John Litt
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BRIGADIER GENERAL (RET'D) JOHN LITT

It is with profound sadness that the family of Brigadier General (Ret'd) John Litt announces his passing on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at the age of 81, due to contracting Covid-19.

A proud lifelong resident of Thunder Bay, John was born in Fort William in 1939, the second of three boys to Michael and Mary Litt. He always spoke fondly of his childhood years in the East End and of his memories growing up in such a diverse multicultural neighbourhood.

A brilliant thinker and orator, John graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 1963 with a Business Administration degree. He spent the following year in Toronto obtaining his teaching certificate before returning to Thunder Bay to marry the love of his life, Patricia, and start a career as a high school teacher (as assistant commercial director at Hammarskjold and commercial director at Churchill).

Military history and the Canadian Army Reserves were a passion of his. In 1968, John joined the Lake Superior Scottish Regiment, advancing over the years to become Commander of the Prairie Militia Area as the first Brigadier General born in Thunder Bay.

Throughout his life, music was an ever-present backdrop. He especially loved jazz and once recalled how he was moved to tears the first time he watched The Benny Goodman Story at age 15, returning to the movie theatre four more times before the film left that year. Decades later, when the opportunity came to open a Sam the Record Man store with Patricia in 1976, there was no question John would accept it, setting aside teaching for 10 years to seize this new adventure.

In the 1980s, John returned to teaching as an instructor at Confederation College, all the while continuing to share his love of music as host of a weekly jazz and blues show on CKPR Radio.

By 1989, however, John was looking for a new challenge to sharpen his mind. He left teaching for good to became a realtor, serving as president and past president of the Thunder Bay Real Estate Board, as broker with Royal LePage Lannon Realty, as an instructor for the Ontario Real Estate Association, and as a certified residential appraiser, which he did up until two years ago when Parkinson's disease brought his final career to a close.

Throughout his life, John's positive outlook, his faith in humanity and his courage to meet every challenge never wavered. Nor did the core values that guided him: integrity, kindness, and forgiveness. His greatest joys in later life came from being Dedo to his grandchildren -- always available to them for hugs and cuddles, watching John Wayne westerns and playing Skip-Bo.

As family friend Dan Voitel recently wrote, “He was a kind, dignified, engaging and interesting man. He lived a life that mattered and is worth remembering. … What more can any of us ask.”

John is survived by his wife Patricia, son David (Rena), daughter Catherine (Ronnie), grandchildren Ryan, Kaitlyn, Jordan and Kristen, nieces Lisa, Stephanie and Paula, and nephews Michael and Kevin.

In lieu of flowers, and if friends so desire, memorial donations may be made to Parkinson Canada or a charity of choice.

The family wishes to express its deepest gratitude to the staff and caregivers of Southbridge Roseview. A private memorial will be held by the family in the coming days.



To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal on Dec. 5, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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47 entries
December 16, 2020
Dear Pat, David, Catherine and families,

I was so sorry to read of John’s recent passing. As I read his life story so lovingly told, I reflected on the times over the past years our paths crossed, from being my teacher at Churchill, to recommending the latest music at Sam’s, to helping me purchase my first house. He was a kind and true renaissance man, and I am honoured to have known him just a little. Please accept my sincere condolences over the loss of your loving husband, father and grandfather.
Louise Miller (Antoniazzi)
Friend
December 14, 2020
Graydon and I are very sorry to hear of John's passing.
He was a very highly respected man and enjoyed our many
conversations regarding life and the appraisal business!
He always had a wonderful opinion on our many discussions.
He has been sadly missed by the local chapter and again sorry
to hear of his passing. Our thoughts go to Pat and family
Sincerely
Graydon and Vicky Butt
Graydon and Vicky Butt
Acquaintance
December 13, 2020
Pat,
So very sorry to hear of John’s passing. We met you as our realtors, and you quickly became our friends. We loved to hear John’s memories of all the things he did throughout his life, and looked forward to catching up with you every year at our Christmas parties. May the love and prayers for you and yours help you endure through this difficult time.
With love and sympathy, Win, Lisa and Niki Landry
The Landrys
Friend
December 11, 2020
Dear Family of John
Please know that he will long be remembered as a significant community contributor . There are so many times that John came to the table for our City its diverse organizations . From economic development to charitable support John was a positive force. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you. May many wonderful memories of a fine Canadian console you in the days ahead. Most Sincerely, Ken Boshcoff
Ken Boshcoff
Friend
December 11, 2020
Pat and family. I just recently was made aware of John's passing. I was greatly saddened with the feeling of the fragility of our lives and the need for celebration of those we had lost. I have known John since his days at Confederation College when I took a business course from him. Later he was a colleague of mine at Hammarskjold High School and even later he was my supplier of music. Throughout all these encounters John was always personable, professional, and helpful. He was a truly caring person, both thoughtful and reflective. Although my recent contacts have been few, his passing has revealed in me an enhanced appreciation of how I have been impacted by my memories of John and the sorrow that this loss has brought to his family. Please accept my sincere condolences.
Zen Kozyra
Friend
December 10, 2020
Please accept condolences from the Eccles family. John was a good friend to Jim and the whole family. His assistance with work on The Lake Superior School was always valued. His friendship to our family will not be forgotten.

