John William BOWER
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BOWER, John William November 8, 1924 - December 26, 2017 Passed away peacefully at Credit Valley Hospital at the age of 93, with his family at his side on Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Beloved husband of Nancy for 69 years. Devoted father to John (Janice), Cynthia (Bill), and Barbara (Dean). Cherished grandfather of John III Bower (Karine), Bruce Bower (Robin), Kelly Smith-Bower, Staci Switch (Brad), Alison Lodermeier (Wade), Dale Smith (Christopher), Krista Crawford (Kyle), Sheldon Cosco and great-grandfather of Chloe Bower, Caden Bower, Levi Lodermeier, Harper Switch, William Gravel-Tremblay and Remi Gravel-Tremblay. Dear brother to Anne Batting. A private family service and inurnment will be held at GLEN OAKS FUNERAL HOME AND CEMETERY. A public Service of Remembrance of Johnny's life will be held at a later date. Dates and times will be available online at once finalized. In lieu of flowers, donations to Trillium Health Partners - Credit Valley Hospital or to the Mississauga Humane Society would be appreciated. Online condolences may be made at

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Published in Toronto Star on Dec. 28, 2017.
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Memories & Condolences
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50 entries
September 26, 2019
God is a God of all Comfort and he will Comfort the Family's...My condolences..
January 26, 2018
Our deepest sympathy and love from the Sawchuk Family, will alway's be proud to be a part of his career.
JoAnn Sawchuk
January 22, 2018
Dear Mrs. Bower and family
I wish to express my deepest condolences to your family. When I was a kid growing up in Oakville we all wanted to be Johnny Bower when we played hockey,road or ice. If you played net your were Johnny Bower. Johnny was more than a hockey hero to me. He was the connection between my dad and I. My dad was on the road for most nights of the week but come hockey we were like peas in a pod watching and talking about Johnny's heroics on the ice. We were fortunate to watch him win four Stanley Cups. I met Johnny a few times and he was everything that people had to say about him. A man, a goalie, a hero who shall long be remembered. May peace be in your family as you greave his passing.
Phil Nelson
January 13, 2018
I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family for their loss of a talented man. I hope you find comfort in God during this time of sorrow.
January 8, 2018
Dear Nancy and family it was with great sorrow to hear of Johns passing it has been many years since we have seen you all but John and your family were wonderful mentors to my son Darren Staal for around 10 yrs from 1984 -1994 at Johns goalie school we truly cherish the memories from those years with you all . Say hi to everyone Darren lives in Carleton Place On. and is an electrician and has 4 lovely kids Thinking of you all our deepest condolences Yours Truly Brian,Vicky Staal and Family Combermere On. God Bless
January 7, 2018
Bernard Singh
January 6, 2018
One of the most exciting days of my life!!
I watched the Leafs play in the late 60's with my parents. Right from the get go Johnny Bower was my favourite. About 8 years ago I had my picture taken with him and he signed my Leafs book at Chapters. I always thought of him as a kind man. When I met him in person he surpassed my expectations. I told him he was my favourite in the past, present and future. I meant every word. A gentle soul who had time for everyone. God Bless you Johnny. Condolences to the Bower family. An angel is now watching us from above.
Suzanne Devenney
January 5, 2018
Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bower personally, he did affect me indirectly. I always admired the way he played the game and more importantly the way he conducted himself off the ice. When my wife passed away 10 years ago, my best friend contacted Johnny through Wendel Clark, and told Johnny how I had lost my wife after she had battled cancer for 7 months. One day totally unexpected and envelope arrived in the mail, I opened it up and to my shock was a photo of my childhood hero, Mr. Bower, holding the Stanley Cup. He personally signed it to me, and autographed it. I was in total shock. To this day, it is one of my most cherished possessions. The world has lost a great human being. My deepest condolences the whole Bower family. I hope you can take solace that Mr. Bower touched so many people in a positive way.
Jerry Iacobucci
January 4, 2018
Johnny was an incredible human being. He was amazing with children but had a gift to relate to everyone. When my daughter Sarah Dell was the 1999 Ambassador for the Easter Seal Society she had the opportunity to get to know him well.....only to become friends. They continued to keep in touch over the years.....treasuring every moment of friendship...Johnny gave so much to many many charities that support children & youth with physical disabilities and for that we were always truly grateful. But most of all for his friendship.....Sandy Montgomery
Sandy Montgomery
January 4, 2018
Dear Mrs. Bower and Family,
I would like to extend my deepest condolences to all of you on the loss of Johnny. He was a great man and represented himself, his Leafs and the City with dignity.
I started watching the Leafs when I was about 5 in the mid 50's and living in Pickering. I was privileged to be able to see him play for many years both live and on TV. There will never be another like him.
Also, I would like to thank you and your children for sharing him with me. Many a night as a kid, I was able to stay up beyond my bed time to watch him play.
