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It is with great sadness the family of John Bremner Duff announce his passing on January 27, 2020, at the age of 52.
He passed away peacefully at Riverview Health Centre, surrounded by family and friends, after a year long battle with brain cancer.
Wee John, as he was known to family, always loved to make people laugh. He was keen to grab your attention and could command the room with his many talents; driven to impress, but never accepting any of the praise for which he was deserving.
He was passionate about many things: food, music, magic, hockey and video games. John was absolute in his opinions about all of the above and was at once bold, genuine and honest in expressing them. Especially when it came to comedy. Nothing grasped his heart and soul as much as comedy.
John left an impact on the comedy world and the city of Winnipeg in a way which many people couldn't possibly ever notice. Dubbed by many as the Godfather of Winnipeg Comedy, he poured his time and energy into creating a safe space for aspiring local comedians and making an impression so immeasurable that it could be understood only by those who knew him. Those who know, know, and they have shared their stories all across social media since his passing.
But John was more than the things for which he was best known. He was a comedian and a chef but more importantly, he was a son, a brother, a nephew, an uncle, a fiancé, and a friend to many. Overall one of the kindest, most thoughtful and compassionate people you will ever meet. He was generous to a fault, giving his last (likely borrowed) dollar to help someone in need and regardless of the money he had to give, his most valuable currency was the time he had for anybody and everybody regardless of age, gender, musical taste or hockey team allegiance.
John was predeceased by his mum, Chrystal, in 2006. He will be sadly missed by his fiancé, Chelsea, his dad, John, brothers, Steven and Peter (Tami), sister Chrystal (Doug), niece, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins and his lifelong friend Paul, who was like a brother to him.
The family would like to thank his close friends, Ted, Shelley, Tim and so many more who gave their love and support, along with the staff at Riverview for the exceptional care they provided.
While John was seemingly early in stepping off the stage and out of the spotlight, perhaps he was simply trying not to go over his time.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. at the Park Theatre, 698 Osborne Street with doors opening at 6:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Riverview Health Centre or Canadian Cancer Society.

Condolences may be sent to

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Feb 01, 2020

Condolences & Memories (4 entries)

  • So sorry to the entire Duff family to hear about John's passing. So many vivid memories of that rascal. Most recently, I saw him perform at the Park Theatre, a slew of comedians doing their A-list material while intoxicated. Quite the spectacle. It was an uproarious night and John was especially hilarious. He will be greatly missed. Spencer Holmes - Posted by: Spencer Holmes (Friend) on: Mar 12, 2020

  • So very saddened to hear the news of John’s passing. Sending love and condolences to the Duff clan. - Posted by: Tracey Ross (Roy) (Old family friend) on: Feb 15, 2020

  • Condolences sent to the entire Duff family. I know you will miss John terribly. Remember to stay close to each other and lean on family and friends. - Posted by: Andrea Mauws (formerly Stewart) (Friend of John senior) on: Feb 01, 2020

  • To Chrystal and family, please accept our heartfelt condolences. We are so sorry for your loss and send lots of hugs. You are in our thoughts and prayers. From Mona and Ian. - Posted by: Mona Wiggins (Co-worker) on: Feb 01, 2020

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