A devoted partner, beloved brother, cherished uncle, great uncle and loving friend, John passed suddenly on Saturday October 8 at the age of 70. He was recently predeceased by his dearest Frank, his partner of 45 years and unfailing companion at home, on the road and in the audience for countless plays, concerts and films. Survived by his brother Douglas (Claire) of Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC., sister Cheryl (David) of Sainte-Cécile-de-Masham, QC., and their children and grandchildren, for whom he was a lifelong source of love, support and laughs.
John was born in Sainte-Foy, QC., the second son and third child of Richard and Alma Richardson (née Langton). As a young man, John loved a good argument. He travelled across the country as a debater for his school and the Rotary club; in his high school yearbook, classmates addressed him as “the future prime minister.”
In the early 1970s, John followed Cheryl to Ottawa, where he studied philosophy at Carleton University. But he found his true vocation — helping people build their lives after incarceration — in graduate school at the University of Ottawa. After completing a master’s degree in applied criminology, he began his career at the John Howard Society of Ottawa. He went on to work as a parole officer and later project manager at Correctional Service Canada, where he was recognized as a national expert in his field and praised for his superior counselling skills.
John believed passionately in restorative justice and rehabilitation. Even after retirement he volunteered his time at Circles of Support and Accountability, an organization dedicated to helping those who have committed sexual offences reintegrate into society. He spoke often and with pride, even in the final weeks of his life, about the progress members of the group were making.
It was in Ottawa, in 1976, that John met Frank Bayerl. The two put down roots in Centretown, where they built a life full of love, cats, and community.
John was a beloved friend. He had a way of making the people in his life feel valued, seen and loved. He will be deeply missed by the many who were lucky enough to experience his friendship. He especially loved his nieces and nephews, and their children, like they were his own. He was family to them in the truest, deepest sense of the word.
A Memorial Service will be held at the Central Chapel of Hulse, Playfair & McGarry, 315 McLeod Street (at O'Connor) on Friday, October 14 at 3 p.m., followed by a reception. Click here to access the Livestream of the Memorial Service
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Circles of Support and Accountability would honour John's volunteer work with the organization.