LITTLE, William John (Jack)
Second son of William Little and Dorothy Little nee Wetton, was born September 11, 1937 in the old Nanaimo Hospital and passed away in Jubilee Hospital, Victoria on June 15, 2006 of heart failure.
Jack grew up when Nanaimo was a small coastal city, before the in rush of people and housing that marks it today. As a boy Jack ranged from Lantzville to Extension on a bicycle and the local gulf Islands in a sixteen foot inboard boat exploring every cove and headland and camping in many locations with his brother Ted and faithful dog Skipper.
Jack was schooled in Nanaimo taking particular interest in auto shop classes and thus managed to get an old Dodge running. Much enjoyed by Jack and his friends. As a boy Jack raised chickens and entered them to win prizes at the Nanaimo Fair and since then managed to keep a few hens as a hobby.
As a young man he began work with O.J. Wenner Electrical Company and then with B.C. Hydro as a line-man working from Port Hardy, where he was chased by bears, and Thetis Island and Gabriola restoring electrical power after a windstorm knocked out the power. One of his most daring jobs was stringing the high tension wires on the electric towers behind Nanaimo. One small photo shows Jack, the size of an ant, standing on one cable and holding on to another above his head. During this period he continued his education while taking night courses in auditing and investment.
Before retiring from B.C. Hydro he drove the ‘Candy Wagon.’ His job was to disconnect electricity when customers failed to pay bills. In cases of real hardship he managed to extend the electric service to allow time in which to pay the errant bill.
As a shop stewart for the Union he brokered peace between management and the line-men. He also organized the line-men ‘tea parties’ ordering five or so varieties of beer “because hairy assed line-men are very particular about the beer they drink.”
As a young adult Jack became keenly interested in the political directions and decisions then being made at City Hall and decided to run for alderman. He served on city council during the 1970’s to 1990’s. His diligence and foresight led the city to develop the Queen Elizabeth walkway along the waterfront and later the Aqua Centre in Harewood so that ‘Old Nanaimo’ would have something as the city grew further north. He formed many alliances to control and monitor real estate development and prevent shady deals which would cost the tax payer for private gain.
His latest projects were a downtown transportation centre and a ward system so that all parts of the city could be fairly represented.
Jack lived his life in his beloved Nanaimo. He married first Dorothy Rasmussen in 1956 till 1985. They had four children. He married again in 2000 to Grace Gundersen with whom he shared his love of dogs and the country round Nanaimo. Jack will be missed by his family and by many friends, many of whom he had known since boyhood.
He leaves behind his loving wife Grace, brother Ted, a son William Randolph (Randy) and daughters Donna, Lori, Jacquelin and nine grandchildren; Valerie, Andrew, Ian, Riley, Chelsea, Dustin, Briana, Brandon and Alex.
Also mourning his loss is his faithful dog Sassy, a Scottish Cairn Terrier who loved going anywhere Jack went.
A celebration of Jack’s life will be held at a later date when all the extended family and friends can come together.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the B.C. S.P.C.A. as Jack loved animals of all kinds.