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John Longmaid OFFUTT
1961 - 2020
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JOHN LONGMAID OFFUTT June 30, 1961 - November 20, 2020 Educator, Athlete, Wine enthusiast, Inspiration, Lover of Life John was taken from us suddenly while doing what he loved best - cycling. John was predeceased by his father John Longmaid Offutt Sr. He is survived by his loving family, his mother Marilyn Offutt Mammel, his wife Jane Ferguson, his beloved sons Eric and Connor, his sister Mary (Brook) Offutt Novelli, his nieces, nephews and his extensive network of family and friends. John was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and spent idyllic summers at the family cottage at Lake Okoboji, Iowa where his boundless energy was put to good use spending time with friends, swimming, water skiing and riding his bike off the end of the dock to see how far he could fly before hitting the water, hauling it out and doing it all over again. He graduated from Deerfield Academy in 1979 and Rice University with an Honours B.A. in 1983. At Rice he made lifelong friends, was active in numerous sports and an enthusiastic member of the Baker Beer Bike team. When not exercising or studying, he could usually be found walking on campus while reading, always in bare feet. He obtained his M.B.A. from Claremont Graduate University in California in 1985. While in Paris taking classes toward his degree in the summer of 1984 he met his future wife Jane. A three week romance blossomed into a 36 year love story. He moved to Toronto the day he finished his last exam and never left. His first career was as an account executive in the advertising industry. He then obtained his real estate licence and began a successful career buying, selling and renovating homes. He had an uncanny ability to see what others didn't in even the most neglected of houses and to transform them into something truly wonderful to live in. In his forties, he decided his talents and abundant energy would best be spent teaching and he earned his B.Ed. Mr. 'O' was a force of nature at Thorncliffe Park Public School, as a kindergarten, grade 3 and especially as a gym teacher. His teaching philosophy was simple. Make your classroom a welcoming, supportive place so that kids love school and learning will inevitably follow. He coached countless kids in hockey, soccer and basketball, ran a yoga club and a boys' book club. John had many passions, and will be remembered for the incredible joie de vivre with which he pursued them. He was a knowledgeable wine enthusiast who loved to host wine tasting dinner parties and to collect and share fine wine with friends. He loved to travel and was an avid reader. He was an incredibly gifted athlete who loved cycling best of all. He was a strong cyclist and especially loved climbing. He enjoyed many cycling holidays. He was working through his bucket list and had trekked to Everest base camp and climbed most of the great peaks in Europe on his bike. He ran several marathons without ever training for them and in his undergrad days ran the Houston marathon and then played an entire game of soccer afterwards. He was a strong swimmer and completed several triathlons, including two as a guide for blind triathletes. He placed well and was often only beaten by men 20 - 30 years his junior. He achieved his second degree black belt in karate. He took up yoga and completed his yoga teacher training. He was a loving and supportive husband. He loved making new friends and sharing his passions with them, but he loved his sons most of all and was in the process of completing a renovation for one and planning a renovation for the other when he died. His favourite place on earth was the family cottage on Lake Joseph which he loved to share with family and friends, cycling, water-skiing, rowing, and hosting countless dinner parties. He would often disappear for hours in his rowing shell, exploring the lake and stopping by friends' cottages for a chat. John was well known for his volunteerism and his philanthropy. He coached soccer at Mooredale for many years, was on the Board at Moorelands, was a camp counselor and water-ski instructor at Camp Oochigeas, had recently joined the Board of the North Lake Joseph Association, hosted many fundraisers for charities, and donated generously to many others. John cheated death once when he suffered an arrhythmia while cycling in 2018 but was revived by a cycling friend who performed CPR. Not one to let a brush with death slow him down, and after a pacemaker/defibrillator was implanted in his chest, he hosted a previously planned dinner party at the lake the day he was released from hospital. While his death was a tragedy, his life was a joy that he lived with a passion and enthusiasm that inspired countless others. He leaves a hole in our lives that will never be filled. A celebration of life will be held at a later date when we can all gather together again. Those wishing to honour his memory are encouraged to make a donation in his name to one of his favourite charities: Moorelands.ca/john-offutt/, wpshc.com or a charity of your choice. Remembrances may be left at www.legacy.com.

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Published in The Globe and Mail from Dec. 5 to Dec. 9, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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29 entries
January 26, 2021
Dear Jane, I just heard about your loss. My sincere, heartfelt condolences to you and to your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Jeffrey Canto-Thaler
Friend
January 21, 2021
Dear Jane, We were so sorry to learn of John's tragic and untimely death. It is many years since we saw either of you, but we fondly remember wine dinners with you both in Toronto. I met John when we were both working in advertising and our respective companies sent us to Toastmasters to learn to be better public speakers. I thought John and Randy would be interested to meet and discuss their mutual enjoyment of and interest in wine. Our condolences go out to you and the boys. Gail Leach-Wunker & Randy Wunker, Minden, Ontario
Gail Leach-Wunker
Friend
January 3, 2021
Jane and family my heart is filled with sorrow over John’s tragic and unnecessary passing.

I have so many great memories of us having beautiful dinners (and wine) with you both and David and Michael.

