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John Alpine Scott COUSE

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John Alpine Scott COUSE Obituary
JOHN ALPINE SCOTT COUSE With great sorrow, the family of John Couse announces his passing on January 6, 2019 at 98 years of age after a brief struggle with a respiratory infection. Just 12 days before, his children, grandchildren, their partners, and his caregivers had celebrated with him over a Christmas dinner at which his strength and equanimity were still much in evidence. John was the last of his generation to leave us and was predeceased by his four brothers and sister, as well as his wife, Phyllis, in 2009. Born at home in Cookstown, Ontario on August 28, 1920 to John R. Couse and Clara Monkman, he grew up with his four brothers and sister in circumstances he described optimistically as idyllic, but never got over the death of his mother in 1928 and younger brother, Paul, in 1934. He left home in 1937 without completing high school and took various jobs in northern Ontario as a mechanic, logger, and welder before enrolling in the Machine School in Galt, graduating at the top of his class to become a draftsman and millwright at a munitions manufacturer in Toronto. Enlisting on New Years Day 1942, to ensure the medical examiner's hangover would prevent him from noticing John's partial blindness, he went to sea for two years on the convoy escort frigate HMCS Montreal (K319) as an Ordnance Artificer, rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer and serving until the end of the war. Returning to Canada, John opened and operated a machine repair shop in Cookstown with his brother, Keith, during summer months while obtaining his senior matriculation at Ryerson Collegiate in Toronto, before enrolling in Engineering at the U. of T. in 1946. During his last 'skule' year in 1950, John contracted tuberculosis, entering the sanatorium at Sunnybrook Hospital before his final exams. Expected not to live, U. of T. awarded him his degree on compassionate grounds, seriously underestimating his durability by 70 years. After convalescing, Dad embarked on his career in 1953, working with Cochrane, Cancorp (Baldrive), and Bundy of Canada over the years. He met the love of his life (and unstoppable force of nature) Phyllis Johnson, while skiing at Mont Tremblant in 1954 and they married in 1955. Family followed soon after with Chris (Carol Elder), Joel (Ariane Roumier), and Carolyn (Kim Jepson) being born in 1957, 1960, and 1962. After a busy and active career, John retired in 1985 to cultivate his many interests and enjoy his growing family, all of whom he loved unreservedly and in whose accomplishments he took enormous pride. He was seldom without a list of 25 projects launching or underway when he was not travelling or skiing, which he did until age 90. John was a great friend, mentor, partner, brother, father, grandfather, uncle, and neighbour. His occupations included paperboy, grocer's assistant, welder, draftsman, serviceman (RCN), blacksmith, machinist, mechanical engineer, manager, board member, and educator. Among his many pursuits he was a sailor, skier, duck hunter, fisher, music lover and musician, carpenter, amateur astronomer, beekeeper, apple farmer, builder, sundial maker, lip-reader, Francophile and French-speaker. John was passionately engaged with life and the people around him. He will be remembered by many as a consummate charmer, conversationalist, wit, raconteur, mischief maker, and avid fan of woman-kind. Deafness that neared totality from mid-life on and bouts with TB, prostate cancer, hernias, partial blindness, and cataracts did little to hold him back. John's life was long and his fortunes were great; as he would have said, he had 'a good run.' A reception to celebrate his life will be held on January 18th, following a service at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery Cremation Centre (formerly Mount Pleasant Mausoleum), Carfrae Chapel at noon. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Hearing Society would be appreciated.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Jan. 12 to Jan. 16, 2019
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