Locally/Independently Owned & Operated

Rutherford, John David

Passed away peacefully at his home on Monday, March 25, 2019 at the age of 78 years. John will be deeply missed by Diane O’Donnell his partner in life and business for 31 years. A very special thank you to his homecare nurses Joanne, Terri, Kaitland and the rest of his care team at the Northeast Cancer Centre for their professionalism and compassion. John’s family is very grateful for the wonderful support given by friends and neighbors especially throughout his illness. John, in all his eccentricity, was a very good and caring man. He would have done anything he could for any of his friends and acquaintances as well as for the good of his city and environment, he taught history for 39 years at Laurentian University and owned and managed the Black Cat Stores in downtown Sudbury for more than 30 years. In keeping with John’s wishes there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made directly to the Northern Cancer Foundation.

26 Condolences

  1. With great sadness that I received the news of the death of John Rutherford.
    I met him first time in Sudbury 2000. He was one of the best friends he and his wife Diane and we always frequented him with his shop (Black Cat) and provided us with several services and came to visit us in our residence ,we knew of several places of tourism in Sudbury and beyond.
    And we have been sincere brother and friend throughout the period we have been there. I wished to meet him again but the circumstances did not allow us , last contact with him was in the last year and found him reminds me very well.
    I offer my deepest condolences to his wife Diane and all his family

    Posted by:Hassan Saad
    May 2, 2019
  2. It is with great sadness, I have learned the death of my best friend John Rutherford,
    John has been a very faithful and good friend of mine for nearly 20 years , he has always been in touch and showed all the love and compassion, my sincere condolences to his family , especially his Partner Diane O’Donnell. John; My friend I will miss you more than words could say, I felt so sad and was wishing I had a chance to visit and see you. , you have been always caring and loving person , I learned a lot from you and you have impacted my heart in a way no one else has ever done. It is true you are gone and I will never hear you again , but you will never be forgotten, I will never forget the day I met you in Sudbury in your Black Cat stores. I spent very nice time with you and Diane that I always cherish and remember, You have left some wonderful memories that will never go or fade from my heart. Rest in peace my Dear friend

    Posted by:Yousif Hamed
    April 26, 2019
  3. He taught me at Laurentian University over twenty years ago. We all looked forward to his class. He was a very interesting person and teacher. He had a lot of humanity in him. Condolences to his family and friends. He is one of the teachers you will always remember.

    Posted by:Name*
    April 4, 2019
  4. Dear Dianne,
    I am just now learning of John’s passing. I thank you and John for graciously giving the local art community, professional and amateur a space to display their work. Since Wil Morin, myself and other volunteers started hanging art on the walls of Black Cat Too in 1998, during the Fringe Festival, you and John always gave us free reign and great encouragement. Rest In Peace, good man.

    Posted by:Vic Theriault
    April 3, 2019
  5. For over 10 years before they closed Black Cat Too, I curated the art in their store. I valued Johns work ethic, consistency and his passion for knowledge. Sending prayers to his family and sending hugs to Diane from me, Robin and the kids.

    Posted by:Will Morin
    April 3, 2019
  6. Very sad to hear of John’s passing. I was so gratified back in 1975 when John and a business partner bought my late father’s business, Wolfe’s Book Store, from my mother and enthusiastically carried it on at Durham and Elgin before moving up the street and turning it into Black Cat. I felt like Sudbury had won the lottery when such a strong supporter of books, reading and downtown Sudbury came in to continue the essence of my family’s business, with such commitment and imagination. My condolences go out to Diane and the rest of John’s family.

    Posted by:Art Moses
    April 2, 2019
  7. I am so sorry to hear of your loss Diane. I recall how devoted you were to each other and always admired that about you. My condolences to you and yours.

    Posted by:Catherine luoma
    April 1, 2019
  8. I was very saddened to hear that John had passed away. News of his passing really caught me off guard. John was always someone whom I could turn to when needed. I had been looking forward to visiting Sudbury one day in the future and seeing him again. I will miss him very much. My condolences to Diane and family. May he rest in peace. Naomi

    Posted by:Naomi
    March 31, 2019
  9. John transformed my life and career. I would not be where I am today without his support, encouragement and guidance. I never met anyone like him and I suspect I never will. He taught me more than I can share in such a forum. He showed me how to live an engaged life. He taught me the power of words. He constantly stressed the importance of community. He pushed, he prodded, he cajoled. He was always thinking, always exploring, always curious. He was the right person for me at the right time. I was without a rudder. He showed me it was there the entire time, I just needed to learn how to steer it. I will remember him always. I am devastated by his passing. But, I know he lived in full, rich life. I am grateful for having known him. My condolences to Diane, his family and to everyone who had the opportunity to know this wonderful human.

    Posted by:Mark Celinscak
    March 31, 2019
  10. John gave so much to our community. He was a meaningful educator, a suporter of the arts, a wonderful raconteur, an energetic debator, a generous friend who loved and fought for good in this city, and all of this while he and Dianne ran the best News Shop north of Toronto (New York?).
    He will be missed. but rememberd well.
    My condolences to Dianne and family, your partnership was iconic.

    Posted by:Ann Suzuki
    March 30, 2019
  11. A Sudbury character that deserves to be remembered for his contribution to the downtown with two of my favourite establishments especially Black Cat Too where I spent pleasant hours and also countless hours in discussion and debate with John over many years and involved in efforts to enhance our community. He had a good, full and interesting life. My condolences go out to Diane and family. I will miss getting phone calls on one issue or another and in the past year some e-mail (he was a late adopter). We need more citizens like John Rutherford who believe in making Sudbury a better place to live and willing to work to make it so. .