Our best to your family as you celebrate his life but feel the loss.

Dawn, Naomi, Barb, and Jennifer Eccles
Jennifer Eccles
Friend
December 10, 2020
I knew John well, having served with him and under his command in the 1980s. He contributed to the safety of this country and Canada owes him a debt of gratitude. Requiescat in Pace General.
Cliff Walker
Served In Military Together
December 9, 2020
It was an honor to have known him.
Erika and Jim Manduca
Friend
December 8, 2020
Dear Pat, David, and Cathy
It broke my heart to hear about John's passing. He is truly one of the finest men I've ever had the honour and the privilege of knowing. His capacity for kindness and compassion had no limits. I have so many wonderful memories of you all. My thoughts and prayers and love are with you.
Connie Mckinstry-Symak
December 8, 2020
Dave and Family: We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. Barry always spoke highly of him, your Dad teaching him in high school. Please know our thoughts are with you and the rest of the family in this difficult time. Barry, Sue and Adam Graham

Susan Graham
Teacher
December 8, 2020
I still remember fondly your positive support for Harbour Lights Productions when you were our Port Arthur ticket outlet. Thank you for the boost you gave us. I also remember the vital, loving relationship you had. My condolences to you Pat and to your family. Best regards.
Marsha Ivall
Friend
December 7, 2020
Dear Pat, Dave, Cathy and all the Family
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I had the honour of serving with John in the 18 Svc Bn and have many fond memories of that time. He was a kind and generous person who taught me a great deal about the Military. My deepest sympathies.
Dean Gresko
Friend
December 7, 2020
Pat and Family
Ian and I were saddened to hear of Johns passing.
He was the best teacher I ever had he scared the heck out of me at first until I got to know him and his humour and how ironic that Ian would get to know him years later through the radio station.
You are all in our thoughts
Roberta and Ian Topple
Roberta Topple
Teacher
December 7, 2020
Our condolences to family
He was a wonderful man
Forever in our hearts
John and charlene Lonergan
Charlene Lonergan
Neighbor
December 7, 2020
A super person, very kind and honest. An honour to have known him.
Roy Lough
Friend
December 6, 2020
Dave, Rena and family, So sorry to read of the passing of your Dad. Our hearts go out to all of you.
KATHY & KEVIN JOHNSON
December 6, 2020
I’m so sorry for hear the sad news. I have such fond memories of time spent with the Litt’s. My condolences to Mrs Litt, Cathy, David and family.
Carolyn Chornopski
Friend
December 6, 2020
Thank you all for sharing your memories of John. It's been very consoling and comforting. Love Pat.
Patricia Litt
December 6, 2020
Pat and Family. So sorry for your loss. Irene and I still have vivid memories of John back at Hammarskjold and later in his successful careers. He made an impression with his presence and wit. He will be missed. John and Irene
John Izatt
Coworker
December 6, 2020
I always enjoyed John - as fellow realtor and when working with him on the Real Estate Board. I appreciated his knowledge, yes, but also his humility that brought him close to others. Rest in Peace John.