Again, my condolences.
Rick Rimmer, Oshawa
Rick Rimmer
January 4, 2018
I grew up on the same street that Johnny Bower lived on when he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs. That street was Patika Avenue in Weston. The house was owned by another Leaf Player, Jim Morrison. He was a great person who would talk to the neighbours, especially the children, and even signed autographs and had pictures taken with him. My oldest sister got the single that he and his children made autographed. Years later at a Toronto Road Runner game, and Johnny Bower was signing autographs and stand for picture taking, I mentioned where he lived when he played for the Leafs. He asked for my name and when I told him, he said, "You are James and John's brother". He had a great memory.On May 24, 2014, Patika Avenue in Weston was honourary named Johnny Bower Blvd. He was nice and friendly to those who attended this event and my younger brother and I got our picture taken with him. He was a great goal tender and a great person. Thank you for the great memories and those Stanley Cups. You will be missed.
Robert Heath
January 4, 2018
Understanding Johnny Bower on a deeper level.....
If you knew Johnny Bower or JB as he liked to be called the way we did then you were considered to be not only privileged but honoured to have gotten a front row seat watching an incredible man play the game of life with more grit and determination than anyone else we had ever met. But it wasn't just about how he persevered during those hard days in the end it was about how he handled each day as time rallied against him. JB was a complex individual whose characteristic traits were deeply embedded in his psyche. However to truly understand him you had to learn more about him as a person first and athlete second so that you could get what made him tick. This was because his performance off the ice in the everyday world was based on his ability to stay In the zone as he aged and timeouts were called at any given moment. Especially on those bad days when nothing seemed to go his way.Yet those were the days that seemed to count the most, because it was on those days that he needed to rely on everything he was taught as a professional player to stay focused and not get intimidated by the obstacles that got in his way. And like all driven athletes JB was constantly evaluating his physical performance to try and improve his technique and sometimes even downplaying those distractions that caused him to not perform his best. Yet it was during those days of vulnerability and defeat that JB persevered even more so because getting back up meant he could return to his meaningful purpose as a husband, father, grand-father, friend and hockey ambassador to the outside world. While holding his head up with such resilience continually trying to move forward and always striving for excellence. He also had endurance and follow through beyond normal expectation. JB was a driven man with such intensity, exertion, passion and courage. Introspectively he also understood that there were valuable lessons to be learned in defeat, because being vulnerable meant that you were facing your fears. Yet this is when he persevered the most because he had already tasted triumph through his high achievements so any risks taken beyond this were done already knowing greatness. JB had learned that success would come through hard work over time which it had as he continued to put himself out there in a very goal driven manner right until the very end. Because life was always a practice where you gave it your all, being accountable for the game you played right up to the end.
Terri-Lynne Rade
January 3, 2018
I saw my first game in 1968 when the Blackhawks played the Leafs. I told my dad after the game I want to be a goalie like Johnny Bower I wish I could have met him .
Steve Kurbyun
January 3, 2018
I met Mr. Bower in 1992 in St. Thomas back in the Colonial Hockey League days. He was such a nice guy who just hung out with us. He was one of us, hockey fan, hockey player...He exemplified the true Canadian gentleman. From Knoxville Tennessee, we wish you God speed Johnny and a thank you to his family for sharing him with all of us.
Patrick Doyle
January 3, 2018
January 3, 2018
Growing up and being a Toronto Maple Leaf fan living in Toronto I had two hockey hero's Frank Mahovlich and Johnny Bower. I was very fortunate to meet Johnny in the Yorkdale shopping mall on my way home from school I was 14 at the time, I am now 67. Johnny was sitting and waiting for his wife to finish shopping. We talked for more than 30min. I will never forget what a kind and generous man Johnny was. To this day I have allways felt so lucky to have actually sat with my hero and shared that time together. We talked about so many things. I was so sad to hear of Johnny's passing and would have loved to have been in Toronto to attend his celebration or life. I had many tears as I watched it on TV, but they where happy tears of all the found memories Johnny gave me over the years he played and of that special day at Yorkdale.
Barry Baird
January 3, 2018
Johnny Bower you were my hero
Thanks for the memories and the Cups
And most of all your autograph when I was a boy
You will never be forgotten
James Fenton
January 3, 2018
Rip Mr Bower
Dylan Fraser-Bryan
January 3, 2018
When we lose a love one here on earth, we gain an angel in heaven that watches over us. May you take comfort in knowing that you have an angel watch over you now. My family and I would like to send our condolences to you and your family. Rip Mr. J.B Blue and White forever!!!!
Lorelei Fraser-Bryan
January 3, 2018
My sincerest condolences to the Bower family.

