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Jack T Edwards

$22,060.00 (raised so far)

About Jack T Edwards

Jack died peacefully at home in his 83rd year, on Sunday, January 12, 2014 surrounded by his three children. Jack was born in Morse, Saskatchewan, raised in Vancouver, and a grad of UBC Law School, now called Peter A. Allard School of Law, before being called to the Bar in 1959.

During university and for many years after, Jack was active with the RCAF Reserve; it was during training that he met the love of his life – Elizabeth. They were happily married for 45 years until her all too-sudden death in 2003. Jack was a proud member of 442 Squadron; serving as Wing Commander from 1961 until 1964. In 1966, he co-founded the law firm of Bouck Edwards, now Edwards, Kenny & Bray. His faithful service to his clients and his profession was well known; he served on the Vancouver Bar Association, was national Chairman of the Air Law Section of The Canadian Bar Association, and was a Bencher of the Law Society of B.C. until his appointment as Treasurer (now called its President) in 1985. He found time to chair the Board of the Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation, and led the Federation of Law Societies of Canada as President in 1987. His dedication and conscientiousness culminated in his appointment as a Justice of the Supreme Court of B.C. in 1994.

Jack retired fully from the bench in 2005, but has remained close to his associates and his air force family. Jack was highly committed to his profession and was an exemplary model of service and duty. He was equally committed to his family and close friends. He spent happy years sailing, travelling, reading, and chopping firewood in West Vancouver, Hope, and on Bowen Island.

He is survived by his three children Robert (Paula), Barbara, and Jennifer (James Bitonti). Jack was a proud, loving Poppa to his five grandchildren Kathleen, Stephanie, and Jack Edwards, Jonathan and Anna Bitonti. Jack was a devoted brother to sisters, Marjorie Carvell (2013) and Eda Cuff (Ernie), in-laws Jim and Linda Manning, sister-in-law Jacqui Manning-Albert and uncle to many nieces and nephews in Vancouver and Ontario.

Jack’s final years were filled with the challenges that accompany Parkinson’s. He met this with grace, humour, and determination. Jack and his family were grateful for the faithful assistance of Maria, Connie and other caregivers who helped him find comfort and joy in his final years. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Vancouver Club, 915 W. Hastings St., on February 18, 2014 from 1- 4 p.m.

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The impact of your support

In honour of Jack’s legacy to his profession, a bursary fund in his name has been established. The Jack T Edwards Memorial Fund will support promising students in the Peter A. Allard School of Law, UBC.

Messages of Remembrance

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  • I first met Jack when I was dating Robert, and I had flown out to West Van to "meet the parents". Liz showered me with attention, questions and information. Jack was polite, kind and quiet, but there was a sharp wit that came out in conversation. He left very early, every day, to go to the office and when he was home, he was reading or puttering around the yard. Over those first years it took me awhile to unravel the depth of his personality and the breadth of his experience in so many areas. His humility and dignity and generosity were always at the forefront, yet after bringing 3 grandchildren into the picture I was thrilled to see the other side of Jack; the fun-loving and teasing Poppa, and the concerned, sensitive grandfather. Jack was steadfast in his attention to Robert and I, and even more so to his grandchildren. I know that he gave the same support to other family and friends. I feel so fortunate to have joined his family, and to have known him. He will be greatly missed.

    Paula Sabourin Edwards, Daughter in law
  • Jack in August 1987

    Paula Edwards, Daughter in law
  • Jack at UBC Law Library circa 1957

    Paula Edwards, Daughter in law
  • Jack joined us in Grand Bend Ont. Vero Beach Fla.and Mexico along with Robert Paula and Grandchildren for Family holidays .We had great times. Jacks perseverance and good humour made the visits truly enjoyable.A fine Gentleman and a good Friend. Sad He is gone but happy for the time we had together with our mutual Grandchildren. Paul and LOUISE

    PAUL and LOUISE Sabourin, Soninlaw Robert Edwards
  • On behalf of the Brothers of Delta Kappa Epsilon, I extend our condolences. Our Motto : "Friends From the Heart Forever" applies as we wish that our Brother will rest in peace.

