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1927 John 2023

John Ross Ligertwood

August 9, 1927 — November 16, 2023

John Ross Ligertwood died On November 16, 2023, at the age of 96. He was born on August 9, 1927 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to John Charles Murray Ligertwood and Florence Edna Ross and would be their only child. When he was 9 years old he held his father as he took his last breath, and thus began a lifelong endeavor to take care of the women in his life, beginning with his mother.

He graduated from Trinity College School in Port Hope, Ontario and he attended the University of Manitoba where he graduated as a Chartered Accountant. He moved to Toronto to be the General Treasurer of the Anglican Church of Canada and remained in that position for just shy of 40 years. He was a trusted and revered employee and friend to many at “Church House” and he felt so honored to receive the Anglican Award of Merit, the highest honor given to lay people who have contributed to the life and the work of the church at national and international levels. His work and travels caused him to find himself in some illustrious circles with some very well known individuals, but his deep humility kept him from ever thinking too highly of himself.

In 1961 he travelled to Ann Arbor, Michigan for an ecumenical youth conference and, while there, he caught his first glimpse of Mary Eleanor (Emmy) Cunningham. It truly was “love at first sight” as he popped some coins in a coke machine and a love story that would span 62 years began. John and Emmy were married on July 7, 1962 and it gave them great pleasure each year to prove the nay-sayers wrong, the ones who had given their marriage 5 years tops.

Their family grew with the addition of Barb, Liz and David and being a good, loving and trustworthy husband and father was by far his greatest accomplishment. He was very present in the lives of his children and showed them love and attention in so many ways. He was usually the breakfast-fixer in the family and many treasured moments were spent around the breakfast table as he read countless chapter books to his kids before they went to school. Weekend mornings were the best, though, because weekends meant waffles and they were his signature. Friends would want to sleep over just to get one of his waffles and it was a rich tradition that continued to the next generation.

The decades passed and the children married and before long John found himself the proud Grandpa to 9 grandchildren and eventually 4 great-grandchildren, all of whom he invested in greatly and deep relationships were forged. His wit and dry (okay, sarcastic) sense of humor were two of his trademarks and his love of reading coupled with his incredible mind caused his grandchildren to always try and convince him to give Jeopardy a shot. He loved attending their sporting events and became one of their most passionate cheerleaders.

In his later years, John rescued a dog who had been severely abused and Beau quickly became his shadow and fierce protector and they passed many pleasurable hours walking each other through the neighborhood. His commitment to Beau helped keep him up and moving every day, which in turn helped keep his body almost as strong as his mind up until the end.

The last few months found John a little unsteady on his feet and He became a frequent ER visitor. He was determined to live life to the full, though, and did not let the increasing number of falls keep him down for long. He was never one to readily (or even begrudgingly) accept help and he lived out his days with a quiet strength and determination. It would be a fall, resulting in a head injury, which would ultimately bring his life to a close, but it brings his family peace knowing he died with the same stubborn resolve that he had exhibited in living throughout his life.

At his death John left behind his beloved bride, Emmy Ligertwood, his daughter Barb and husband Tim, his daughter Liz and husband Brad, and his son David. He also leaves grandchildren Rachel, Benji (Grace), Jesse (Kelsey), Hannah and Caleb Cash, Bridget and Jack Kadelbach, and Holly and John Ligertwood, and great-grandchildren Cedar, Arrow, Selah and Beckett Cash.

A celebration of this life well-lived will take place in the spring of next year.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Ross Ligertwood, please visit our flower store.

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