I am 43 years old now and grew up in Mississauga. I have always been a huge Leafs fan. When I was around 15 years old I met Mr. Bower across the street from my apartment building at a video rental store.
I recognized him immediately and said hello. He was amazed somebody my age at that time knew who he was. I explained that I collected classic video tapes and watched the 1962, 63, 64 & 67 highlight videos and my mother grew up watching the Leafs. He spoke to me for a good 10 minutes even though I'm sure he had other things to do.
When I returned my rentals 2 days later the girl working there gave me an envelope left for me by Mr. Bower.
It was an autographed photo and a pair of tickets to a future game. I was never so excited by anything in my life.
I met him a few times after that. He remembered my name and would always take a few minutes to chat.
He was a special man to say the least.
I can only imagine how many other lives he touched.
Rest in peace Johnny.
We love you.
Sean Reeder
January 3, 2018
I fondly remember Toronto Maple Leaf hockey games when I was growing up in Toronto, especially on Saturday night games. We would all sit around our black and white tv. I knew, even as a youngster, what a great goalie Johnny Bower was. My late mother, Joyce McIndoe, was a huge Toronto Maple Leaf fan. She made a scrap book of Toronto Maple Leaf players and she loved Johnny Bower! Thank you Johnny for all of the great memories. Thanks for being part of so many lives in Toronto! We will miss you...
Gail McIndoe
January 3, 2018
Always had a smile
Dylan & Cody Fraser-Bryan
January 3, 2018
Rip Mr Bower you will sadly be missed.
Dylan & Cody Fraser-Bryan
January 3, 2018
Thanks for the the memories. But more importantly for being a true gentleman. A great Leaf, but an even greater person. You were a childhood inspiration to another young goaltender. My deepest condolences to your wife and family. May you Rest In Peace.
Dr. Robert R. Smale
January 3, 2018
Mat you RIP Johnny you will always be the best
Ron Jones
January 3, 2018
Condolences to the family and friends of Johnny Bower. May our God who give Comfort, Peace and Love be with the family in these difficult times ahead. SP
January 3, 2018
Growing up, I enjoyed watching Johnny play goal and win the Stanley Cup. As a parent, we met Johnny at the house league team hockey banquet. He was all smiles and blended right in with the kids and adults. He will be missed !!
Tom Hum
January 2, 2018
To Mrs. Bower and the entire Bower Family.

I only met him once but he provided the most meaningful one period of hockey in my life. At the time my home town (Brantford) had a Junior A team and I went with a friend to watch the team play.

We noticed the great Johnny Bower sitting by himself in the stands. In between the first and second period we went up to say hello and ask him for an autograph. He was scouting at the time, gave us our autographs, then told us to sit down for a moment. We watched the entire second period together as Mr. Bower pointed out little things he noticed in the game and the players.

The things he commented on not only improved my game as a young 11 yr old but had a much bigger impact on me as a young man. He made us feel like the honour of meeting was his rather than ours.

It is now 40 years since I met the GREAT JOHNNY BOWER, but it still has an impact on me and how to treat everyone I meet.

Thank you for sharing your husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather with all of us. He was a great hockey player, but an even greater man.

Sincerest condolences from myself and my family.

Mark Hooyer
Mark Hooyer
January 2, 2018
I will always remember one of the greatest men i ever had the pleasure of meeting quite a long time ago. Whenever i heard his name a smile came across my face and a warmth filled my heart.... My deepest sympathys to the entire Bower family... And Thank You Mr Bower for giving me Memories i will never forget
David "Pudge" Taylor
January 2, 2018
My thoughts and prayers goes out to John's family and I feel so heartbreaking for the lost and soul of amazing hockey player he was so amazing person and he had always had a smile and he tough everyone he met and he was only 93 years old but he will never be forgot and he will always be in our hearts he in a better place in heaven and he is a spirit forever and he is in number 1 angel of the Toronto Maple leafs and is legacy lives on forever
Rest In Peace Johnny Bower

