THORNE, John "Jack"
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1922 - 2013
He was a man of few words but his smiling eyes shared understanding and love. On January 19, he died at the Marion Hospice in Vancouver, and will be greatly missed by all those who knew him. Devoted husband of 58 years and partner of theatre pioneer Joy (Coghill) Thorne, Jack was one of the founders of Holiday Theatre, the first professional children's theatre in Canada. Born in Punnichy, Saskatchewan, eldest son of Gordon and Winnifred Thorne, he moved with his family to Vancouver in the early 1930's. From his first job with CBC radio, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. After his war service, a DVA Allowance enabled him to pursue a Liberal Arts degree specializing in theatre at Northwestern University, Illinois. Returning to Vancouver, Jack was hired as one of CBC's first television producers and remained there his whole career. He had the privilege of giving the first cue that joined CBC Vancouver to the national network. In 1970, he moved to CBC Montreal and became responsible for children's and music programming, and notably developed "Mon Ami" which replaced the iconic program 'Chez Helene'. He returned to Vancouver in 1979 to become Post Producer for 'The Beachcombers' until his retirement. Retirement allowed more time for Jack to enjoy and support his family. Life was never richer then when he was reading stories to his grandchildren, listening to the triumphs of his wife's career, or making salmon or mincemeat tarts for family dinners. Jack is survived by his wife Joy, daughter Debra (Theo), sons Gordon (Michelle) and David, and granddaughters Casey and Lucy. A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held on Friday, Feb 8th at 2pm at Unitarian Church of Vancouver (949 w.49th Ave.) Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Performing Arts Lodges Vancouver (581 Cardero Street, Vancouver V6G 3L3), specifying the 'Jack Thorne Legacy Project'.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on Jan. 26, 2013