He was so passionate and generous. Never met anyone like him.

Let his legacy carry on in you and your boys.

Wayne.
Wayne Rudson
Friend
December 28, 2020
We started to write about John many times here. But knowing he is not around any longer is unfathomable. John was larger than life. He loved children, was an outstanding teacher, and this manifest in the patience he had with our own kids up at the cottage-teaching them to water ski, to play euchre, to give them small life lessons. John was generous in every way, sharing his way of life, always. We shall miss him dearly. If we miss him this much, the pain of this loss for his beautiful boys, for his dear wife Jane, and his dear mother and sister is unspeakable. He will not be forgotten.
Sandhya & Raman Kohli
Friend
December 20, 2020
Jane .... please know you're in my heart. With sincere sympathies extended to you and to your family, as to John's mother.

x valerie
valerie veres moretti
December 15, 2020
Marilyn what a heart break and a loss for all who knew him.
Wini Foxley Wells
December 13, 2020
I am greatly shocked and saddened to read of John´s passing.... John was a classmate of mine at Oakdale Elementary School in Omaha, NE. I remember John as kind and inquisitive... John was an impressionable young boy. As was John´s entire family... very cool people! I am not surprised to read that John lived passionately and authentically with much joy, love and life. My heartfelt condolences to John´s family, loved ones and friends. Susan Lay Hendersonville, NC
Susan Lay
December 13, 2020
Jane....all of your Vuylsteke cousins send our heartfelt condolences to you, Eric and Connor. We were shocked to learn of the loss of John. We have such fond memories of your wedding so many years ago and what a vibrant and fun filled day it was. A day of love and family, much like John himself. There is not much that other people can say to take away the pain of your loss, but take some comfort knowing how many people have you in their thoughts and hearts.
Vuylsteke cousins
Family
December 13, 2020
To John’s Family,
I was so sad to hear this news and so very sorry for your loss. I knew John back at Oakdale Elementary School in Omaha. We were in Miss Ohlinger’s 3rd grade class together. We sat next to each other. He was such a little gentleman back then as he always pulled out my chair for me. He left such an impression on me!
My heartfelt condolences to you all.

Robin Schneiderman Baer
Robin Baer
Friend
December 12, 2020
Having read the obit in today’s World Herald I was moved and impressed by the lovely foot print John Offutt, Jr has left. As a parent I am so saddened by the news and hold my friend and decorator, John’s mother Marilyn, in my heart. Marilyn is one of the funnest, joyful and creative people I know and so it is no surprise to read John renovated homes, gave so much of himself, and loved and worked for kids. As an avid biker, his death awakens me to keep vigilant about the few bad drivers out there.
I can’t imagine what kind of hole this leaves and I try not to, as a parent of two. But for now, I am, and it’s overwhelming. When I think of Marilyn I think of joy and laughter as she puts a smile on my face. When I think of this loss carving deep into her soul, I think of the greater joy and sorrow she can contain.
All my love,
Stephen Abraham
Omaha, Nebraska
Stephen Abraham
Friend
December 12, 2020
I was introduced to John and his passion for cycling through my brother Bill a close friend for 30 years. In 2008, John, in a rare moment, was willing to sell one of his bikes, an orange and red Aguila Touring bike that he rode around Ireland on a few years prior. It turned out to be the perfect fit for me and soon I was riding to work several times a week, trying to get home faster and faster each day. I was planning on selling the Aguila next spring but now that's not possible.
A few years later when I was looking for a more agile and faster bike John offered to help me and we met at the Toronto Cycling Show. I describe the type of urban/trail riding that I was doing as we toured the show. We looked at dozens of makes and models until he saw a cyclo-cross model by Focus and he declared, "that's the bike for you" and he was right.
While I never had the pleasure of riding with John, his passion and fitness discipline influenced Bill and Bill influenced me into make riding a bigger part of my life. Indeed it was cycling that saved my leg 9 years ago after a serious infection.
Like so many here and elsewhere, I owe much to John, both directly and indirectly and I'll be thinking of him tomorrow on my ride.
John Fanjoy
Friend
December 10, 2020
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Susan Ungar
December 9, 2020
Jane, Eric and Connor - I am so saddened to hear about the passing of John(ny). He, Mary, my brother Dan, Anne, Jimmy, Nancy Mammal and myself spent summer nights playing flashlight tag into the midnight hours of our neighborhood. Summers found us watching him ride his bike off the dock at Okoboji and other daredevil escapades. So amazed to hear about his latest endeavors of teaching. My condolences to all of you. Kim Crosby Reeves (Omaha)
Kim Reeves
Neighbor
December 8, 2020
Jane, I am so sorry to hear about John. Steven and my thoughts are with you and your family at this time

