It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to our father and grandfather John Charles Mulholland who passed away suddenly on September 22, 2022 at the age of 86. John is survived by his children: Chuck (Cindi Knight), Allan, Ian (Barbara) and Colin; siblings: Gertrude, Gerard, Raymond and Rose; grandchildren: Connor and Alexandra; as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. He is predeceased by parents: Charles and Regina (nee Maillet); brothers: Leo, David and Michael.
John was born on August 29, 1936 and raised in Saint John, New Brunswick. He left the Engineering program at the University of New Brunswick to work on the Irving Refinery and that led to a position with Bechtel. After becoming engaged to Louise MacPhee, John was transferred to Montreal where they were married in 1960. In the eight years that followed their four sons would be born and raised in Montreal’s various boroughs and neighborhoods. In 1968, the family moved to West Australia living in Rockingham and Port Hedland as John worked on various mining projects. The family’s return to Canada was highlighted by a three-week voyage on the SS Arcadia that took the Mulhollands through the Indian Ocean and along the Atlantic coasts of Africa and Europe. After a brief stay in London the family returned to Canada in January of 1972.
The Syncrude project brought John and the family west to Alberta and they set up home in St. Albert where all four of the boys would attend and graduate from school. Following his divorce from Louise in 1975, he would marry Betty (nee Jewett) in 1976 (to 1982) and Barbara Wells in 1989 (to 1999). John would move on from Bechtel in 1983 to a variety of positions with a host of companies including postings in San Francisco, Brazil, Toronto (repeated), Calgary (repeated), Saskatoon (repeated), Boston, Vancouver and St. John’s, Newfoundland. His final assignment was with Sherritt-Gordon in Fort Saskatchewan through the 2010’s; in spite of requiring the use of a walker he made the trek every day on the LRT, bus and cab out to the Sherritt offices from his home in south Edmonton and later downtown. Literally to the day he died he was still looking for one more employment challenge and never stopped learning as he had just completed a project management course this summer.
A lover of adventure and learning, our Dad’s travels would take him to all continents except for Antarctica. Every trip would involve him trying to take in as much of the culture as possible, often to the frustration of those accompanying him as another photo or Super 8 film needed to be shot or another heavy lens needed to be hauled up a winding path. Dad’s preferred route was always to take the path less traveled.
From an early age he embraced classical music and became accomplished both as pianist and as a member of choral groups and opera choruses including the CPO Philharmonic Chorus in Calgary, Richard Eaton Singers in Edmonton and the Cathedral Choir in Vancouver. In his later years, John would enjoy sojourns to the symphony offerings at the Winspear and Edmonton Opera productions at the Jubilee.
An enigma of a man, both passionate and analytical, infinitely charming and exasperatingly irritating our Dad was always interesting and the more you spoke to him the less routine it would become as you would discover another interesting aspect or episode of his life (such as he tried open-mic standup comedy while working in Saskatoon).
We will miss him, as we expect will those who had the pleasure of getting to know him.
A funeral service will be held on Sunday, October 2, 2022 at 1:00 pm at Serenity Funeral Service – North Central Chapel, 10129 Princess Elizabeth Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta.
Serenity Funeral Service
North Central Chapel