    Posted by:John Lindsay
    March 30, 2019
  12. Dear Diane and Family,
    John was a good friend of my father long before I met him. Dad and John shared a mutual respect for each other on several levels. John once told me that I reminded him of Dad.I could tell John was fond of me and it was probably for this reason. In any event, it is not difficult to like someone who likes you and treats you with respect. I will miss John, not in the same way you will but I will. I share my condolences with you and yours today. Love, Don (and Marja)

    Posted by:Don Bast
    March 30, 2019
  13. We just heard this sad news via Facebook, here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We are so very very sorry for your loss Diane.. John was an extraordinary friend to my father, Lucien Cortis, and was a wonderful professor to me, when I was just freshly in Canada. His wit, humour,passion and intelligence was omnipresent, and it was an honour to know you both. We will reach out when we get back to Canada. With a lot of love, Rieta Cortis and Lisetta Chalupiak.

    Posted by:Lisetta Chalupiak and Magrieta Cortis
    March 30, 2019
  14. Our family were regulars at Black Cat as this was our stop after our morning activities at the YMCA with our boys. My husband would stop in and get his sports magazine or newspaper, stories and ‘news’ were talked about…an importantly, my kids would get a little free candy or treat ALWAYS. John was a kind man. We send our condolences.
    Sue, Charles and family.

    Posted by:Sue dlR
    March 30, 2019
  15. Diane, we are reading this obit in Toronto where Oryst is recovering from heart surgery. We are saddened by this news, We will miss him.

    Posted by:Oryst Sawchuk and Vicki Gilhula
    March 29, 2019
  16. After the closing of the “shop” I missed popping in and chatting with John. AND at Black Cat II for a couple of years they had a Big Board during World Cup, and there were lots of us who came to watch the games & have yet another cup of coffee, or other choices. The magazine collection impressed 2 of my old Sudbury buddies who had been living in Vancouver & Montreal. Fred & Bryan Both said there was no better magazine store “in the big city” Wherever our souls go, All my best to you John !!!!

    Posted by:Esa T. Hermikari
    March 29, 2019
  17. Deepest condolences to you Diane and your family . You and your husband was 2 of my faves that would come eat at the Caruso in the 1990’s💕then I met your daughter and grandkids such a beautiful family

    Posted by:Cindy Thompson
    March 29, 2019
  18. Diane and Family,
    I am so so sad to hear about John’s passing…my deepest condolences. I first met John in 2000 when he and Diane graciously allowed our art group (NISA) to hold an art show in Black Cat. I last had contact with John about a year ago when we were both involved with the Save the Benny Forest advocacy. John was always helpful to others and would spend a great deal of personal time to thoroughly research his topics. He never hesitated to step up for something that he believed in. His passion was contagious. He will be missed.

    Posted by:Karen Rebeiro Gruhl
    March 29, 2019
  19. My Condolences to his Wife and Family…I was a regular shopper at his store as he had newspapers where i could not get any where else…He was so knowledgeable on so many levels and was always a joy speaking with him and his friendliness was a joy….May he Rest In Peace.

    Posted by:amy welch
    March 29, 2019
  20. I met John shortly after I moved to Sudbury. I enjoyed visiting his store and having very interesting and serious conversations with him about a wide range of important topics. John was passionate about his beliefs and advocating for a better world. He was deeply concerned about the future of the city and it’s people.

    I will miss him. My condolences to his family and close friends.

    John Gaul

    Posted by:John Gaul
    March 29, 2019
  21. I had the wonderful opportunity of being taught by John at Laurentian University. Learning from him made me a better person and I have nothing but fond memories of my experiences at Black Cat and in his courses. My respect and condolences go out to Diane and their family.

    Posted by:Joel
    March 29, 2019
  22. Sudbury has lost a true fighter. I had the pleasure of being a student of John’s at Laurentian. He taught with conviction and humour. I remember him later fighting to save Lilly Creek from development. He did it! I recall many a time getting a call from John to get involved in another cause. I will miss him, Our city will miss him

    Posted by:Terry Kett
    March 28, 2019
  23. Dianne,

    My thoughts are with you. ‘Conversations’ with John at Black Cat were always memorable – a great spirit.

    Dennis Castellan

    Posted by:Dennis Castellan
    March 28, 2019
  24. Diane and Family, So sorry to hear about John, I will never forget his kindness, wit and passion for things he so believed in. My condolences to you all.

    Posted by:Emily Donato
    March 28, 2019
  25. John’s wit and acute sense of situations have been with us at Laurentian for many years. He has served LUFA, the University, and the Sudbury community at large with exemplary dedication, but also with humor, and with care and compassion. Many of us still regret the times of the Black Cat, and, even more, the Black Cat Two, who had become, at the turn of this century, a real Arts and Community informal centre. Diane and John managed the place with a je-ne-sais-quoi made of what I would call «Audacious Panache» (as Edmond Rostand would have said). Well done John, you will live long in our memories.

    Posted by:Jean-Charles and Christine
    March 28, 2019
  26. Stabilizer for the community, a foundation for Downtown Sudbury, always fondly remembered as a friend. Warmest condolences to Diane.

    Posted by:Bill&Rose
    March 27, 2019

Leave a condolence