God Bless love Amanda and the Granata family
Amanda Granata
January 2, 2018
Dear Nancy and the Bower family

I am heartbroken over the news of John's passing. I knew this day would have to come but I always feared its approach. John has been my lifelong hero since the age of 3, when I would play hockey with my 6 brothers on our backyard rink...choosing the position of goalie, not because I had to...but because I loved Johnny Bower. Hockey Night in Canada was our introduction. At this time I told people apparently that my name was "Johnny Bower" and my parents would have to correct me. All of my life I had wanted to meet the one hero I had been "loyal" to. Fate took its course and we became next door neighbours on Parkgate. My dad had just passed away and I felt as though he sent my hero to me. My dad had coached my brothers through rep hockey for many years, created the Paperweight Tournament in Mississauga and scouted for Cornell U. He brought the sport of hockey into our lives and he too was a big fan of the Leafs and Johnny. I was sure that my dad was smiling down on me the day I met Johnny. I first met him when my house was being framed on Parkgate. He was in my house picking up garbage! He said that the workers were leaving garbage in the house as they built it and he was ensuring that they didn't leave anything in my floor vents! This was who John was. I was so shaky that I couldn't tell him that I had idolized him all of my life. He introduced himself as "John" and though I knew who he was, I couldn't admit to him that I chose the lot next door when I was going to buy my home. When I couldn't decide which pond lot to take, the sales rep said "Have you ever heard of Johnny Bower?" I said "Of course. He is my hero." He then told me which lot to take and that sticker went on within a split second. Sold! I had many enjoyable chats with John and was mesmerized to see his Basement Hall of Fame. It was an honour every minute, to be in John's company. I loved hearing his stories and connecting my past to his. Later I moved a few doors down to take care of my mom, Rita. My mom loved John and Nancy as much as I did They came up to our cottage and John kindly played Santa at our family Christmas party. He was incredible with the kids especially. They all fondly remember John as "Santa". I could tell many stories about what a fine man John was. But you already know this, and you will now hear the many stories that you've never heard. These will give you such strength and joy. John will forever remain my one and only hero...I am honoured to have known him and he will continue to be an example to me of how we should all live. Selflessly and with kindness. I am so deeply sorry for your loss and I know that John's inspiration will live on in all of you. Nancy...if you ever need anything at all, please call me. Oakville isn't too far away. I would love to pick you up for coffee or lunch one day. I know that you will want your privacy and space but please know that I am available anytime. I will be at the memorial tomorrow to honour John and all of you. Take care of yourselves. May John's love and strength be with you tomorrow and in the times ahead. Most sincerely, Donna Schmalz.
Donna Schmalz
January 1, 2018
I was honored to teach John and Nancy's daughter Cindy at Hilltop School in Etobicoke.
We had after school events for the kids to hang out and meet some role models.
Johnny Bower came and arranged for Darryl Sittler to be there , as we well as George Chuvalo,
whose son I also taught (Mitch)!, and of Course Johnny Bower himself was there!
How exciting for these young people.
Through all of this Cindy Bower and I connected,, When I had my first child , and now living in Georgetown, Nancy drove Cindy out to see me and our first child! I was so amazed that Nancy would do that and I will never forget it and
the support of the Bower family for me and Hilltop School. my Husband art also knew Johnny through George Crowe. Our heartfelt sympathy to Nancy and Cindy and respective family. You have loved a great man and must feel so proud of him!
With sincerest sympathy,
Art and Laurie Harris9( as Cindy's teacher way back Miss Douglas)
January 1, 2018
Our deepest sympathies to the family. My husband and I grew up as fans of the hockey player but after meeting him in person along with our children we all became bigger fans of the man, a kind, generous humble human being. So often we put our heroes on pedestals only to have them fall. Not Johnny. He will remain high on his pedestal, a position he earned and will hold always. RIP Johnny Bower.
Salmon Family
January 1, 2018
I've had the privilege of profiling many NHL legends in four decades as a writer, but none were more special to me than John.

His love of family, the game, his teammates and his opponents shone through whenever we spoke. Never without a smile, never without a friendly word for anyone who met him in or out of an arena, his kindness of heart will be remembered every bit as much as his greatness in goal. How wonderful that John was with us to enjoy seeing his No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs sweater retired in October 2016, and to be celebrated this past year as one of the Greatest 100 NHL Players.

John was one of the favourite people of late Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Béliveau, which tells you all you need to know. And John had a similar affection for his friend Jean, with whom he's probably sharing stories again today.

My heartfelt condolences to Nancy and the large Bower clan on the loss of a husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend.

