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1928 - 2020
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JOHN ROSS MACLACHLAN 1928 - 2020 Athlete, Soldier, Diplomat, Artist "Big John" was captain of football and varsity sports at both Walkerville Collegiate in Windsor and later at the Royal Military College in Kingston. Upon graduation from RMC as an officer in the Canadian Army he married Kingston born Mary Hawley, who blessed him with three wonderful children. Following one-year service in Korea he attended Queen's University and graduated in 1955. His military career postings included Gagetown, Whitehorse, Canadian Army Staff College in Kingston, Ordinance Corps School in Montreal, and Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. He resigned as Major in 1966 to join the Canadian Foreign Service. Diplomatic assignments abroad included Consul to the Philippines, Attaché in Trinidad, Consul in New York, Consul in Hong Kong, Consul General in Birmingham England, High Commissioner to Guyana with dual accreditation as Ambassador to Suriname, and finally two years as Minister-Counsellor in London England. John and Mary retired to Victoria where they established a network of tremendous friends with whom they enjoyed years of entertaining and wonderful times. John loved nature and the big outdoors, capturing many beautiful scenes through water colour paintings and photography of birds and flowers. John was predeceased by his forever beloved wife Mary in 2001 and their 33-year-old beautiful daughter Karen in 1992. Former President of the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club, John played for many years with Betty Walker who later became his loving, longtime companion. He is survived by his two sons Ross (Darcy) and Robert (Heather) along with five wonderful grandchildren; Sean, Shane, Ally, Laura, and Julia.

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Published in The Globe and Mail from May 16 to May 20, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
June 1, 2020
I remember John and Mary's wedding. It was a clear, sunny day with a reception on the lawn at Hillcroft, Mary's family home. They both looked gorgeous, standing on the wide veranda of that grand house. More recently, when I was living in London, England I was walking down the street, admiring a very handsome couple approaching me. As they came nearer I realized they were my cousin Mary and her husband John. We laughed and hugged and promised to meet up later in the week, which we did. Thank you, John, for some beautiful memories.
I offer my condolences to everyone who knew him.
JoAnne Hawley
May 27, 2020
Hello Ross and Robert,
Your father lived a good life and a long life; how fortunate, but still difficult to say goodbye to the ones we love. I hold many happy memories of times we all shared in Trinidad in the late 1970s. So sorry that we only reconnect for memorials; you may remember my mom Margot and I attended Karens funeral all those years ago. Id love to see you guys sometime! I live in a floating home on the Fraser near Vancouver.
Katherine Hammond
May 23, 2020
My sincerest condolences to Ross, Robert, their families and Betty.
Our family Hugh, Babs,, Greg and I Heather Devitt had the immense pleasure and joy of being next door neighbours in Whitehorse in the early 50's. My parents were lifelong friends of John and Mary. My Dad was with John at R.M.C. John was generous, funny and above all so very kind. May he be with the angels now.
Love, Heather
Heather Devitt-Lalonde
May 19, 2020
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Lori English
May 18, 2020
Our sincere condolences to the family and Betty Being a member of the Devitt clan we met John through cousin Hugh Devitt one of John's classmates and as well through lawn bowling here in Victoria. John had a life well lived served Canada well in many aspects and was a class act in all respects. May he now rest in peace.
God bless him and all in his family.
Celia and Bruce Devitt.
Bruce Devitt
May 17, 2020
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
May 17, 2020
Our condolences to the MacLachlan family and to Betty Walker. We will always remember John's great smile and his welcoming personality. Jeanne Mermer and Nick Watkins
Nick Watkins
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