    Grant Burnyeat, Fraternity Brother and Judicail colleague
  • Uncle Jack’s generous spirit and good humour will be greatly missed. We will never forget the lovely dinners in West Vancouver, Hope and Bowen Island that brought us together in the warmth of the homes that Jack and Liz created. The wide circle of friends and family was incredible and a lesson for next generations on how to stay connected in spite of geographical distances. Our deepest sympathies to Robert, Barbara and Jennifer, their extended families and to Eda Cuff. Our hearts are with you. Love from Derek and Betty Cuff

    Betty Cuff, Married to nephew Derek Cuff
  • My name is Nola Jardine (nee Goddard). I worked as a legal secretary for Bouck, Edwards and Kenny from 1969 to 1984. I was Jack's secretary for eight years. Jack loved to give the impression he was a gruff, crusty, tough guy. He often said, “I have one standard - perfection!” The truth is he was kind, caring and compassionate. His clients, and everyone in the office, loved him. He was called “Uncle Jack” by many of the staff. He called me “the head spook”. While working at the firm I turned 30. I was single and was teased about my spinster status. Jack's gift, however, was a beautiful, stuffed bunny. He said, “No one's ever too old for a stuffy!” I still treasure the bunny. I retired, eight months pregnant; leaving reluctantly. The morning following the birth of my son, Jack came to the hospital. He arrived before visiting hours and was allowed in because he told them he was a doctor. They believed him because he was wearing a stethoscope! His first words were, “Well, good, you got your neck back!” His second remark was that he had fired the woman hired to replace me and needed a secretary – fast. “What can you do?” he asked. Luckily, I had someone in mind. I phoned our mutual friend, Barb Jones, who had also left the firm to have a child. Her son was just starting kindergarten. I called Barb and said, “I have good news .. and better news! First, I had a son. Second, Jack Edwards is sitting on the end of my hospital bed. He wants to know if you are ready to come back to work!” Luckily for all concerned, she said “Yes”. Barb worked for Jack for seven years. Jack and I have kept in touch. Every Christmas, including this recent one, he sent a card, obviously written by his devoted caregiver, telling me about his family and proudly chronicling his grandchildren's achievements. He was a special person in my life. I will never forget him.

    Nola Jardine ( nee Goddard), Former secretary. Edwards,Kenny Bray.
  • Jack was a mentor, gentleman and a sincere friend to our family. He will be missed but never forgotten. So many memories of flights together with Jack in 442 Squadron - he was an excellent pilot and a great leader - well deserving of being our Wing Commander. Sincere condolences to Robert, Barbara, Jennifer and their families. Also to Maria for her loving care. Darrel, Jan and family

    Darrel G.Smith, Friend and RCAF
  • Always the gentleman, always inclusive, a pleasure to have known and a pleasure to have worked with.

    Peter Asselstine, Administrator at EKB
  • On behalf of the entire Sager family, I'd like to extend our deepest condolences. Jack was a very important part of our family and a great friend to my father. My admiration and respect for him was one of the reasons I decided to become a lawyer myself and I am very fortunate to have had him as an inspiration. He will be missed but never forgotten. With deepest sympathies, Mark Sager on behalf of the Sager family

    Mark Sager, friend
  • Jack, Jake, Uncle Jack, Papa Jack, Daddy, My Lord. No matter what name you knew him by, he was a wonderful man who was admired and respected by all who knew him. Growing up we soon realized that the occasionally gruff exterior couldn’t hide the caring, fun-loving man beneath it. Despite his extensive list of professional accomplishments, at family gatherings he was genuinely more interested in discussing what was going on in your life rather than his. I recall that during his speech at the induction ceremony for his appointment as a BC Supreme Court Justice, he commented that “as long as someone tells me where to sit and what to say, I think I’ll be alright.” It was a typical example of the humility that was one of his many virtues. He was a great source of inspiration to me, and he will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.

