John Hull of Portage la Prairie, MB passed away peacefully with his family by his side on January 11, 2021 at the age of 74 years.
John was born in Fredericton, NB on July 9, 1946 to Shirley and Geraldine (nee Hanson) Hull, the eldest of four children. In his formative years, he was raised in McAdam and Fredericton, NB.
Prior to obtaining his class 1 license in 1973 and having a 42 year career in driving transport with well over three million miles of accident free driving, John had worked as a chef in the food service industry in New Brunswick and Ontario. Cooking became second nature to John, perhaps due to being the fourth generation in the Hull family to work in this profession. He was proud of the fact that he could make homemade bread at the age of ten!
In the early sixties, after completing a sous chef course through the CPR, he worked at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, ON and in the CPR Dining Cars. Over the next several years, not necessarily in this order, he worked at the Thornhill Golf and Country Club in Ontario, The Lord Beaverbrook Hotel, the University of New Brunswick, Watts Restaurant in the Silverwood Hotel in Fredericton, NB and the Algonquin Hotel in St. Andrews NB, as well as occasionally helping his father and grandfather with banquets and buffets.
On July 16, 1965, he started working at Carman’s Diner in St. Stephen, NB. That is where he met summer High School student Patricia ‘Pat’ Appleby who was working there also. The attraction was instantaneous between them. They dated for almost two years and were married in Scarborough, ON on April 21, 1967 (Centennial Year). That same year, they moved back to New Brunswick to be closer to their families after a tragic car accident took the life of Pat’s 17 year old sister Brenda.
Now back in New Brunswick, John continued to cook in the food service industry. They decided to start a family, and on February 20, 1970 their first child, son John Patrick was born. Two and a half years later, second son Robert Allan was born. The family moved to Brandon, MB in the mid-seventies. Prior to that, John had been driving semi-trucks and worked for Fritz Carson Trucking Co. in St. Stephen, NB. Once in Manitoba, he drove truck for Arnold Brothers, Paul’s Hauling, Motorways and TransX trucking companies.
Unfortunately to say, John and Pat separated and were divorced in the mid 80’s and went their separate ways.
John met Yvonne Shannon from Alexander, MB, and they were married in 1989. They moved to Stonewall, MB where John bought his first 18 wheeler. He drove for TransX and then drove for Day & Ross. For several years during potato harvest time, John would take a few weeks and drive truck for Rivertrail Potato Company. Yvonne worked for the company also. In 2004 they moved to Fannystelle, MB where again he worked for Heartland Transport until 2010. John sold his truck and retired. From there, they moved to Portage, MB.
John decided to work a little longer, and appreciated getting a job driving a gravel truck for E.F. Moon Construction Company in Portage la Prairie, MB.
Over his lifetime, John loved being with family and friends, fishing, hunting, boating, playing crib, socializing at the Legion and the Army & Navy, gardening, watching all kinds of sports on TV, as well as going to live games… Hockey, including the Brandon Wheat Kings, Portage Terriers and Winnipeg Jets, football, and his favorite sport, baseball where he enjoyed the Blue Jays. In his early twenties, he played hockey himself for an Industrial League in Fredericton, NB.
John and Yvonne parted ways in 2012. From this marriage he leaves behind stepdaughter Kathy (Mike), her mother Yvonne, step granddaughters Krystal and Brittny, great granddaughter Arianna and several lifelong friends. For several years, this family was a huge part of John’s life, and he theirs. He will be greatly missed.
John stayed in Portage, MB and retired from E.F. Moon in 2016. A few years earlier, John and Pat reunited and were remarried on April 21, 2017. As mentioned, family and friends both past and present were an important part of his life. He loved his sons and he wanted them to know he was proud of them. Pat reassured him they knew that although she promised him she would tell them what he said!
John and Pat had the opportunity to travel and visit family, relatives and friends in Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick and Maine, USA. They also really appreciated relatives and friends who visited them in Portage.
Although John thoroughly enjoyed living in Manitoba, he never lost his love for New Brunswick, especially spending time at Cousin (Brian Kelly & family) cottage at Davidson Lake outside of Fredericton, NB.
In July 2019, John was diagnosed with prostate cancer that had metastasized to his bones. Prior to that, John was doing well even though he had Parkinson’s Disease.
I would be amiss not to mention that there were prophetic words spoken intertwined in John’s life story!
John will be cherished and lovingly remembered by his wife Patricia ‘Pat’ (nee Appleby) of Portage la Prairie, MB, sons Johnny Hull (Tammy Baker) of Winnipeg, MB and Robert (Kristy) Hull of Bashaw, AB, grandchildren Sarah (Marlon) Emily (Levi) and Michael as well as their mother Sherry Hull, granddaughter Janie Rae Hull and her mother Tannis Randell, grandsons Jorden, Cody and Walker, step grandchildren Kaitlyn (Sheldon), James (Julie), Megan, Natalie (Brandon), Richard and Adam, along with step great-grandchildren Archer and Milo, and great-grandsons Jesse and Kai and his mother Marissa.John also leaves behind sisters Judy Stamm and Jan Hull of Coburg, ON and sisters and brothers-in-law Joan (Carl) West of Kelso, WA, USA, Barbara (Robert) Blake of Brandon, MB, Coleen (Fred) Fox of Calais, ME, USA and Marion (John) O’Ray of Sandford, MB, as well as many uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and several close friends.
John was predeceased by his parents Shirley and Geraldine (nee Hanson) Hull (1985), brother Jeff Hull (2010), mother and father-in-law Frances (1992) and Norval (2010) Appleby, brothers-in-law Gary (2015) and Ed (2010), sister-in-law Brenda Appleby (1967) and brother-in-law John Appleby (2015).
The family extends their thanks to all those who showed their care and concern with cards, texts, phone calls, flowers, food, gift cards, covid hugs, helping with snow removal and in so many other ways. We would also like to thank Dr. Nagra and the doctors and staff at Portage District General Hospital and Carman Memorial Hospital, as well as John’s Cancer Care drivers.
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little-but not too long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me-but let me go
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the Master's plan
A step on the road to home
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me but let me go.
A get together to celebrate John’s life will be held at a later date.
If friends so desire, donations in John’s memory may be made to Parkinson Canada,
7 – 414 Westmount Dr., Winnipeg, MB R2J 1P2, Central Plains Cancer Services, 318 Saskatchewan Ave. E., Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0K8 or to a charity of one’s choice.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com