John Walter Hodder

April 11, 1947 to October 1, 2021


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It is with deep and profound sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of John Walter Hodder, age 74 on October 1, 2021, with his wife Mary by his side. Predeceased by his brother Jim Hodder and their parents, Walter and Carrie (Caines) Hodder.

John was the beloved husband of Mary Pike and cherished father of Jill Hodder and granddaughter Chloe Stamp.

Leaving also to mourn our great loss are Bev Janes; sisters-in-law Catherine Hodder, Carol Guzzwell (Keith), Brenda Vaughan (Ken), Sandra Pike (Gabi Haberfeld); brothers-in-law Gordon Pike, Robert Pike (Debbie); nephews Jim and Thomas Hodder, Michael Vaughan; nieces Cheryl Schnegg (Eric), Carla Hodder-Drake, Cynthia van den Hanenberg (Mike), Allison Guzzwell, and Robyn Lynn and Jessica Pike; the Caines family; and a very large circle of friends, in particular his dearest friend, Irene Baird.

Over the course of each of our lifetimes, we all give parts of ourselves to others. In this respect, John was exceptional. As a public servant of almost forty-five years John worked in the Departments of Labour with the Labour Relations Agency; Fisheries and Aquaculture; Environment and Labour; and Workers Compensation.

However, John was the consummate volunteer, and to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador he gave what he always considered his highest achievement, the gift of public safety. Through John’s volunteer work with the Newfoundland Safety Council he pursued mandatory seat belt legislation, all-terrain vehicle legislation, and bicycle helmet legislation. He developed and oversaw the implementation of an occupational health and safety training section, motorcycle training program, Elmer the Safety Elephant program, and the baby-sitting training course. As a forty-two-year member of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering (CSSE), John originated the first-ever Newfoundland Occupational Health and Safety Week. This was the precursor to the Canadian Occupational Safety and Health Week, which then evolved into the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week. In 1985 John became the first Newfoundland and Labrador recipient of the CSSE National Service to Safety Award, the Society’s highest honour.

For almost fifty years, John was an active Kinsman with the St. John’s Kinsmen Club. The Kin motto “Serving the Community’s Greatest Need” entails doing for others, and alongside fellow Kinsmen he raised funds for a myriad of provincial groups such Big Brothers, Cystic Fibrosis, VON, and Multiple Sclerosis. In the spirit of Kin, John always forged linkages with other service and nonprofit organizations. For example, through Kinsmen the block parent program was brought to Conception Bay South in 1979. In 1987 John employed the Kinsmen network in the promotion of Canada Day throughout our province. In 1999 a member of the Lung Association Newfoundland and Labrador asked for his assistance in working with the provincial nonprofit sector, and he immediately began eighteen years of service as a volunteer board member. The Lung Association’s motto, “When you can’t breathe, nothing else matters,” ensured his dedication and commitment to improving the health of those who struggle to breathe. In an ironic twist of fate, in August 2017 John was diagnosed with Interstitial Lung Disease, which ultimately took his life.

In recognition of his lifetime of dedicated volunteering, John was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding community service in 2012, recognizing his long involvement in a wide variety of service organizations, including the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering, the Canadian Registered Safety Professionals, the Canadian Cancer Society, St. John Ambulance, Safety Services Newfoundland Labrador, the Lung Association Newfoundland and Labrador, the Atlantic Region Canadian Marine Advisory Council, the Royal Canadian Air Force Association, and the Association of Kinsmen, Kinette and Kin Clubs of Canada. In 1998 he was invested into the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem by the Governor General of Canada for his lifetime dedication to occupational health and safety. John received outstanding service awards from Hostelling International-Canada, the Canada Safety Council, and Kin Canada. John has received the commendations of Life Membership in both the Kinsmen Club of St. John’s and the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering.

