John Henry Purkis

08-Apr-1917 - 18-Mar-2019

Obituary Overview

In Loving Memory


Purkis, John Henry

John slept into eternity on March 18, 2019 with no pain, no worries, in his 102nd year, at Kingsdale Chateau. He was predeceased by his first wife Eunice, a loving father of Sandra (Atulesh) Nandi, John (Diana), Ian (Katrin), Leslie (Graime Haynes) and Lise (Alex Zalac), 12 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. Shirley Brooks Purkis, his second wife, brought Lyn (Kathleen), Guy (Joan) and Alana (Rick Jesser) into the fold.

After 2 years working as a civilian for the war effort in Canada, John enlisted in the Canadian Armed Forces and served from 1942 to 1946 in England, Belgium, Netherlands and the occupation of Germany.   He was billeted in Holland when it was liberated and maintained lasting connections with that family to this day.  

Upon returning to Canada, John enrolled in Queens University in Commerce, graduating in 1948, earning his CA in 1953 and was elected a life member of The Institute of Chartered Accounts in 1995.  After graduation, Alcan was the next step in his life-long learning career, moving with his expanding family to Saguenay, Kitimat, back to Chicoutimi, Montreal and 11 years in Spain. 

He retired in Kingston in 1983, having been Chief Financial Officer in Spain and assistant to the Chief Executive Officer in Montreal. Not one to sit on his laurels after retirement, John acted for a few years as a consultant to Alcan, serving on the Alcan Pension Board into his 90’s, and then was owner, director and tax consultant with an accounting company originally started by his son, Ian.    

He was most proud of the role he played in helping to relocate the Seniors’ Centre to their current location. John was President Queens Commerce ’48, Promoter Commerce’48 Endowment Fund, past President Kingston Seniors’ Association, elected member Queens University Council and past president Quebec Federation of Home and School Associations among numerous other interests.  Just last year John and Shirley were presented with the Outstanding Philanthropist Award by the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. 

Apart from the more serious side of John’s many interests, he loved to dance, party, travel exploring the world, and be with beloved family and friends. As was said about him many years ago by a dear friend, “He is the only man I know who is without guile.” 

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm Tuesday, March 26 at St. John’s Anglican Church in Portsmouth, reception to follow in the church hall.

Memorial donations can be made in John’s memory to the Salvation Army, an organization dear to his heart, or the charity of your choice.

Funeral Details

  • Memorial Service

    St. John's Anglican Church

    Event Times:

    26-Mar-2019 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

More Details & Directions

Posted by George & Diane Luck | 26-Mar-2019

Dearest Shirley: John was such a wonderful friend and supporter both at The Seniors Centre and outside. He brought a clear head and a calm voice to any discussion and he was always someone to go to for sage advice . He will be missed. We are so glad you had so many wonderful years and adventures together! We won't be with you at the service today as we are in Florida, but know our hearts are with you. as always! George & Diane Luck xxx

View More
Posted by Allan and Linda Rimoin | 23-Mar-2019

Shirley and family We are so saddened to know that John is no longer with us. What a wonderful man, and what a wonderful friend. Shirley, You'll always have the memories of the great trips you took together, and the amazing parties that followed after you returned home. The first time we met you, you were both in your 80's with the energy of 50 year olds, always enjoying life together, and taking such good care of each other. John will be remembered and missed by everyone whose lives he touched. With love from your friends, Allan & Linda Rimoin

View More

Express your condolences

Send a sympathy bouquet.