John Houghton

Obituary of John Edward Houghton

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                                        John Edward Houghton

John was the humblest of men and a loving father and grandfather. Born on October 12, 1931 in Atholville, New Brunswick to Ted and Eva Houghton, he was the oldest of four and a role model to his brother and two sisters. He met his wife, May Ella Boudreau, fixing a flat tire on her bike while working a summer job at a gas station in Campbellton. They were married on July 17, 1954 and then moved to Peterborough, Ontario where John began his career after graduating with an Engineering degree from Technical University of Nova Scotia.

John was quickly recruited by the pulp and paper industry and moved his family to a number of small towns in Quebec, including Shawinigan (where his daughters Susan, Anne and Margaret were born), Grand’Mere, Port Alfred, Baie Comeau and, finally to St. Catharines Ontario. He served as President and CEO of Ontario Paper Company until his retirement in 1993 and contributed his time and talents serving on many boards in Ontario, Quebec and the U.S.

John’s successful career, however, always came second. His wife and three daughters were his top priority, creating a close knit, loving family and cherished memories that would last forever. His deep love of family carried over to his 5 grandchildren, always listening, offering advice, attending recitals, graduations and sporting events. His best advice to his children during difficult times was “Tomorrow will always be a better day.”

John was an avid golfer and salmon fisherman. As a former Chairman of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, John took great interest in the protection and conservation of the salmon fishing industry. Many treasured times were spent fly fishing at Camp Watchichou, Quebec where May Ella would often out fish John. But it was the simple pleasures of casting a rod wherever he could that gave him peace and happiness. In the words of his oldest grandchild, Ted Kirkpatrick, in John’s 80th birthday tribute book:

“In the dying glow of the cascading light He'd be casting away hoping nothing would bite.”

John’s love of family, compassion, sense of humor and humility will stay with us forever. He was a role model and mentor for us all and we aspire to emulate the way in which he lived his life.

John is pre-deceased by his loving wife of 66 years, May Ella and is survived by his sister Janet George (Bruce) and his 3 daughters: Susan Fenton (Michael), Anne Kirkpatrick (Michael) and Margaret Lailey (David). He is also survived by 5 grandchildren: Ted Kirkpatrick, Daniel Kirkpatrick, Charles Lailey, Anna Lailey and Jack Fenton.

The family would like to extend deep thanks and appreciation for the outstanding care and compassion provided by the staff at Pioneer Elder Care (Vine St) and Dr. Jayawardene and the staff at the Royal Henley Retirement Residence.

Visitation and funeral service will take place at the George Darte Funeral Home, 585 Carlton St., St. Catharines.

Visitation: Wednesday, January 17 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. Funeral Service: Thursday, January 18 at 11:00 am.

Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a donation to United Way Niagara, an organization John strongly supported. 



4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
George Darte Funeral Home
585 Carlton Street
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Cremation has taken place

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Thursday, January 18, 2024
George Darte Funeral Home
585 Carlton St.
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Cremation has taken place
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