John was a solid presence in the lives of his family and friends. To the many who sought his opinion or advice he gave thoughtful, measured answers. His calm demeanour and unruffled personality lent strength to others. John had a voracious interest in news that spanned local to international events. Political happenings were a favourite. John’s enviable memory and his ability to piece together snippets of information served him well in conversations with so many people from diverse backgrounds, that it was a pure pleasure just to listen to him make connections. As much as John gave service to provincial and national organizations, his heart was always with the individual.

To the members of the 150 (North Atlantic) Wing of the Royal Canadian Air Force Association, thank you. John treasured your friendships. During his twenty-two years with the Wing, John and was proud to serve on the executive as President, Vice-President, and Treasurer.

It takes courage to turn toward what is happening. In 2019 John became an active volunteer with the Canadian Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Together with his respirologist, Dr. Gokul Vidyasankar, these two dedicated men formed a provincial support group for patients and families affected with progressive lung disease. To Dr. Vidyasankar for your professionalism, your compassion, and your concern for John’s well-being, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We were blessed to have you on this journey with us.

To Gerri Murphy RN, thank you.

Thank you to the staff and residents of Lanes Retirement Living where John and Mary resided for the past month. All of you made our lives so much easier.

Resting at Carnell’s Funeral home, 329 Freshwater Road on Monday, October 4th from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. and Tuesday, October 5th from 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. Funeral service to take place at the Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist located at 16 Church Hill in S. John’s on Wednesday, October 6th at 11:00 a.m. Interment to follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Donations may be made to the Lung Association Newfoundland and Labrador PO Box 13457 Station A, St. John’s, NL A1B 4B8.




7-9 p.m. on October 4, 2021

2-7 p.m. on October 5, 2021

Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
View on Map


11:00am, Wednesday October 6th

Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Church Street, St. John's


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Please accept my sincere condolences. John was a sincere friend and a wonderful person in so many ways. May you all find strength in warm memories of a life well lived in service to others.

Mary, I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to you and the family. John’s loss will be felt by so many. May the love and support of family and friends bring you some comfort at this sad time.

Mary our sincere condolences. John was a gentleman and a tremendous person that gave so much of himself to all that he was involved with.
May he Rest In Peace.
Shawn and Judy Skinner

We are so sorry to hear about John’s passing. John was our first landlord here in St John’s. He was a true gentleman and good friend to my family. We will always remember his kindness and great smile.
Our deepest sympathies to Jill and Mary. Keep the memories close to your heart.
Pauline, Sandy and Claudine

My deepest condolences to Mary and all of Johns family and friends.
Such a lovely, kind, soft spoken, and thoughtful gentleman. It was such an honour to know him.

So sorry to hear of John’s passing. It’s an understatement to say that his passing is a loss to, not only his family and friends, but to the community at large. I knew John, primarily through my couple of stints on the Board of Directors of the Lung Association, where he served in many capacities, including Chair, during my tenure there. This charity and many others benefited greatly from his service and will feel the loss of his passing.
Sincere condolences to his family and close friends. His legacy will no doubt be a source of consolation.

Mary and Jill: So sorry to hear of John’ passing. John and I started our careers together at Workers Compensation and continued our friendship throughout the years. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. May he Rest In Peace.

Woodrow and Shirley French.

Mary, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

Mary, Jill & Bev, I was saddened to see this today. I have many fond memories of John, he was one of the best. Please take comfort in knowing John touched many lives and he will always be in your heart. Hugs.

Jill and Bev, you are in our thoughts and we send sincere condolences to you both. Linda and Vernon

Sending lots of love to you Jill and to all who loved your dad. He was a wonderful man and I know his love will live on through you and Chole. Look forward hugging you again soon. My heart is with you xo

John was a special person with special qualities. He gave so much to community and country and gave selflessly of himself and his time. I will remember him for his kindness, humour and dedication to our shared interest. Even though his memory lives on, I will miss him dearly.

Mary and the Hodder family,
Please accept by deepest condolences. I was very sad to hear that John passed away. I knew him when we curled together at Bally Haly. He was a very kind man with a beautiful personality. He will be missed .

