John Robert MacArthur

August 21, 1951 – September 23, 2019

“This to shall Pass” was one of his favorite sayings, and it did.

John departed on September 23, 2019 peacefully at home in his favorite chair with his son and wife by his side.
John chose MAiD, (Medical Assistance in Dying). For good reason, he didn’t believe he was placed on earth to soldier through years of pain. When faced with death he accepted it as his final piece of the circle of his life. I walked alongside a man who believed in a higher power and the journey was of inspiration, courage, and love. Like Josh Groban’s song “ I am strong when I am on your shoulders, you raise me up to more than I can be.” That is what John did. When asked how he was, he was always “awesome and unbelievable”. Was John perfect, no. But
every day was a new day and a new opportunity to improve. John was an anomaly considering what he was living through! He was blessed with a quick wit that would have you in a belly laugh now! That wit never ceased and was there right through to the end. Stating: “I hope I don’t get Air Canada when I die!”

It is with deep love that we celebrate the life of John MacArthur.
John was the son of the late Stewart and Ruth (Taylor) MacArthur. John was born in Truro, Nova Scotia and spent his first 15 years there going to Willow Street Elementary School. The family moved to Halifax in 1966, where they lived for 5 years, and then moved back to Truro.
John attended Kings College School in Windsor, Nova Scotia where he was a Bugler in the Cadet Corps’ band. He left high school to attend the Constance Spry School of Floral Design in England, on graduating he came home to marry his first wife Donna Mills, and work for the Truro Florist for a few years. In 1973 John and his brother Jim opened MacArthur Brothers Photofinishing. After a successful few years they closed their business and John went on to work for Carsand-Mosher photographic as their Portrait Retoucher and Print restorer.

John’s extreme love and passion was for Cars and Racing and more Cars. Driving with him was like being the interviewer in a popular car and driver show, with a flood of rich and wonderful tales from his racing days in the east coast and plenty of history and facts about any vehicle around us on the road. He was a member of the Alantic Sports Car Club. He obtained his Competition Drivers Licence from the Competition Driving School in Debert in 1971 and raced his 1968 Cortina. At the end of first year racing he was awarded rookie of the year for Atlantic Canada. In 1983 he competed with Super Kart at Atlantic Motorsport Park near Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. “Driving gave me peace, it was like meditating and being at one with the car.” “There is no difference from the flesh and the metal,” he would reminisce.

John was a “Natural Artist” and a self-taught Calligraphist. It was his interest in Art that moved him from Nova Scotia, to Brampton, Ontario, where he enrolled in a 3 year Design and Illustration course at Sheridan College. John was offered an opportunity at the end of second year to work for the ad agency The Cohen Group. His professor at the time advised him to take the position as his skills exceeded anything they could further teach him. After a successful career in the art industry, John retired and packed up and moved to Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, British Columbia with his wife and son. Once settled in Ladysmith he was hired on the spot by Ken, the owner of LACool West Coast Clothing, as his head Graphic Artist. Little did they know at the time, that their relationship would become a lifelong friendship. John loved change and in 2001, he embarked on a very successful 18 year career with Primerica Financial Services, where he was able to embrace his life’s philosophy, “always treat others the way you would want to be treated.”

John is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 31 years, Jill (Goodman, Eyemoto) MacArthur, Victoria, BC; and beloved son Ayrton MacArthur, Cobble Hill , BC; His brother Jim and Lyn (Patriquin) MacArthur, Hilden, NS; 3 Nephews: John Goodman and Marcie (Parkin), Ladysmith,BC, Taylor MacArthur and Stephanie (Harvie), Truro,NS, John MacArthur and Catherine (Basar), Montreal, QC; Sister-in-Law, Bunny Goodman (Palmer), Ladysmith, BC; 1 Niece, Jennifer Macknak (Goodman) and Wade, LadySmith, BC; Several great nieces and nephews.

John was predeceased by his parents, Stewart and Ruth (Taylor) MacArthur; his first wife Donna (Mills) MacArhthur; and great niece Lilly MacArthur, Truro, NS; In-laws Johnny and Irene (McCallum) Goodman; brother-in-law John Goodman, Ladysmith, BC.

Thank you to everyone that was involved in John’s well being for the past 4 years, and the special people that were present and involved with his farewell journey, our gratitude for all of you, is beyond any words and so deeply appreciated.

Ashes were spread on Chesterman Beach, Tofino, BC

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Condolence Messages

  1. Hi Jill,

    This is a wonderful tribute to John, it gave me a few belly laughs, as well as teary eyes at the end.
    You are such an amazing beautiful person Jill, and the 2 of you together with Ayrton have made my life and my family’s life so much richer, so much more fun.

    I love you, always,

  2. What a beautiful tribute. I was honored to be part of John’s sendoff. Although I have only known you and John for a short while, I feel like we have been friends for years.. Take care my new friend ????????

  3. Hi Jill

    Patty forwarded John’s obituary to me. What a great story. It surely sounds like you had a great life together. It takes a brave person to choose to end their life on their own terms. That tells me what kind of person he was even though I never met him. Thinking of you and your son in these tough times.

    Kim and John Irvine

  4. My dear Jill and Ayrton,
    You were so blessed having such a good and decent man in your life. A gentle heart, with fiery determination, and passion for love and life, John was a true friend. Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute.
    Fly high, John.
    With love, Nancy Heath

  5. Dear Jill,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful heartfelt tribute to John and the life you shared with him. It has been a joy and privilege to know you and John and Ayrton over the past few years. I will cherish those memories especially our last magical visit with you and John to Butchart Gardens where we were blessed with a lovely quiet sunny day to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the gardens. His spirits were high, his quick wit brought us lots of laughter and he seemed fully at peace. This is how we will remember him. It has been a tough few years for you and your family and his decision to end the pain for himself and for his loved ones was truly a courageous act of love. Perhaps we can enjoy another day with you at Butchart Gardens to celebrate his life and feel his loving presence in the beauty there. We are here for you when you are ready.
    Kathy and Pavel

  6. Jill-I am so sorry to hear of your loss- I know we lost touch but for some reason today I decided to google you- If you wish-please contact me at


  7. Traci Wright-Fossett

    Hi Jill,

    I know it’s been awhile but I just wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking of you. I was trying to find a way to contact you two when I found this and I am so sorry that John has left this world. I have so much faith and know that we will see him in the next. I am here if you need me and if you are reading this and would like to have some tea and a catch up please let me know.

    Thinking of you,

  8. Hello Jill – my deepest condolences. That was a beautiful tribute to John.

    I think of you all often and would love to be in contact again.


  9. Dona Soutter (LaBossiere)

    I realize it has been just over 4 years of John’s passing, but I have been trying to find Jill, his wife. I am a long time friend of her’s and would some very much like to get in touch with her. I also lost my husband late that September. If possible could you please pass this on to Jill. Heart felt condolences. Donna Soutter (nee LaBossiere) . My email address is Home address is 66 Quantrell Bay, Winnipeg, MB.R2N 4L4

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