Friday, November 9, 2007
Leaving The World Behind
It is with great sadness that I now must inform you that our dear John peacefully died at home on Thursday November, 8, 2007 with family at his side. While it was expected that he would succumb to his illness it still leaves us all with heavy hearts. John, as you know was so full of life and made such a difference in all of our lives. It will be a huge loss for us all.
John was comfortable until the end of his life and left our world with music still playing as he actively listened away. It is still unreal to our family and much too fresh for us yet to fully process, but the pain is real and we will now all mourn together. Judging by the hundreds of emails and letters that you have sent it is remarkable how many hearts he has touched and in such significant and personal ways. His children and I were just commenting on the significant impact and legacy he has left. It is rare for any one human being to have touched so many individually as well as globally, and to have left such personal imprints to such a large number of people. I always used to tell him what a lucky fellow he was to have been able to have made so many folks happy every time he works- regardless of where- just given the nature of his work which always resulted in smiles or feelings of joy. He was blessed to have been able to have been engaged in such an unique occupation all of his life which at the same time provided such pleasure to him.
The Irving Berlin song, "When I leave the World Behind" speaks of a man facing the prospect of his own mortality and the legacy that he would leave behind. The song refers to millionaires who contemplated their wealth and its distribution after death through a comparison to simpler folk, who without wealth aimed to leave behind peace and beauty. On the cover is Al Jolson, an entertainer on the American stage for several years.
From my perspective, John had the greatest wealth- in the things that matter. He had so many friends and folks who loved him, he had a family who adored him and he had talent across so many areas. To have been a performer and musician with such ability to entertain right up until the end of his life was the gift that he received. He leaves enormous wealth behind in his albums and CDs, his stories, his hundreds of concerts and their memories and anecdotes and the other very personal and unique ways in which he touched all of our hearts....
He was probably the wealthiest man that I have ever known and
I will not be the only one with tears tonight....
The official funeral announcement is posted below.
John has an email in addition to our post which is: firstname.lastname@example.org where messages will be received.
Arpin, John Francis Oscar
Died peacefully on November 8, 2007 at the age of 70, with his loving wife and family at his side. John was born in Port McNicoll, Ontario on December 3, 1936. He was an internationally acclaimed pianist, composer, arranger and performed in a variety of settings including upscale clubs and concert halls both as a soloist or with symphonies. He also produced and wrote music for several TV series, including TVO’s Polka Dot Door. John brought joy to many through his gift of music, his passion for and engagement in life and through his charm and wit. He will be forever missed by his wife, Mary Jane Esplen and his children-son, Bob and his wife Lynne; daughter Jennifer and her husband Steve Schaefer and daughter Nadine and her husband Majid Mohammadi, all of Toronto. John also leaves 4 grandchildren- grandsons Alexander and Kurt and granddaughters Nicole and Brianna. John is also survived by his brother, Leo of Midland, Ontario. John was predeceased by his mother, Marie Emelda Bertrand and father, Elie Regis Arpin. John and his family greatly appreciate the excellent care provided by the Temmy Latner Centre for Palliative Care, and treatments at Princess Margaret and Mount Sinai Hospitals, as well as services organized by Toronto’s CCAC (e.g. St. Elizabeth’s Nurses).
The family will receive friends at the HUMPHREY FUNERAL HOME – A.W. MILES CHAPEL, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Eglinton Avenue East) from 2-4 & 6-9 p.m. Thursday, November 15 and Friday, November 16. A Prayer Service will be held on Friday evening at 7:30 in the chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be held in ST. MICHAEL’S CATHEDRAL, 65 Bond Street on Saturday, November 17 at 10:00 a.m.
If desired, donations in John’s memory may be made to the St. Michael’s Choir School, 67 Bond Street, Toronto M5B 1X5, 416-393-5518; or The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO), 296 Jarvis Street, Unit 7, Toronto M5B 2C5, www.capo.ca. Condolences and memories may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.
Humphrey Funeral Home
A.W. Miles Chapel