Cover photo for John Birnie's Obituary
1928 John 2022

John Birnie

February 22, 1928 — July 23, 2022

Gravenhurst

John Thomas Birnie
February 22, 1928 – July 23, 2022 (age 94)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of John Thomas Birnie, 94, in the morning hours of Saturday July 23rd.


Dad was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1928, and although he loved Scotland very much, he and his brother had suffered hard beginnings as wee boys growing up in Edinburgh and as a result dad was anxious to get away.  So, at age seventeen, he joined the Royal Navy and sailed on the HMS Kenya where he experienced great comradeship and enjoyed seeing many different parts of the world.  Eventually he returned to Edinburgh where at age twenty-two he met mum at the popular dance hall of its time, the ‘Palais de Danse’.

Dad was a beautiful ball room dancer and could break into a jive at the drop of a hat.  He also had a wonderful singing voice and was fabulously, fabulously handsome.  Dad exuded charm, had great wit and an equally great sense of humor, and, most importantly to mum, he was a gentleman.  Mum was smitten and they were married in 1951 at St. Andrews Church Edinburgh before immigrating to Toronto Canada in 1952.

When mum and dad eventually moved to Gravenhurst in their retirement years, they became members of the Gravenhurst Seniors Club where dad greatly enjoyed his weekly endeavor (to win!) at poker and where he enjoyed joining the Scottish Country Dancing troupe.  And dad was very well known for his Scottish shortbread cookies that he loved to make and give out to the senior’s members, the girls at the post office, the bank, the Anglican Church and to friends and family.  His dog Sandy girl was particularly fond of his shortbread having taste tested it for him for seventeen years!  Dad loved Sandy and always proclaimed that she was the best dog in the world.

When mum passed last year it took a great toll on dad, he had never been without mum in seventy years and didn’t want to go on without her by his side.  He had a strong heart though which kept him going even as his health was failing.

But you finally got your wings dad and I know you are happy now with mum and with God which is what you have been waiting and hoping for since mums passing last August.  And you are with your beloved big brother Freddie, finally reunited again after all these years apart.  And of course, with your beloved Sandy girl.  Yes, she really was the best dog in the world.

Much, much loved husband of Dorothy Henrietta (Booth) Birnie, children Jan Birnie and John Birnie, grandfather of Robert (Bethany) Birnie, James (Amanda) Birnie, and Daniel (Chelsea) Birnie, great grandfather of Audrey, Julian, Cora, Jillian and Jordan, beloved brother of Frederick Birnie (deceased), uncle of David and Alan Birnie, great uncle of Taine and Keiran Birnie.  He will be greatly missed by everyone.

Gus an coinnich sinn a rìs athair…



The family kindly requests please do not send flowers, in memory donations to your local humane society to help those to help the animals would be appreciated.

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