John Partington often said,
“I may have to grow old, but I don’t have to grow up.”
Following this philosophy, he kept a childlike sense of fun and wonder at the world around him through adulthood. John loved to joke with and teach people of all ages, but had a soft spot for children.
Whether he was teasing or telling wild stories to his three daughters, younger sister, three granddaughters, or nieces and nephews, John had a loving twinkle in his eye. His caring way’s reached beyond children within the family to his daughters’ friends, youngsters raised by his neighbours, and even strangers. John’s daughter, Yvette, remembers him becoming an informal “big brother” to a neighbourhood boy when she was small, then taking other youngsters under the safety of his wing during subsequent years.
Students on his Pike Lake area school bus knew he had their best interests at heart. John unintentionally caused one young boy to panic by refusing to let him off the bus, after realizing nobody was home on a cold winter day. While that incident ended happily, John’s kindness also appeared on more solemn occasions. He once sat with a dying teenage friend of his daughter’s whose parents were out of town when the fatal motor vehicle accident occurred.
John’s second wife, Heather Macdonald, recalls the summer night she awoke to see him dressing at midnight, because he heard the cry of a scared child through the open bedroom window. Upon finding a toddler banished to the balcony of a nearby apartment building, he rushed home to call the authorities.
John grew up in Saskatoon with limited financial resources, a rich imagination and a lively sense of humor. While his childhood had its rocky moments, John grew up with a sense of responsibility. After attending King George School and Bedford Road Collegiate, he married his high school sweetheart, Lynn, and together they raised three daughters: Autumn, Yvette and Amber.
To support his family, John became a journeyman printer at Mercury Printers, then used his creativity during the linotype or hot type through computer years at the StarPhoenix. After being downsized from the newspaper, he worked at several Saskatoon print shops. John embraced new challenges and believed in living life to the fullest. His curiosity led to leisure activities ranging from training working dogs and competing at karate to canoeing, playing racquetball and golf, and taking classes on such topics as house building, computer repairs and Chinese cooking. In retirement, John felt blessed to have a loving family, and such toys as a computer, motorcycle, and trailer for camping. He shared his wealth mainly by contributing to organizations helping children.
When John died in November 2005 at the age of 64, it was only natural to create a fund supporting charities serving children and youth through the Saskatoon Community Foundation. At the time, his wife, Heather, was the Foundation’s Grants Manager, and understood the ongoing power of endowments in giving back to the community.