The NHL was fortunate to include John in its family, as are all of us lucky who got to know this man who transcended the game in which he starred.

Dave Stubbs
Montreal, Quebec
Dave Stubbs
December 31, 2017
Johnny lived a full life of adventure. He will be deeply missed. My God comfort you all in this time of distress
December 31, 2017
I wish to offer my condolences to Nancy and the Bower Family at this very sad time. I first met Johnny together with his daughter Cindy five years ago and have always found him to be a humble, kind and extremely generous gentleman. The hockey world has lost a "one in a million" champion. Rest in peace #1
John Young
December 31, 2017
Cindy and Bill and your Family. Sending you our deepest sympathy on the loss of your Dad! Nancy and Carson Kelly
December 31, 2017
All our best from Brookstone to Nancy, Cindy, Bill and the rest of the family! We so enjoyed meeting the living legend, Johnny on the incredible athlete and better man. Sending all of you love! xo Adrienne and Bill
December 31, 2017
Dear Nancy & Family
Our deepest condolences on the loss of your husband, father,grandfather. We had the pleasure being neighbors at his beloved cottage up North in Oakshores. Our sons loved going across the street playing with his grandsons John and Bruce in the hot summer days. Every once in a while the Maple Leafs hockey player spent some fun times in the summer at the Cottage. Whenever Johnny needed help with fixing something here he came knocking at the door to see if Bernie could help him which was what he did without any questions asked. In over a few decades we always enjoyed having Nancy and Johnny as neighbors in the summer month. Johnny for sure was a one in a kind person and we will miss him.
Bernie & Elvira Sternberg
December 31, 2017
My deepest condolences to Mr Johnny Bower family, I had the honer of meeting Mr Bower when he hired me in 2015 to have his driveway paved... right away I realized that indeed he was one of a kind... Amazing Gentlemen!!!! RIP MR JOHNNY BOWER
Frank A Borzellino
December 30, 2017
I have been a lifelong Leaf's fan! Johnny Bower was the best! Greatest player in the NHL and a true gentleman! I will treasure my signed Bower hockey card!! RIP.
December 30, 2017
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
December 29, 2017
Our deepest sympathy goes out to you Nancy and your 3 wonderful children. You and John were the best neighbours we have ever had. I feel so blessed to have our families such close knit friends. I can still see Rick working in his dental lab making John's first Hockey Mask and bring ing the finished mold up to our kitchen and baking it in the oven. I often think of when you and I Nancy would drive to Weston Ice Skating Rink for our girls skating lessons. Of course then there were a couple of skating shows to attend. I think Barb was maybe 5 and Donna 4. We all had some wonderful years together and I wish I was there for you at this sad time, like you were there for me when Rick died. God bless you all and I will be in touch.
Love ❤ Jane & Doug, Susan and Donna
Jane Kay
December 29, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers to Nancy, and the rest of
The Bower Family. Johnny will always be in our memories.
Linda and Allen Carson
December 29, 2017
To Johnny's family,
On behalf of the executive and members of Branch 197, Royal Canadian Legion, Acton, I offer our deepest condolences in the loss of your husband, father and grandfather. He visited our branch a few weeks ago to promote a shirt signing campaign to raise monies for homeless vets. It was an absolute honour to meet such a wonderful, kind gentleman. We were deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He left behind a great legacy for hockey and we thank him for his service to his country as a veteran. He will be greatly missed. Peg Graham, President , Branch 197
Peg Graham
December 29, 2017
Memories of a man full of passion
Remember your love one and all his strength
God likewise remembers his creations
Cares for his creations
He will help the family friends and fans of Johnny Bower during this time
May he give comfort and peace from above
December 29, 2017
So sorry for your loss Johnny was a kind soul I will remember him for all he did for the maple leafs but more for the years he came into my bait shop at Nogies Creek for the cheap worms that he supplied for his grandkids that he loved very much at his cottage up north he always took time to talk to other customers and share stories. The world will miss him
Shelley Jackson
December 29, 2017
I would like to extend both my condolences to the Bower family on their loss, and also my gratitude for sharing Johnny Bower with hockey fans everywhere. I saw him play when I was a young girl and insisted my parents buy me a Leaf jersey with the number '1' and a goalie stick, so I could pretend I was 'Johnny Bower.' He was a gracious, kind and generous man.
Debra Dearlove
December 29, 2017
May the God of all peace bring comfort to the Bower family and friends at this difficult time.
December 29, 2017
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
marion connelly
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