DENHOFF, William Jacob (Jack)
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91, Jack Denhoff was a newsman's newsman, ink in the veins and a curiosity that never stopped. Journalists will recognize the -30- symbol above as end of the story signature, and Jack's story ended in Vancouver, September 17th. Born in Bieseker, Alberta in 1922, Jack grew up in Calgary just blocks from the Bow. He spoke of happy summers spent diving off the bridge at St. George's Island to go swimming in the river. He began his distinguished career in journalism spanning 50 years by selling newspapers on the street corner. He progressed to cub reporter at the Albertan, where he met the love of his life, Patricia (Pat) Stockton, also a reporter. They were married 58 years. Following marriage in 1948 they moved to Unity, Saskatchewan and purchased the weekly paper. They spent five happy years building the circulation and raising a young family – along with providing a home for two rambunctious Irish Setters – Clancy and Red. Unity was a great location for hunting, and Jack always got his quota of ducks every fall - thanks to Pat's eagle eye and the retrieving skills of the setters. He was a keen outdoorsman and while living in Prince Albert was privileged to join John Diefenbaker on several fishing trips to Lac La Ronge. Jack's newspaper career flourished and he became City Editor of the Saskatoon Star- Phoenix. During the crisis involving the introduction of Medicare he was threatened frequently, but never flinched in pursuing one of Canada's great news stories. He went on to become Managing Editor of the Moose Jaw Times Herald, and Publisher of the Prince Albert and Kamloops dailies, and eventually a Director of the Thomson chain. He was a friend and confidant to Prime Ministers and business leaders, but never lost his affinity and concern for the working man. A man of unbelievable integrity, he quietly returned to John Diefenbaker the former Prime Minister's misplaced personal diary, without reading it or even considering using it as news. He completed his career at the Vancouver Province, but never lost his interest in news and world events. Jack and Pat loved to spend summers at the lake or ocean with their children. He was an avid boater and golfer and liked nothing better than to get out on the lakes with his grandchildren. He was a gentleman of great charm and wit, with a thirst and a love for knowledge which he imparted to all of his children. In his 80's Jack embarked on a series of extensive travels, starting with his favourite city, London, England. He often travelled with one of his children or grandchildren. He continued his globetrotting right up to the end – having recently returned from a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. Special thanks to his long time and loyal caregiver Annie San Juan, and family physician Dr. Fritz. Jack is survived by his children Marshall, Eric (Karin), Kathy, Amy and grandchildren Graeme, Thomas, Cameron, Matthew, Andrew, Emma, Philip, David and Kathlyn. He is predeceased by his wife Patricia (Stockton) and daughter Stephanie. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Sept. 28 to Sept. 29, 2013