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HENRY JOHN BLACK
Given the name Henry John at birth in 1935 by his parents, William and Anne Black, he rarely if ever was called by those names. Forever he would become "Jack".
Who would have thought back then that Jack, one of seven siblings, from Stonewall, Manitoba would have made such an impact on so many over his remarkable 86-year journey? He was many things to many people. As a young boy, Jack was a "Gamer". Chasing pucks on frozen ponds, his hockey dreams took him from local stardom to junior hockey with the famed Flin Flon Bombers and even to a try-out with the New York Rangers. Eventually big dreams gave way to bad knees, and he unfortunately was forced to retire. Jack returned home and fell in love with his Bonnie and a love affair that lasted over 55 years, producing four boys, eleven grandchildren, hundreds of family get-togethers and countless priceless memories. Their lifelong house in Transcona became a second home for everyone that visited. Jack became the Director of Safety for Manitoba Highways, a career that spanned decades of travelling around Manitoba teaching proper safety skills and protocols to thousands of grateful government employees. A hero whose safety messages and practices through the years helped prevent accidents and in turn saved many lives. In 1990, he was invested as a Serving Brother into the "Order of St. John" and received a medal for his outstanding first aid work which was signed off by the Governor General of Canada. Jack was always ready to lend a hand to friends and family whenever needed. Attending to his kids' events and later in life taking care of his grandchildren were amongst his favourite things to do. A wanna be handyman who was meticulous with any tool in his hand. And Bonnie chuckling would often remind him that his two-day long project was heading into its second year. Still, no matter how long it took, Jack got it done and it always worked better than before. Jack was a "Talker" and a "Listener". This man loved to tell stories. And loved to listen to your stories. And people loved to be around him. Jack was one of a kind. His life was as colourful as the mismatched outfits he would wear golfing. No golf shirt was too bright, no shorts were too wild, and his almost knee-high black socks became his trademark. He didn't care about appearances. Jack cared about people. Those he worked with, those he talked and laughed with, those like his neighbours who adored him, those who came to visit, those who were patient and kind, those he watched Coronation Street with, those who loved his famous French Toast, those he met at Dal's Restaurant, those on the 9th hole at Harbour View who couldn't believe what he was wearing, and mostly those who were closest to his heart. His family! His Bonnie who he is reunited with in a special place and now can dance together again. His pride and joy - his four boys - Rod (Nancy), Derrick (Judy), Sean (Laura) and Ryan (Jennifer) and his precious grandkids, Erika, Jessica, Braeden, Tyler, Brody, Nicole, Jesse, Sienna, Nicklas, Aiden, and Beckham. Our hearts are broken right now but we are all here because you were here and made all our lives so much better.
Thank you "Black Jack", "Pops" "Grandpa Jack", "Dad". May you Rest in Peace.
Forever in our Hearts. Forever Jack.
As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 06, 2021
Condolences & Memories (9 entries)
Our sincerest sympathy to Rod, Derrick, Sean and Ryan. Jack and Bonnie and the boys were our next door neighbours for 37 years. We shared many good times as we watched our children grow into responsible adults with families of their own. We have so many wonderful memories of our years together on Ravelston West. - Posted by: Larry & Mickey Kuprowski (neighbour) on: Nov 09, 2021
Our sincere condolences to the family. We both knew Jack from his many years as a safety officer when we worked and trained together with us at MB Highways. He was dedicated to improving safety in the department, had so many interesting stories to tell and would also listen and really care about how his co-workers and their families were doing. He will be missed by all those that crossed his many paths in life. - Posted by: Bob & Wendy McLeary (Friends & co-workers) on: Nov 08, 2021
Jack was a Highways friend that I worked with for over 36 years and friend after retirement. He will be missed and always remembered by those who knew him. - Posted by: Barrie Mcdonald (Friend) on: Nov 07, 2021
My condolences to your entire family. So very hard to lose a parent, a mentor to all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. - Posted by: Steve Lipischak (long ago and long time friend of family) on: Nov 06, 2021
I met Jack in 2015 when I took mum to Stonewall to visit her family. I immediately saw a resemblance to my brother, Craig. Growing up on the west coast, I didn't get much of a chance to know mum's family, but did meet them when I was very young. Mum's best story about Jack was when he was born. She was 8 at the time and was sure her mother and father had a new puppy for the family. She was disappointed to not get a new puppy, but thrilled to have a baby brother. I'm thankful we made the trip to Winnipeg and Stonewall. - Posted by: Susan Harrison (Neice - daughter of Pauline, Jack's sister) on: Nov 06, 2021
My condolences to Sean and Laura and the whole family. I only met Jack a couple times and he was a very nice man. My mom talked to Jack regularly in dealing with Rod's golf tourney and she thought very highly of him. - Posted by: Chris Honke (Friend) on: Nov 06, 2021
Sorry for your loss. Jack was indeed a loving and caring individual. He was always there when I and many others needed someone to talk to for work related as well as personal and family advice. Everyone in the highways department as well as many other departments knew the name Jack Black and would always rely on his professional advice and common sense approach to workplace safety. Greg Mortimer - Posted by: Greg Mortimer (Co-worker and friend) on: Nov 06, 2021
Our sincere sympathies to Jack's family. We were so fortunate to be included in many happy times together with Bonnie and Jack and the Essery family. - Posted by: Tom and Heather Bell (Friends ) on: Nov 06, 2021
Jack and I spent innumerable hours travelling the province and in training sessions for Highways years ago. I could never get enough of his passion for people and his work. Bonnie and family: he was a great friend and mentor and person. He was a very special and unforgettable man! - Posted by: Jon Gill (Friend and workmate) on: Nov 06, 2021
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