Barton, John Ivan ‘Jack’

Jack passed away to be with the love of his life, Estelle, on Wednesday July 8. He was almost 93 years old which to him was amazing since he didn’t expect to survive World War II let alone the subsequent years.

He was born in the slums of Sheffield, England on Aug. 14, 1922 to Mr. and Mrs. Ledger but at two years of age his parents divorced and he and his sister Jean were sent to Dr. Barnardo’s orphanage. Fortunately dad was adopted by the Bartons when he was five years old. It was fortunate because they were quite wealthy, caring parents and lived in a large house in the country. He had a first class education and was set to attend Oxford University to become an architect but when World War II started he joined the RAF instead. He was promptly sent to Canada to train as a pilot. After obtaining his wings he was promoted to instructor which he did for the next three years all over Canada. In the winter of 1943/44 he was instructing in Pearce Alberta just west of Lethbridge. There he met Estelle (McLintock) and they married in April 1944. A week later dad was transferred to England to fly Mosquito fighter bombers. Mom followed him that summer. She always called herself a ‘reverse war bride’.

On Dad’s 13th mission his plane was badly damaged by flak but he managed to struggle back to England where he crash landed but suffered severe injuries which grounded him for the rest of the war.

I was born in Sheffield on May 1946. Post war England wasn’t a very good place to live so they packed up and moved in 1948 to Victoria, BC where Dad restored antique furniture (his hobby prior to the war) and taught flying at the local flying club. Then in 1950 he began flying for Port Alberni Airways, but after several forced landings he decided to do some “safer” flying and joined the RCAF in 1951. He spent most of his career flying helicopters and received commendations for dangerous rescue missions. We bounced all over Canada and my sister Anne was born in 1957 in Brandon Man. Dad retired from the RCAF in 1965 and we moved to White Rock, BC. He flew helicopters in the Alberta oil fields for the next 2 years, but that came to an abrupt end when he lost his medical rating in the fall of 67.

Since Dad couldn’t fly anymore he decided to try to make a living at woodworking. Over the next 6 years he built one house, two ‘Black Forest’ restaurants and an ‘Old Country Inn’ restaurant…all in the lower mainland. Then in about 1974 he had an opportunity to open his own school of creative woodworking near Nelson BC. The school was eventually assimilated by Selkirk college and Dad taught there until he retired in 1987.

Dad and Mom moved to Chemainus and then to Nanaimo. Mom developed Alzheimer’s and lived at Traveller’s Lodge for 6 years where Dad visited her every day until she died in Jan. 2010.

We think that Dad lived another 5 years after her passing because of his wonderful sense of humour (dry English) and the fact that many of the residents and staff of both Kiwanis Village and Malaspina Gardens doted on him…he was a bit of a flirt right to the end! May he rest in peace. We’ll miss you Dad!

He left behind his son Dave, daughter Anne, sister Jean, many nieces and nephews, and many grand and great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Kiwanis Village auditorium on Sunday, Aug. 9th at 2 p.m.

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