    Dave Cuff, Jack's nephew
  • My name is Vicente Asuncion. I am an attorney at law in the Philippines and a Barrister & Solicitor in British Columbia. I credit Jack for my admission to the Bar of British Columbia in that he assisted my getting re-enrolled at UBC in 1989. In 1972, I had immigrated to Vancouver. I then became Jack's client at the then Bouck, Edwards, Kenny and Bray, in real estate investments. In 1976, I left Vancouver for the Philippines. In 1988, I returned to Vancouver and re-applied to practice law. Having been away for several years, the Law Society BC referred me to the Federation of Law Society Accreditation Committee, which required me to re-enroll at a Canadian Law University for two years to get a Certificate of Qualification, or alternatively, in my case, to get a Canadian Law Degree. I re-applied for re-admission at UBC and they refused for the reason was that I would waste a space at their Law Faculty in that I had a prior opportunity to practice law in Canada and I did not avail of that opportunity. As a background 1973-1974, I was enrolled in UBC, as a Special Student, taking up Canadian law subjects different from the law subjects in the Philippines, like Constitutional Law, Tax, etc. In 1974, I took and passed the Common Law Exams of the Law Society of Upper Canada, administered by the Law Society of BC. The Law Society did not allow me to article (apprentice) until 4 years later because they then required Canadian Citizenship, as a requirement to practice law, and Canadian Citizenship then required 5 years residence. In 1976, I left for the Philippines because I could not get employment in Canada to support my wife and 2 children. In 1989, in Andrews v. The Law Society of British Columbia, 1989 CanLII 2 (SCC), [1989] 1 SCR 143, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the requirement of Canadian Citizenship was discriminatory in that a person did not have to be a citizen to be a good lawyer. In mid September 1989, I had lunch with Jack, explained to him my case, and sought his assistance. . The next day, I had a call from the UBC Chair of the Admissions Committee for a meeting the next morning. At that morning, I had a meeting with the Chair and 2 members of the Admissions Committee. At the end of that meeting, after a brief huddle, the Chair advised me to go down stairs and re-enroll. The law classes had already started 2 weeks earlier. As a result, I was admitted and continue practiced law in British Columbia for more than 21 years. Vicente V. Asuncion, Jr.

    Vicente V. Asuncion, Jr., friend and client
  • Your passing will leave a vacant space in our hearts. Remembering all the wonderful times we had at Hope together. Eda , Ernie, the 5 D's and family.

    Eda Cuff, Jack's sister
  • I had the privilege of working with Jack at Edwards Kenny & Bray from 1980 – 1994. Like Nola, I recall that many thought he was stern and a bit gruff. Underneath he was indeed a big softie with a great sense of humour. He was a brilliant lawyer and, in addition to taking a major role in leading the firm, he also made significant contributions to the profession and to his community. While he had an enormous workload he was also known to have the neatest office in the firm. He was a wonderful mentor and was very supportive of the young lawyers in the firm. I remember that while I was still an associate the issue being discussed at a firm meeting was whether certain financial information would be circulated beyond just the partners. I gathered up all my courage and said that I thought it should be circulated and to do otherwise would be paternalistic and disrespectful. I could see Jack thinking carefully about this and, to my amazement, when he provided his comments on the matter he eloquently supported the need to respect junior lawyers and that sharing this information would assist them to become future leaders of the firm. The financial information was circulated. I never had the opportunity to appear before him in court but I have no doubt that he gave all litigants a fair, courteous and thorough hearing. Jack, you will be truly missed.

    Kari Boyle, Former colleague at EKB
  • Jack was a great friend. Our friendship dates back to the late '50s and early '60s when we were fellow pilots with the RCAF reserves. It continued throughout our careers as lawyers and judges, and then over the latter years of his life. Hhis courage was remarkable as his physical resources diminished. So was his sense of humour. Jack was a born leader, as commanding officer of 442 Squadron, head of The Law Society of British Columbia and senior partner of his law firm (to give a few examples), and in all his dealings with others. I very much miss him.