Jill, Mary and Bev, from the bottom of my heart, please accept my most sincere condolences. I first met John, when we were student employees with the Department of Highways in Deer Lake in the early 60’s. It was many years later that we became co-workers again with the Department of Labour in St. John’s. As I write this I am experiencing a flood of wonderful memories of working and socializing with John. I have a collection of recipes that he shared with us through our many pot luck meals. Although I was not aware of all of the organizations that John was involved with, I was aware of many – because there was always a ticket to be sold. To my former co-workers, I am thinking of you as you remember John. Rest In Peace my friend.

Mary, I was saddened to hear of John’s passing. My deepest condolences go out to you and your family. I will keep you in my prayers, and may John rest in peace.

Mary D. Corcoran

Mary, Please accept my sincerest condolences on John’s passing. You can be comforted in knowing that John lived a life truly committed to making Newfoundland and Labrador a better place in which to live.

May he rest in peace!

Paul Thomey

Sorry for your loss. Thinking of you at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

It is with deep sadness that I learned of John’s passing. To Mary and John’s family please accept our deepest condolences..

To the Family and Friends of John. we offer ourr sincere condolences, RIP.

John was a colleague, a friend and a consummate volunteer. I was so happy we had the opportunity to share a coffee and catch up during my visit home last spring.
To Mary, Jill and family our sincere condolences. God speed my friend.
David and Patricia Clark
Moncton, NB

Mary and the Hodder Family,
My sincere condolences on the loss of John, husband, father, and grandfather. A real gentleman. God Bless ,Stay strong.

My deepest sympathy to Mary, Jill @ Cloe. John was truly a wonderful person. It was a pleasure to have worked with him at Labour Relations and to join him at our monthly suppers at Swiss Chalet with the girls. He will be missed by many.

We are so sorry to read this today.. I met John at Bishops College when he came from the west coast when his father was an MHA. We met again when Sam and I became part of the Kinsman family. He was a lovely man and was always community minded . He will certainly be missed. We send our sincere condolences to his family. Rest in peace John.

So very sad to learn of John’s passing. I had the privilege of working with John as a fellow political activist during my time in St. John’s. He was a wise and perceptive gentleman who will always be remembered. Our thoughts, Prayers and Condolences to the Hodder family.

Jill and Chloe,
So sorry to hear of your Dad/Grandfather’s passing. Thinking of you at this sad time. Heather Saunders

Sorry to hear of John’s passing. Knew “Jack” thru JIm and also thru Kinsmen. He was the ultimate Gntleman and Volunteer. Please accept my sincerest condolences. RIP John’
Mel Moores Stephenville and Bay Roberts

Mary. Jill & Family, please accept our condolences on John’s passing. Sincerely, Eric & Linda Bartlett

I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. I had the pleasure of working with him at the Labour Relations Division. He gave of himself in so many ways through his volunteerism and his legacy will be felt for many years to come. My heartfelt condolences.

I was sad to hear of John’s passing. I remember him fondly as a true gentleman and a valuable coworker at the Labour Relations Agency. I appreciated his intelligence and his comradery. Mary, Jill and Bev I am so sorry for your loss and I am thinking of all of you during this difficult time. Rest in Peace my friend.

I am saddened to hear of John’s passing & I pray that his family, & all those close to him will find some comfort during this dark time.
Please accept my sympathy ,
Dale C.

Mary and the extended Hodder family
We send our very sincere sympathy on John’s passing
John was a gentleman of the highest degree, always there to help others in any way possible.
I had the great honour of calling him a great co-worker in Provincial Fisheries, a very supportive colleague in the field of political advocacy and most of all a loyal and devoted friend.
May we all go forward with many pleasant memories of this wonderful man and continue to strive to be as good a volunteer as he was.

Ray and Joyce ANDREWS.

Rest in peace, John. Sincere sympathy to the family.