My condolences to family and friends,

David Gillen and family
DAVID P GILLEN
Coworker
December 6, 2020
Him and his wife Pat helped us find are first home. They also became neighbours . Pat was a kind and gentle man , He was definitely a family man that will be surely missed by all that had the pleasure of knowing him.
Liza Ashcroft
Friend
December 6, 2020
My sincere condolences to you all, as I fondly remember Mr Litt and childhood memories with Cathy and David . Thinking of you all, Krista Tallon (Zobatar)
Krista Tallon
Friend
December 6, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. He was a true gentleman and I know he will be deeply missed
Kaisu E Fisken
Acquaintance
December 5, 2020
Wow. I just saw this and it really hit home. Pat, I am sending you and your Family so much love. John was such an outstanding and honourable man. Working with him at Royal LePage was always a learning experience for me, and he was always so kind and sweet. He once gave me a realtor pin after I complimented his and I still have it. He left an impact on me as a realtor. God bless him and all of his family.
Nina Ruberto
Coworker
December 5, 2020
What a tragedy. But also what a great life. Great co worker in both real estate and as a designated appraiser. Enjoyed his company and expertise.
Susan McRury CRA( ret).
God rest his soul!!!!!
Susan McRury
Coworker
December 5, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to Patricia and family. John was a great person. I vividly remember his passion for music when he'd come into the Apollon. I always enjoyed chatting with him whenever we ran into one another. May John's memories bring you comfort and may time heal your sorrow. Nick and Maria Soulias
Maria Soulias
Friend
December 5, 2020
My heart breaks for Pat and family. They were our first realtors when we moved to tbay..they were both amazing people. My heart is with Pat at this devastating time.
Kathy Jarvinen
Friend
December 5, 2020
To Patricia and family we are truly sorry for your loss. John was a fine gentleman who shared his life with all he met; and in doing so he enhanced their lives. We will remember him. Our prayers are for him and with his family. Lina and Tony CAPPELLO
Lina & Tony Cappello
December 5, 2020
John was such a lovely person and will be very much missed, thinking of all his family.
Millie Gormely
Acquaintance
December 5, 2020
God bless you John. You were a sincere and motivated gentleman, with a lovely family. I will miss your stories, and visiting with you, and I will miss DJ John. I will miss you, on Remembrance Day. Some of my favorite memories on Remembrance Day involves you at our Roseview Manor Remembrance Day Service. You were always so proud and handsome in your military dress outfit. You are an amazing man. The world will miss you. Thank you for everything you did in you lifetime over your years.
Nicole Orr
Friend
December 5, 2020
John you were an inspiration to many - your dedication and help while I was our Thunder Bay real estate board president was greatly appreciated, my thoughts are with your family,
Carol Ann Wesselius
Carol Ann Wesselius
Coworker
December 5, 2020
Dear Pat
I was saddened to hear of John’s passing. His kind and wise soft spoken ways made him excel at everything he set his mind to. I always admired the way the two of you worked together It was pleasure to work with you both over the years. johns love of music was the perfect backdrop for his life he was most definitely was an intelligent man with the soul of a musician. Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss.
Georgie Picard
Coworker
December 5, 2020
I am so sorry Pat for your loss. John was a kind hearted man that always was available if I had a question. He taught me appraisal and at the end of the class he brought us all to the armoury. A place you could tell he was so proud of. Your whole family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Wendy and Ronne Ferris
Wendy Ferris
Coworker
December 5, 2020
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
Diane and Rod Flint
Neighbor
December 5, 2020
My deepest condolences to Pat, Dave and family!! I will hold many fond memories of our visits at camp. You will be missed RIP John
Anita Fraser and Ken Harper
Friend
December 5, 2020
A colleague and a good friend.......he will be truly missed !!
Tom Clarke
Tom Clarke
Friend
December 5, 2020
...fond memories of waiting outside Sam The Record Man at 9am on Saturday mornings for John to open the front doors. We would rush to the rack to scoop up the $1.99 record of the day - Meatloaf: Bat Out of Hell - comes to mind.
Rick
Acquaintance
December 5, 2020
Very sorry to read of John's passing. As the sponsor of the Sam the Record Man fastball team he was always at the park watching and cheering us on ..win or lose. As a Con College faculty member he was always so eloquent, polite and professional. As an audiophile he would select records for me to purchase and was always right. Above all he was a nice man!
Al Nalezyty
Friend
December 5, 2020
My sincerest condolences to Mr. Litt"s family , I met him while I was working with his son Dave and both of them are true gentlemen. I will say a special prayer for his family during this most difficult time.
Chris Baker
Acquaintance
December 5, 2020
Pat & Family, my sincere condolences to the loss of John. I surely enjoyed working with you and John. Such a gentleman. He will be missed.
Kelly Monteith
Friend
December 5, 2020
I fondly remember him as my data processing teacher at Sir Winston Churchill high school. And enjoyed talking to him when shopping for new music at Sam the record man store.
Kenneth Thurgood
Friend
December 5, 2020
A wonderful man and teacher. May he rest in peace. Sincerest sympathies to the family at this tragic time.
Dori Kopechanaki former Churchill student
Dori Kopechanski
Student
December 5, 2020
Pat, I am so sorry to read of John’s passing. He was a great man, always had a smile and you have been a wonderful caregiver over the last few years. My prayers and condolences are with you and your family at this sad time.
LInda Smout
Coworker
December 5, 2020
So sorry Pat to hear of the loss of John. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Mary (Berglund) Speirs & Lorene Armstrong
Classmate
December 5, 2020
Dear Pat and Family
I remember meeting you and John at many open houses. I am so very sorry for your loss. John was always the gentleman and I often chatted with him when I saw him around town. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers. May God bring you comfort in your grief.
Karen Wood
Acquaintance
December 5, 2020
So sorry to hear of John passing away...John was a honest hardworking man and enjoyed his life fully .
Whenever doing a real estate transaction Johns word was gospel....something we all appreciate .
My condolences to Pat and the family

Barb McEwen
Barb McEwen
Friend
December 5, 2020
I never had the pleasure to meet John face to face but spoke with him several times by phone over an insurance matter that required an appraiser. He was so kind and patient and was very knowledgeable. I spoke of him when retelling the tale of our cottage fire. I’m quite sure there will be many to will miss him dearly. My condolences to his family and friends
Heather Kranjc
Acquaintance
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