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REV. DR. JOHN T. WORTLEY Obituary pic


Date of Passing: Aug 22, 2019

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John Wortley, born in Yorkshire, England in 1934, for many years professor of medieval history at the University of Manitoba and a life-long priest of the Anglican church, died on Thursday, August 22, 2019 in Winnipeg, peacefully and at peace.
Left to celebrate and love John are his wife, Jan Roberts; his children and their spouses: Anne-Marie and Robert; Joel and Laura; Adrian and Kathleen; his grandchildren: Tyler, Bridgette, Roxanne (Braelyn), Natasha, Kiera, Thea, Robert, Hillary and Quade; Jan's children, Stephen and Christine; and Sylvia's daughters, Elin and Jill and their families; his Yorkshire family; Marilyn Boyd; and many wonderful friends. He was predeceased by Sylvia Scott Wortley; parents, Alfred and Hilda Wortley; and brother, Colin Wortley.
Memorial service and reception will be held on Tuesday, September 3 at 2:00 p.m. at the Parish Church of St. Luke, 130 Nassau Street North, Winnipeg.
No flowers please.
Publish Date: Aug 29, 2019


John Wortley, born in Yorkshire in 1934, for many years professor of medieval history at the University of Manitoba and a life-long priest of the Anglican church, died on Thursday, August 22, 2019 in Winnipeg, peacefully and at peace.
Longer obituary and memorial service
details to follow.

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Publish Date: Aug 24, 2019

As published in the Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 24, 2019, Aug 29, 2019

Condolences & Memories (11 entries)

  • My condolences, Jan, on the loss of your husband. I did not know him, however, your many friends at the Assiniboine Park will be joining me with special thoughts of you at this time. - Posted by: Helen Morrow (Friend) on: Sep 01, 2019

  • John's expertise in the Byzantine world extended back into the Classical world, and the Classics department often recruited his wit and acumen for committees (including the one that hired me). He was kind and helpful to me at the beginning of my career and I will miss him. - Posted by: Lea Stirling (Colleague) on: Aug 31, 2019

  • I met John when I went back to school at age 70 around 2000. The course was the history of Byzantium. John had a great grasp of the history and skillfully shared his knowledge with all of us his students. A highlight for me was when John and fellow students came to my home and shared a traditional Greek meal during a University strike. We brought the classroom to a different venue and continued the learning in a non-traditional way. I will remember John as a great scholar, humble man and generous to a fault. Rod Ledwich (former student) - Posted by: Rod Ledwich (Former student and friend) on: Aug 31, 2019

  • I enrolled at the U of M in 1987, at age 47!!! Dr. Wortley was one of my first pro-fessors and I was amazed at his knowledge, ability to teach, and to teach beyond the pages of a book....I learned so much from him and I shall always be eternally grateful to him for encouraging me in my studies. He was truly a gentleman and a scholar....and always called me Mrs. Walton and I called him Dr. Wortley....just a small sample of the respect we felt for each other. No other professor could ever compare to him and I always considered him a friend. My sincere sympathy to his family....I am sure he shall always be remembered and missed by all. - Posted by: DIANE WALTON (former student) on: Aug 30, 2019

  • I was a colleague and friend of John's in the UM History Department, He was a very popular teacher, a prolific scholar, and staunch defender of academic tradition. In retirement he quickly became the light of our Tuesday Lunch Group, a gaggle of retirees of varied backgrounds and interests. A friendlier and more cheerful man I have never known. John was loved by many; he will be missed and remembered by all who had the pleasure and good fortune of knowing him. - Posted by: Lionel Steiman (colleague and friend) on: Aug 29, 2019

  • John was my senior colleague in medieval history when I arrived at UM in 1999. He was a generous mentor, giving me the support I needed at crucial times in my early career. I missed him when he retired, and was always happy to chat when he stopped by my office in subsequent years, telling stories of his research, his kids and grandkids, and more. My warmest thoughts go out to his family and many friends. - Posted by: Roisin Cossar (colleague) on: Aug 29, 2019

  • Professor Wortley was teaching a second year class on Medieval History. My assignment was to write an essay on St. Francis of Assisi. Procrastination set in. All credible reference books had been checked out of the library, so I used what I found. This effort earned me "D" grade, well-deserved, and a gentle admonition that the task was to write a history paper, not a poetic piece of fluff. I may not remember much of the course content, but that lesson has stayed with me for forty years. Thank you, Professor. - Posted by: Dorothy Ahlgren (former student) on: Aug 29, 2019

  • I knew John for about thirty years as a colleague at the University of Manitoba and a good friend. I will always be grateful to him for coming to my Ph.D. graduation and his gift of a book inscribed elegantly in Greek, something only John would have thought of! He was a delightful dinner companion, and we had a shared passion for music-- he was a Bach man and I loved Handel, which made for some interesting discussions. John was a kind and thoughtful man, a serious scholar with a good sense of humour and a probing mind. Sylvia and I will miss him. - Posted by: John Butler (friend) on: Aug 27, 2019

  • What a great and kind man. He initiated me into a love of Byzantine history and gave Latin lessons to my daughter. He will be missed. - Posted by: Gerry Bowler (friend) on: Aug 27, 2019

  • What a wonderful teacher and man Dr. Wortley was! I had the great privilege of taking two classes with him. They were both evening classes and since he lived just down the block from us, I always drove him home after. Oh, those chats! My other defining memory will be him throwing his hands up in the air and bellowing in dismay whenever anyone had a split infinitive in their essays (I quickly figured out what a split infinitive was!) He was one of my most influential and best teachers ever. Condolences and prayers to his family. - Posted by: Katherine Abra (Student) on: Aug 26, 2019

  • I have known (sorry, knew) and liked John for 53 years, and for some of that time was a member of the same church (he then moved to others as post-retirement honourary positions). He was always understanding and kind, and it's a pity he isn't around any more. He'll be missed. - Posted by: Michael Kinnear (Friend and colleague since 1965) on: Aug 24, 2019

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