John Symonds

August 15, 1931 to February 3, 2023


John Symonds passed peacefully away on Feb 3, 2023, after a short illness and a long, fulfilled life. A consummate gentleman, he loved a good gin and tonic, hated to go out without a blazer on and loved to spend time with his large circle of friends, particularly at the Duke of Duckworth.  He was an excellent conversationalist, always having a smile, a hug or a kiss for anyone who spent time with him sitting at ‘his’ seat at the bar.

He loved his time as a fighter pilot in the RAF, understated his successes competing in national and international fencing competitions, enjoyed his many business endeavours – both corporate and entrepreneurial – with many business associates along the way with whom he remained fast friends, and was a fierce scrabble competitor.

Dad was born in Pontypridd, Wales to his parents, Olive and George in 1931, and attended the Blackpool Grammar School in England with his sister Lona who later settled in Vancouver.  Unfortunately Lona, her husband Frank, and two of their children, David and Ann passed away too soon.  He was the first of his family to attend university – graduating with a Bachelor of Science (Economics) from the University of London.  His Royal Air Force and business careers brought him to Devon England, Gimli MB, Moose Jaw SK, Toronto ON and then Newfoundland.

He has missed his partner, Marian Abbott, terribly since she passed away seven years ago.  We know he is happy to be back together with her now.

Leaving to mourn, his family, whom he was incredibly proud of: his children Lisa Hutchens (Dale) and Chris Symonds (Nadine), (their mother – Sheila Symonds), and his two incredible grand-daughters, Heather Hutchens and Devyn Symonds.  He also leaves behind his niece Christine Kramer, nephew Michael Senior and their families, and his large circle of friends – particularly Clyde, Michele, and the Duke crew.

We would like to thank the compassionate staff of Kenny’s Pond Retirement Residence who took such good care of him over the past few months, and the kind and professional 4SA Nursing and Medical team at the Health Sciences Centre.

Cremation has taken place.  Burial and a reception to raise a glass to celebrate his life will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, feel free to pay it forward to a charity of your choice, a friend, or a stranger in need.

He lived a good, long life – his way.





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We met today and I neglected to extend to you my sincere codolences on your fathers passing. Yes I do remember him clearly from my early days Avalon Tel & Newfoundland Tel 343/348 Duckworth Street.

Best wishes to you for the futre in your corporate executive role.

To the Symonds Family: please accept my sincere condolences on John’s passing. John was most definitely a kind gentleman who was blessed with a long and happy life. I met both John and Marian in the late 80s and 90s in my downtown days and was so happy for them both when they got together. I am sure they are together again now which is what they would have wanted. .
Rest in Peace.

Lisa. Dale and family

Our sincerest condolences on John’s passing. He was a true gentleman, and we loved seeing him sitting at the bar, always looking so distinguished and with a warm smile for anyone that looked his way. He lived life to the fullest until the end. He will be missed

Heather Hickman and John Brattey

SO sorry to hear of JOhn”s death. I talked to him a lot some years ago. He was a fine man.

Lisa, Dale & Hutch

Thinking of you guys at this time, so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. We have heard many great stories about him over the years. If there’s anything we can do just let us know.

Sean, Tina & Shauna Bradbury

we were very sad to hear of your Dad, John’s passing.
Our condolences to you, Dale and Heather.
It was always a pleasure to talk with him, he had a youthful spirit and we won’t forget his warmth and charm. We are going to miss him.

Steve Fitzgerald and Fonda Bushell

My condolences to the family on John’s passing.
I will remember his kind smile and his always friendly and pleasant greeting whenever we met.
He will be missed.
Gus Bruce

Good bye darling John. He was a true gentleman, a wonderful conversationalist, and a good friend to many. And he was an amazing dancer! He will be so missed. Condolences and love to all his family.

Sorry to read of the passing of your Dad.
My condolences to you and your family
Theresa (Critch)

I was saddened to learn of your father’s passing. What a remarkable man and a life so well lived. I hope the heartache and acute sense of loos you and your family are feeling now will soon be replaced by warm memories of times together, and of the positive impact your father had on those fortunate to know him.
Chris Loomis

Sorry for your loss. Thinking of you during this difficult time.

To Lisa, Chris and Family
I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. As you know we were co-workers for many years and looking back I am so grateful for his ongoing support, guidance and interest in my career development. I always considered John a man ahead of his time, a thoughtful and caring person.
My condolences and best wishes.
Vince Withers

I wish to offer my condolences on the lost of John Symonds. He was one fine gentleman. My time with John goes back to the early 70’s when he was in a senior marketing role at Newfoundland Telephone Co. and I was a young graduate from MUN getting a start at my work life.
John’s door was always open and available for a chat and a bit of encouragement.. He was the best of mentors and I have very fond memories of him from those days .
Chris O’Dea

Lisa & Dale: I just read of John’s
passing. John is well remembered from Friday after work at the Duke with his family always close by. Sorry for your loss.Dennis Browne

Lisa, Dale and Heather – Our deepest sympathies to all your family during these days. The fond memories of your times together will last forever.
Derek and Susan Purchase

My most sincere condolences. I will miss his big hug and smile and kind words.

Lisa, Dale and Heather – Deepest condolences on the loss of your father and grandfather. A full and interesting life indeed, including forging a wonderful relationship with you. May your happy times with him bring you comfort at this time and in the months ahead.

Lisa, Dale, Heather and family,

We are all so sorry for the loss of your beloved father. What an amazing life he lived. He lives on in you all.

Much love from Lisa, Martin, Fiona and Elizabeth ❤️

John was a lovely man. May he rest in peace. I will miss bumping into him at the Duke. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time.

Lisa and Family. So sorry to read of your Dad’s passing. I remember your Dad from the good old days at Gray and Goodland on Water St, he was such a nice man. Please accept my sincere condolences, may fond memories help to bring you comfort in the difficult days ahead. Hugs!

Lisa. Sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. I am sure you have wonderful memories to cherish including your many Friday nights at the Duke. It was always great to see him there. Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.

sorry to hear about john

Lisa and family, I was so sorry to hear of your Dad’s passing. Through you I know he enjoyed life to the fullest and left many people with fond and loving memories. He will live on in your hearts and memories. Thinking of you.