John was born on the 24th of June 1949 in Deseronto, the 2nd of three sons born to John (Jack) and Pauline Hutchinson. His early years were spent on various RCAF stations in Ontario and Quebec as the family followed the typical migration pattern of a young military family. Following the sudden death of Pauline’s husband in 1956 the family moved to Belleville, Ontario. After finishing his secondary education, in Belleville John moved to Toronto. He graduated with a teaching certificate and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Royal Conservatory of Music. He also attended University of Western Ontario and obtained a Master’s Degree in Library Science.
In 1983 John met and married his life partner Alicia Louise Desjardins. Alicia was also a gifted classical musician, teacher and vocalist. In the mid 1980’s they ventured outside of Canada, first on a teaching contract in Iceland and then, for several years, in England. While in London they presented themselves as a Cook and Butler duo and were employed at several prestigious properties. It was also while in London that John became a freelance photographer with special interest in the Royal Family. Being a member of the paparazzi involved a lot of standing around waiting for various royals to appear. Apparently he did this so frequently that Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother began recognizing him as a familiar face and would, on occasion, greet him by his first name.
Upon returning to Canada and for the remainder of their life together, they operated music academies across southern Ontario - from Kitchener to Ottawa.
Throughout his life he remained fascinated by music and was knowledgeable on issues ranging from the chants of medieval Gregorian monks through to the latest work by Lady GaGa.
John’s instrument of choice was the pipe organ, the bigger the better. These organs can produce a mighty sound that can literally shake the atmosphere. Few things brought him more joy than pulling out all the stops and shaking the timbers of an ancient church with Bach – Fugue in G minor.
In 2015 Alicia passed away suddenly and John endured his remaining years with resolution and determination. During this difficult period he was supported throughout by the Desjardins family, particularly his brother-in-law Douglas and sister-in-law Michelle.
John is survived by his mother Pauline Potts of Belleville, brother Tom (Shehnaz) of Edmonton and brother Fred (Norma) of Woodstock. While at the Kingston General Hospital ICU John was under the very professional care of Dr. H. Hobbs and the compassionate nurses of the Critical Care Team including Kathleen, Wendy, Laura and Andrea. Due to the extreme travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic only Douglas Desjardins and his partner Aaron were able to personally see John while he was at the hospital. The nursing staff provided comfort and support to both John and the family at a very high level of excellence.
According to John’s directives there will be no funeral or memorial service. His ashes will be placed, next to Alicia, in a niche at Capital Funeral Home and Cemetery, Ottawa.