    Duncan Shaw, Friendship, RCAF and law
  • On behalf of the Gamble family I would like to express our deepest sympathy to Robert, Paula, Stephanie, Kathleen and Jack. We never met Jack (SR) but always felt that we knew him through the beautiful stories that we have heard over all these years from Robert's family. Jack (SR) has left an amazing legacy and it is found in the warmth and love of his friends and family. - Colleen & Greg

    Colleen Gamble, friend of Paula and Robert Edwards
  • As an associate lawyer with Edwards, Kenny & Bray from 1981 to 1985, I had the good fortune to work with Jack frequently on corporate and commercial files. Jack always demonstrated complete confidence in the firm’s junior lawyers. His style was to delegate a file and expect the delegate to complete the work on time, to the highest professional standard. He was always available to give advice, and would intervene if circumstances demanded, but he never “micromanaged”. A sweetheart of a soul lay behind his sometimes gruff countenance. He had a wry sense of humour and a mischievous grin. He was admired, respected and regarded with affection by all his colleagues. I rather expected he would always be here. With a measure of disbelief I accept that he has now departed for greener pastures.

    Douglas McLean, Lawyer at Edwards Kenny & Bray
  • I had the good fortune to work for Bouck, Edwards & Kenny from 1972 through the mid 1990's. During that time I worked for several different lawyers in the office, the last one being Jack. The firm inspired loyalty in its staff and Jack was no exception. I came to work for him at a time when he had just fired Nola's replacement. To say filling the shoes of the "head spook" was daunting was an understatement, let alone the fact that she worked for Jack. The work was interesting, stimulating and kept me on my toes. The same could be said of the man. He was also quiet, generous and loved by all. I will never forget him.

    Barb Jones, Former secretary, Edwards Kenny & Bray
  • Jack was only 14 when I was born to his eldest sister, Marjorie. My father, Sandii Carvell, then in his mid 30s, became like a second father to Jack. A few years later, my parents asked Jack to be my godfather, and he more than fulfilled that commitment all his life. My childhood memories of Jack were filled with fun and laughter. He'd tease us until we laughed with him. Sometimes, after much persuasion, he would allow my sisters and myself the privilege of mowing my grandfather's lawn, if we paid him 5 cents, first. Each. And Jack loved to shock our Woodlands' neighbours, swooping low over our rooftop early Sunday mornings in his plane. We'd run outside and wave, and he'd tip his wings. We loved it. When Jack brought Elizabeth to Vancouver to meet his family, my sisters and I followed them everywhere, much to Jack's chagrin, awestruck by Elizabeth's beauty. Liz became the love of Jack's life. She became his wife, and mother to his three children - Robert, Barbara and Jennifer. And Aunt Liz to all of us, his extended family. Jack was a family man. When one of us called, he was there, without fail. And he excelled at his work, as a lawyer, then as a judge, winning accolades and honours, over and over again. Liz fit family into his busy schedule. We had annual family gatherings in their home throughout the year when I was growing up, and it continued while my children grew up. It created family stability. And deep acceptance. Jack hosted it all. My favourite memories of those years was of Jack playing with the youngest family members. His face just lit up. What ever may have been on his mind faded away, as he completely relaxed, enjoying himself playing with the little ones. Jack was a rock in my life. I turned to him many times. He never lectured me. Only asked what was happening, and if he could help. And when I needed help, he came through. Every time. Without question. And in confidence. Jack may not have condoned my lifestyle, but he loved me. And he trusted me enough to leave his children in my care. I always appreciated Jack's confidence in me. My life has been better for Jack being part of it. What more can you ask of any man in his lifetime. We will all miss Jack, especially his family and close friends. We loved him. We still do.

    Megan Carvell Davis, I am his neice and goddaughter
  • Jack was the perfect partner, friend and mentor. Words are inadequate to express just how precious he was.

    Bob Ward, Partner, friend and admirer
  • Jack made me proud to be a lawyer - he was an excellent example of the best of our profession. I will never forget the day I was called to the bar, he took me to lunch at the Fish House in Stanley Park. I was also closing my first transaction that day and tried to postpone the lunch, Jack made me go - reminding me that I would never remember that deal - but would always remember the day I became a lawyer. He was right (of course) - but in reality, the real memory that will be with me forever is my lunch with Jack!

    Lindy Bremner, Lawyer at Edwards, Kenny & Bray
List of Donors
All Donors
  • Anonymous Donation

  • Anonymous Donation

  • Douglas K. Harrison

  • Jennifer Edwards

  • Kathryn Neilsoon

  • Susan Schmitt

  • Mike Theroux

  • Duncan & Pat Shaw

  • Ongaro Family

  • Neil Menzies

  • McPhie Family

  • Barb Jones

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