Mary and the entire Hodder family, I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. Our paths seemed to cross often, Labrador, university etc.., and it was always such a pleasure to see him and have a nice conversation. He was a wonderful person and will be sorely missed. May pleasant memories help sustain you at this difficult time and in the future. Rest In Peace, John. Claude Bishop

Mary I am so sorry for your loss.. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family..

I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing.
It was an absolute privilege to get to know him and work with him during our time with the Lung Association.
Please know that Stephen and I are thinking of you and wishing you strength and peace in the days ahead.

Mary, our sincerest condolences to you and your family. John was certainly one of the greats. He will be missed greatly and we are eternally grateful for all that he did to welcome us into the district when we were first getting started. His impact on our lives and those of others will be remembered for years to come.

Mary, i received a call tonight from my friend, Valerie Hill in Columbus, GA, who was reading her hometown newspaper and learned about John. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time..

Condolences to the family. We have very fond memories of Jack as e called him. Kathleen, Jack and myself were founding members of the young liberal association as the Burgeo = lapoile reps. May his sould rest in peace.

I knew John for many years through the Kinsmen Club i was a long time member of the Clarenville club,i had many coffees at MacDonald’s in St John’s with John,he always had that big smile for everyone when met you it is very sad to hear of your passing old friend for sure but may you rest in peace you will surely be missed

Mary and family, I am so sad to hear of John’s passing. I have many fond memories of John during my time at the Lung Association. John was more than a board member he was an advocate for the people we served and for the staff. . With much sadness and respect.

Mary, I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to you. Take care,

We have lost a wonderful person., a volunteer extraordinaire and an individual whom you were proud to call your friend.
Our heartfelt sympathies.
Loyola and Maureen Hearn

Mary, so sorry for your loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with you during this very difficult time.
Cathy and Neil

To the entire family and community I offer sincere condolences on John’s passing. I remember John from Kinsmen so many years ago and since then volunteering his time for Kinsmen fundraisers. He was a sincere gentleman and was a valuable member to his community. RIP John

Mary and Jill I’m so sorry to be reading this. John was a very special man with a heart of GOLD so much compassion for others. When Jon asked “How ya doing” he truly wanted to know.. When I first moved to Newfoundland John gave me a place to stay and so much more, he gave me a lifelong friend. Mary and Jill know that I would be there but I’m in Calgary right now.

Mary, Jill & Chloe and all the family, my sincerest condolences on the sad loss of a dear wonderful man. He touched my life briefly during my time at the Lung Association, but had a life long affect. He was so caring, thoughtful, attentive and supportive to say the least. His integrity and kindness was noteworthy. All the kind words I’ve read here about him are well deserved.

It was an honor my friend.

Mary and all of John’s Family. We echo all of the beautiful tributes to John and his contribution to all of Society. We are saddened to hear of his passing and know that you have many wonderful memories which we hope will help you through this sad time and beyond. Sending deepest condolences. Maude Peach

My deepest condolences, Mary. Cherish those memories you will always have and which will often come to mind unexpectedly to bring both joy and a loving smile.

My sinncere condolences to the family. So sorry for your loss .A truly wonderful man…may he rest in peace.
Sincerely, Pauline

Mary, Jill and Families,
Freda and I extend our deep sympathy, and condolences in John’s recent passing,. We had know John for only a few years however, we’re alway’s taken by his strength of character,professionalism and his easy manner when speaking to a group or one on one,

May his legacy of Love, Laughter and the Many Happy Memories you both shared, keep You Buoyed during this difficult time. John’s Spirit will always be near You and he is but a breath away.

You and Yours will be kept in our hearts and prayers.

Wayne and Freda

Jill, Mary and Bev, so sorry to of john’s passing. I know you have had many wonderful times with John to remember him by. All of his Kin friends have many great memories and community service experiences with John as well. John’s thoughtfulness and desire to contribute to our community made everyone’s lives richer.

John always had a twinkle in his eye, a story, and an interesting point of view. Anytime we spent an evening with John and Mary, over dinner or a beer, or more recently over zoom, we came away better off for the experience. Our heart goes out to our dear friend Mary. Our deepest condolences to John’s entire family. We will miss him, his kindness and gentle humour, and can only imagine how much he’ll be missed by his family. He will live on through everyone who knew him.

