MacDermid roots are deep in our Raven Lake community, and none deeper than Jack’s. We lost Jack this past week, and while things just won’t be the same without him, we will all continue to benefit enormously from his 54 years on the lake. His legacy is everywhere.
Jack was an RLCA director and the Association’s “buoy fairy” for many years. He knew every inch of the lake from years of discovering and marking shoals, and while out dropping buoys he was as likely to stop by for a chat as drive by. His kids and grandkids are the same way. Jack was up for everything: fishing, water-skiing into his 80s, regattas, jetskiing, snowmobiling, Ravenstocks, corn roasts, Jack was always there, smiling quietly… His big tinnie with Hilda in the bow announced that the family was back on the lake and everyone knew if a situation arose on the lake, they would be there to help. That family trait lives on today.
Hilda and Jack built their cliff cottage in 1967 as a “Centennial Project”, erecting first the shed down at the shore so the family of four had some place to sleep while Jack built. No doubt John learned a great deal from that experience. Jack came by his pioneering spirit honestly; growing up on a farm near Cornwall where, if something needed fixing, you fixed it; if someone needed help, you helped them. A close friend and neighbour for 46 years describes Jack as the nicest man he ever met: “He never boasted. A true BFF. Always friendly, generous and welcoming, a man who left the fish he caught in the lake for someone else to catch tomorrow. The very model of the Raven Lake Spirit.” That spirit shines bright in so many that Jack touched, most strikingly in his kids and grandkids.
We will all remember Jack in different ways, but for many his quick smile and concern for our community will come to mind every time they pass one of the yellow minion buoys wearing those silly goggles. “What a wonderful lake!” we muse, as an inescapable smile begins… and that’s exactly the way Jack would want it.
–– Harry Wilson