John "Jack" Walter Braithwaite

Friday, March 8th, 1940 - Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020
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John (Jack) Walter Braithwaite
March 8, 1940-September 22, 2020

The family and friends of Jack Braithwaite are saddened by his sudden death. But we are also heartened to know that he died doing what he loved best: driving a single horse, and a working carriage, through the beautiful, rolling countryside near Fergus, Ontario. We will all miss Jack’s kindness and his deep knowledge of horses and the people who love them.

Jack was born and grew up in Cooksville, Toronto Township, but he lived his life at Peak o' Dawn Farm in Inglewood in the Caledon Hills of Ontario. Before he was thirty years old, and like his grandfather, father, brother, and uncles, Jack became a dedicated firefighter with the Toronto Fire Department.

Predeceased by his father, William H.E. Braithwaite; mother, Adele E. (Harris) Braithwaite; uncles, Lloyd Harris (Muriel) and Roy Harris (Vera); and nephew, Paul Nemetti; he is survived and mourned by his brother, William Robert Braithwaite (Michelle) of Burlington; nephews, Don Braithwaite of Toronto and Marc Braithwaite of Halifax; niece Nicole Sanderson-Kosher (Mike) of Oakville; cousins, Mary Harris Schmid (Egon), Jean Harris Palmer (David), and June Harris Langford; great-nieces and nephews, Jacob, Maddie, Karlyn, and Reid; and long-time friends-on-the-farm Mary Cork, John Alderdice, Sarah Band, Tim Wright, Laurie and Bill Bruder.

For more than fifty years, Jack Braithwaite was a highly regarded professional horseman. Like his mother, Adele Harris Braithwaite, he enjoyed competing at the Canadian National Exhibition and the Royal Winter Fair, and he was as committed to her success as to his own. He and his business partner, Dr. George Cormack, were successful competitors throughout Ontario, the Eastern United States, and in Europe. He spoke fondly of riding over the green hills of Ireland.

Winner of hundreds of first place ribbons and numerous championships, he was immediately at home in any stables he entered. He listened and observed well, always learning and ready to teach. A hard worker, he would pitch in to do whatever was needed: clearing stalls, polishing harness the days before shows, cleaning carriages.

Known for his meticulous attention to detail and to authenticity, he was sought after as a professional trainer and as a show judge.

Jack's favourite horse breeds were Percherons, Gelderlands, Welsh Cobs, and Welsh Ponies. But he loved animals of all kinds. As a child, he raised chickens and rabbits. Later in life he bred and raised show chickens.

Family and friends will sorely miss Jack’s generosity of spirit, sense of belonging, and his determination to see the best in people and circumstances. His powerful bond with horses and other animals speaks eloquently of his true heart.

Because of provincial health restrictions on public gatherings in Ontario, a virtual memorial and celebration of Jack’s life will be prepared for friends and family to view (and participate in) in the coming months. We encourage family and friends to share their condolences on the Graham A. Giddy Funeral Home website or on Jack’s Facebook page.
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Craig Cunningham

Posted at 08:42pm
How sad. My condolences to the family and friends. Jack was a great friend and mentor. I still remember the days at the firehall when Jack was trying to get me to come to the farm because he knew I had an interest in horses. Well, from that moment onward he taught me to ride and drive horses. Not to mention help out at the farm and gain a liking for cartridge competitions. Many fond memories that I’ll never forget.

Gayle McPherson

Posted at 12:30pm
The very first time I met Jack was in 1959 when we were both on a two month student bicycle tour of Europe and Great Britain - and what a great time we all had - with all sorts of adventures! Jack was so much fun and became a real pal . But the topic of our mutual interest in horses never came up that summer - and much to my amazement I next ran into him at the Royal where I found him showing in a line class ! Over the years as I eventually became chair of the Royal Horse Show and then President of the Fair, Jack was always there for me .....with quiet suggestions and humorous observations. A great horseman, and a lovely, forthright human being - but also gifted with a wicked sense of humour.
Kick on, Jack.

Bev Barney

Posted at 05:12am
My deepest condolences to Jack’s family. He was a gem of a man! Not only did I learn a lot from Jack when it came to driving pairs but Jack also new how to have a good time. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much for so long as I did with him. My heart is very heavy. I will miss him dearly. Keep trotting on Jack! Try to keep it under a hundred! See you on the other side. Bev Barney

Robert Donaldson

Posted at 09:33am
A legend in the sport, a proper "practical horseman," a gentleman and always a delight to meet at the shows. I will miss Jack's knowledge and pragmatic approach, and knowing he is now at rest in a good place I wish peace. Robbie

Jean Palmer

Posted at 09:20am
Jack always made us laugh We will sorly miss his Christmas Eve visits

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