So very sorry to learn of John’s passing. It was during our many years in Kinsmen together that I came to know John. well and I always enjioyed workomg with him on projects, committees and campaigns. . His commitment to the Kinsmen organization was unequalled.
Our condolences to the family.

I had the pleasure of getting to know John and his wife Mary at Lanes Retirement Living. It was an honour getting to know him over the past month, and I will miss our chats at the dining room every day. My sincere condolences to Mary and the whole family.

Mary and the Hodder family,,
We were sorry to hear of John’s passing, Please accept our condolences.
“It is in giving that we receive, in pardoning that we are pardoned and in dying we are born again to eternal life.”
Through Kinsmen and St. John Ambulance we were blessed to have worked with John, a truly giving person. May he rest in peace.
Gary & Barb Davis

We were so saddened to hear of John’s passing. Sincere condolences to you all.

Mary and Family…we were so saddened to hear about John’s passing. Our memories of John was a man of kindness, caring, and a “true” gentleman. Rest assured you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers as you grief the loss of such a great person, John.

Mary, my sincere condolences to you and your family on John’s passing. May he Rest In Peace.

My sincere condolences to Mary and John’s family

Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time.

Reuben& Ruth Hatcher

Sorry for your loss Mary. Our thoughts are with you and the family at this difficult time.

Tom & Ruth Donovan, Calgary

Condolences to Mary and family. John was a wonderful and gentle soul. It was always great running in to him and you can be certain that he made time to stop and chat. Blessings to you all as you grieve. Hold dear all of the beautiful memories that you created together.

I was saddened to hear about John’s passing. I worked with John for many years at the Dept. of Fisheries and Aquaculture. He was a fine colleague and public servant. His dedication to community and public service was outstanding. He always found time to share his advice and guidance with me. Rest in Peace John.

Mary, I am so sorry to hear about John. I have so many memories of him coming into the shop with his paper under his arm and enjoying a cup of coffee. He was such a lovely man. I am thinking of you and hope you are somewhat comforted by your happy memories. Please accept my sincere condolences at this time of sorrow. Judi

Mary, we are so sorry to hear of John’s passing. You are certainly in our thoughts & prayers & we hope that knowing others care so very much give you comfort during this difficult time..

It is with great sadness that i learned today of the passing of Jackie Hodder, my best friend of our early childhood. I always remember him fondly. His life has been a blessing to many people and organizations. May he rest in peace and rise to a glory he so richly deserves.

I wish to pass on my condolences to John’s family and friends. (I only just came across the obituary; hence the delay in sending this message.)

I met John in 1967, when we both worked at the IOCC pellet plant in Labrador City. That was a hard scrabble place to work, and the labour turnover was very high. Yet, John stuck it out for as long as he planned to be there.

I can still see his face, smudged with pellet dust, but with a lovely, engaging smile on his face. Attracted by his warm demeanour, I became part of his small circle of friends, and we spent many hours together, with mining-town poker as part of the social glue.

We lost contact after then, but re-connected in 1982. I had moved from St. John’s to Halifax the previous year, but I returned in May 1982 to produce a 10-part radio documentary on offshore oil and gas . Having heard some of the initial programs, John contacted me in order to inform me — on the QT — of a serious deficiency in the provincial government’s offshore policies and practices.

Notwithstanding the Peckford government’s bold assertions about exerting control over the offshore, labour relations — as we learned after the demise of the Ocean Ranger — were terrible and there were no occupational health and safety procedures being followed.

Without divulging my source, I broadcast an interview with the Department of Labour Assistant Deputy Minister in which he conceded that, indeed, there had been a vacuum in this regard, which contributed to the deaths of 84 people.

I can still remember meeting over coffee with John. He was calm, reassuring and professional. Such a decent, caring person, who believed in public service, in the broadest sense of the concept.