgeon Creek Student) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • we will treasure many fun memmories of John Sandy you are amazing John was so blessed to have you clifford what a devoed son Ourt thoughts and prayers are with you Love Glen and elaine - Posted by: Elaine and Glen (blessed friend) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • As a former teacher from St James-Assiniboia School Division I held John in high regard and always admired his positive and direct approach to problems. He was well liked and respected among his colleagues and students and Iam very sad to hear of his passing. He will be missed. - Posted by: Alene Whitlaw (retired teacher) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • I had the pleasure of having Mr. Proudfoot as a teacher during my time at John Taylor Collegiate . He was a very caring person, who enjoyed to see his students do well . His interest in his students was just amazing . I benefited from knowing him and am sorry to hear of his passing . His impact on my life , will never be forgotten .Thanks for being you Mr.Proudfoot . - Posted by: Neil Spiring (Student ) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • So sad to read this! Mr. Proudfoot was such a wonderful principal. He was really for the students, and you could tell he loved us all. I always felt so safe, protected and encouraged by him. He was such a great role model and support for us at Sturgeon. A true loss to us all. Condolences, prayers and much love to the family and loved ones. - Posted by: Laura McAlpine (student) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • Joihn was a man of immense integrity and humility, never lacking in compassion for his fellow man. Ever devoted to his family and those of us who were fortunate to be numbered among his friends. - Posted by: Douglas & June Hanton, Tofino (MIchael's parents-in-law) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • I had the pleasure to have John as my principal at both Sturgeon Creek and St. James Collegiate. It was a pleasure to work with him as he was a very friendly and happy individual. I know that he was very well liked by other teachers and students alike. My wife Maureen and I send our deepest sympathy to you Sandra, and your family. - Posted by: Jim & Maureen White (Teacher) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • Mr. Proudfoot was an amazing man. He was thoughtful and caring, tough but fair. He encouraged all his students and knew everyone's name and something they were good at. I am proud to be one of his students. I pray for peace for his family at this difficult time. - Posted by: Michael McCallum (Former student) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • Sandra - so sorry to hear of the passing of John. I know that you had a wonderful and full life together. Your support of John through the difficult times is commendable. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Kathy Brown - Posted by: Kathy Brown () on: Jan 18, 2013

  • I will always remember Mr. Proudfoot as being very involved and thoughtful about the kids in his schools, he truly cared. Condolences to the family. - Posted by: Lee-Ellen Green (Student (Sturgeon Creek 1983-1986)) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • I first met John at United College in the fall of 1960. He organized the hockey team which practiced and played exhibition games at the Olympic Arena. On the ice, he was intense, fun-loving and spoke the common, more colloquial language hockey players speak. In summer, 1966, I met him again. This time at the Faculty of Education in an English Methods course. Here his identification with the common language emerged hard and sharp. A Brit gave a class presentation in scholarly English. John sat several desks to my left. I could feel his severe annoyance. It wasn't just the presenter's argument, it was also - probably more so - the semi-snide intonation of his formal, even contrived, English. At first opportunity, John aggressively raised his hand, - eyes fierce, brow furling, lips tightening - and once given permission to speak, attacked not only the argument but also the arrogance he thought this self-absorbed presenter reflected. An intense face-off. John insisted genuine behavior and plain English were primary in the classroom. The Brit not only refused to acknowledge John and his comment but continued to speak his point of view in his formal, semi-snide English as if John were non-existent. John boiled - as did others. The class ended - on that beautifully sunny July morning - with upheaval and dismay. I remember secretly applauding John for his principled response, remember wishing I had had such courage. He prized blunt, authentic talk, and I for one, prized him for it. rudi engbrecht - Posted by: Rudi Engbrecht (student peer, colleague) on: Jan 18, 2013

  • An excellent example of a "teacher" His kind and patient ways always with a smile and a twinkle in the eyes. A wonderful man. - Posted by: Tannis (Student) on: Jan 18, 2013

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