It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, friend, scholar teacher, editor, jurist, futurist and advocate. A former Justice of the Supreme Court of B.C., John's legacy lives on in the remarkable contributions he made to the field of law and effective administration of justice.
John was born and raised in Calgary, the son of Dr. Charles Bouck, a well-loved and respected physician, and his wife Phyllis. After graduating from Central High School, John attended the University of British Columbia where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws in 1955.
John was blessed with many gifts and talents, all of which he used to their highest potential.
While attending university, John became Canadian Auxiliary Air Force, attaining the Rank of Squadron Leader and eventually flying T33 Silver Stars, Vampires and F-86 Sabres. After his discharge, John continued to pilot his family and friends all over North America in his treasured Piper Commanche ('CF-YGV').
A natural athlete, John was especially accomplished in racquet sports. He was Alberta Men's Singles Badminton Champion in 1953 and the BC Men's Single Badminton Champion in 1954. It was golf, however, that remained his foremost sporting passion until the last few months of his life.
John began his legal career as a sole practitioner in Vancouver in 1956. His practice quickly flourished in large part due to his boundless energy and enviable work ethic. In 1965 he founded the firm Bouck, Edwards, Kenny and Bray with (the former Mr. Justice) J.E. 'Jack' Edwards and Brent Kenny.
In 1974, John's achievements were recognized by Ottawa with his appointment to the bench. At 42, he was (and remains to date) one of the youngest appointees to the court. Many of his judgments remain the authority for a range of legal principles. John authored innumerable papers and articles; all designed to improve upon the justice system.
Within the legal community he is renowned for his publications including BC Annual Practice, CIVJI and CRIMJI, all of which have and will continue to grace courtrooms, offices and libraries for years to come. John retired from the bench at the mandatory age of 75. However, he continued to press for reforms through speaking engagements and his very 21st century law blog.
Many of John's friends and former colleagues were kind enough to send messages of support as his illness progressed. All of these messages buoyed John's spirit. One message in particular perhaps sums up who John was to the legal community: 'Every generation produces a star and in my mind you are one of them'.
John's children are especially grateful for the strength, devotion and love demonstrated by Shirley throughout their marriage and in his last days. Predeceased by his sister Marilyn, John is survived by Shirley, his best friend and beloved wife of 20 years, his children David (Barbara Major), Carolyn (Steve Irwin) and Susan Butler (Keith) and their mother Helen; grandchildren Max, Grace; Reid, Bryce; Liam, Elise and Cara; stepchildren Scott (Judy), Jan (Zolly) and Kimberley and their children Rori, Jamie and Julia; brother-in-law Rod McDaniel, nieces Nancy and Leslie; cousins in Sweden; and many, many friends and loyal colleagues.
The family wishes to thank all of the home care and nursing staff of Victoria Hospice who made John's final days easier. Very special thanks to his family physician and friend Dr. Walter Chow and Pranic Healer Andrea Thomas. Service to be held at 2 p.m. on January 27th at Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett Avenue, Victoria, BC, followed by a private reception from 4-6 p.m. at the Victoria Golf Club. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Victoria Hospice.