Christina Willenborg
Classmate
Christina Willenborg
Classmate
December 8, 2020
I was a student of mr. offut in 2009 he was my coach for several teams and I haven’t seen him ever since because I transitioned to middle school yet to this day he is alive in my heart and the impression he has made in my life was a lasting one. Everytime I remember him I laugh because when he was our coach we would lose most games since the kids in my school weren’t exposed to sports as a extracurricular but after every game mr.Offut would treat the students to ice cream or a pizza party out of his own pocket. He loved his students like his own children and was never stern with us he wanted the kids to just get active and have fun, he instilled a love for sport in so many kids hearts and his memory will forever live on in hundreds of hearts.
Muqadas
Student
December 8, 2020
So sorry for your loss Jane. My sincere condolences to you and your family. ‘All I know of love is that love is all there is’
debra brown
Classmate
December 7, 2020
We were shocked and saddened when we heard the terrible news. He was definitely a light and we remember him as a kind, and energetic spirit.
We would like to send our deepest condolences to Jane and the boys, Eric and Connor, and to his family.
Gone too soon.
With love,
Mira , Steve and Dmitri
Mira King
Friend
December 7, 2020
A great-hearted man and an astonishing life...what an immense loss. We knew Johnny O as he flew through and around our cottages at lake okoboji with his improbable athletic abilities and endless sense of fun. He's inspired so many lives, and it's especially wonderful to think of his lasting impact on the lives of so many children. It's very hard and very sad to know he's gone, leaving the rest of us with a treasure of
john offut stories and indelible memories. Our hearts are with his family. It's a heartbreaking loss.
Grace Hoagland
Friend
December 7, 2020
John sounds like an incredible person; I wish that I had met and cycled with him. As a fellow member of Morning Glory Cycling Club, he sounds like a truly amazing person; just reading his obituary inspires me to reach for and do more. Thank you for sharing his story - I am positive his legacy will live on. My condolences and prayers to his family.
Katie Ozolins
Acquaintance
December 7, 2020
I knew John as a fellow realtor. I always found him insightful, optimistic,
and eager to assist. His ability to have balance in is life was inspirational.
Despite his demanding career, he always made time for his family.
David Rose
Coworker
December 6, 2020
I rode with John just once in Santa Barbara, but we talked about teaching, cycling, and life. I followed his rides in Toronto on Strava and wondered if I would see him again in Santa Barbara. Even though we only met once, I could sense a true love for life, travel, and adventure. Best wishes to his wife and sons.
John Gannon
Acquaintance
December 6, 2020
I had met John through the Muskoka cycling community. We rode together several times, exploring back roads while chatting the whole time, leaving me winded at the top of the hills trying to hold on to his wheel. John was “cool” - not only did he possess a museum-caliber collection of bicycles, but had many interesting stories and a refreshing outlook on life. He made me a better cyclist and pushed me to strive to be the best I could be, not only at sport, but in life - and how to get the most out of it! I commented on John’s last Muskoka ride he posted on Strava recently, and we exchanged some nice back and forth about riding together in 2021. While that won’t happen, I know he’ll still be out there (maybe in his fluoro pink jersey) giving us a draft.
Charlie Deeks
Acquaintance
December 6, 2020
Dear Kathy - I am so sorry to hear of this terrible tragedy - the loss of your brother in law, John. Undoubtedly an amazing man who led an amazing life - what an inspiration to all to actually live life, take chances, and be open to all possibilities. Please give my sincerest condolences to Jane and your whole family. Monica Brotto
Monica Brotto
Friend
December 5, 2020
My heartfelt thoughts and deepest prayers are with John's family at this time. John's sudden loss is gut-wrenching. He will be terribly missed by all those who had the privilege to known him and to have enjoyed his company on many adventures over the years. John was a shining light, a generous and supportive friend and someone who made the world a better place. May his amazing example and esprit de corps live on!
Hugh Agro
Friend
December 5, 2020
My condolences to the family. I remember John from his years working in real estate. I always thought of him as a unique and special person, and admired him greatly when he moved on to teach kids in an underprivileged, mainly new-immigrant section of Toronto. I know that John's character and example will carry on in all the lives he touched.
James Phillips
Acquaintance
December 5, 2020
I met John at teacher's college - we were the "old guys". The other things we had in common were cycling and running. John's passion for cycling was infectious, and we spent many hours riding together. John was generous with his time and the things he loved. John and his wife Jane graciously invited us to their cottage on many occasions. They honoured my wife and me by hosting our wedding rehearsal dinner at their home. John was a true gentlemen and through his teaching has inspired many children to be kind, generous, and adventurous. I miss you John. Thank you for touching my life. Dave Coutanche
Dave Coutanche
Friend
December 5, 2020
Our family is devastated by the loss of our dear friend John. Our friendship went back 30 years and our lives have been enhanced and made better for having friends like John and Jane. John was a gatherer of people. He loved his friends deeply and would always treat you like family the minute you entered his home for one of his legendary wine dinners. He was a teacher not to just the kids in his classroom but to all of us in his orbit. John loved life and loved his family. He spoke fondly of his boys and his wife, always touting their accomplishments. He was positive and energetic and a great listener. John will leave a huge hole at our table and in our lives. Our condolences and love to his amazing family Jane, Conor and Eric.
Alison and David Jarvis
Becky, Megan and Abbie Rudson
Alison Jarvis
Friend
December 5, 2020
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stephen still
December 5, 2020
We met John at Lake Joseph. What a kind and gracious man. Full of energy! We wish peace for Jane and family.
stephen still
Acquaintance
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