Apr 25, 2019

T-Bird 1075John Booth’s vey own Thunderbird 26, Leprechaun 1075

Victoria sailors and Thunderbird folks everywhere are mourning the loss of John Booth on April 8. His mostly one person company, Booth Enterprises in Victoria, was a pioneer in converting the plywood boat into fiberglass, thereby extending and enhancing the life of the class.

Booth’s dedication and skill matched the Thunderbird’s personality in many ways: eccentric but highly effective, unusual but beautiful in its own way, loved by those who knew it.

Below is John’s obituary as reported in the Victoria Times Colonist:

BOOTH, John Reginald Age 80 of Victoria, BC passed away suddenly on Monday, April 8, 2019. He died at his home of 51 years, doing what he loved - tinkering in his shop. John's passing leaves an immense hole in our family, with his friends, and in the many communities in which he embedded himself. He was loved by all for his kindness, generosity and incredible talent which he shared so freely. John was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan on September 5, 1938. As a boy, he grew up on the family farm, rode a horse to school and drove (and fixed) tractors and other machines. His family moved to Victoria when John was a teenager; he attended Victoria High School and later met "his girl", Valerie. The farm boy never left him, but the west coast was where his heart was. John loved the water. John BoothHe loved sailing, fishing, crabbing and watching the waves and wind from the perch of their Fairfield home. He loved the community on the water too - the activities they did together, and the stories that they shared afterwards and for years to come. And with each story, the wind was stronger, the waves bigger, or the fish even bigger still. John also loved his work and he wove his life around it. He was a builder; an inventor; a person that could make anything; a mechanical genius. He loved deconstructing and fixing things too - especially engines and motors. He enjoyed fixing old motors just as much as he liked complaining about them. It was the same for old vehicles. He always did so with great determination and respect for what someone else had built. His car and truck memories (fixing or driving) were some of his most repetitious and beloved stories to share. More than anything else, John loved his family and friends. His home and shop were homes to many and the doors were always open. He would be there in a heartbeat if anyone needed a hand, or if anyone was offering a beer or a coffee. He loved a party, an impromptu visit or a quick phone call. He appreciated everyone just as they were and never expected anything more of them. He only ever cared if someone was a good person; this was all that was important to him in determining friendship. John also loved the simple things: a favourable wind, peanut butter, a cold beer, old vehicles, his favourite chair, a good story, a good laugh, a new place to explore, a "good deal", an ice cream cone, a project (his or someone else's). John is survived by his daughters, Alison (Kerry) and Jackie (Trevor); his five grandchildren Shayna, Ashlyn, Maguire, Kale and Saul; his brother-in-law Brian; sister-in-law Heidi and nephews Alan, Stuart and Jeff. A Celebration of Life will be held on Wednesday, April 24th at 1PM at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers or donations, and in the spirit of John, please be kind and lend a hand to someone that needs it.

Published in Victoria Times Colonist from Apr. 17 to Apr. 18, 2019

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