A Legacy of a Generous Life

John Unruh lived a life of adventure and generosity, thinking of others right up until his death earlier this year. Carol and John Unruh are pictured here on one of their many adventures together.

In the last few days of John Unruh’s life, he made sure of a few things.

He spent time talking to his family, reflecting on his faith and sharing some of the wisdom he had gained over the years. John took time to comfort his family with the knowledge he was dying at peace.

“John told his grandchildren it was important to give back,” said Carol Unruh, John’s wife. “He thought you could die a penniless pauper and it wouldn’t matter. He was like that.”

John also took the time to make some final donations to the charities he cared about, including House of Friendship.

John lived a generous life, in so many ways – whether it was giving of his time to create the neighbourhood skating rink, taking his sons on fishing trips, or building decks for family members.

“He never, never seemed like it was annoying to him to help out,” said Trevor Unruh, John’s son. “I knew that giving back to the community and the church and that type of thing was very important to him.”

John was also a faithful supporter of House of Friendship over the years, in so many different ways – serving on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for two decades, as well as co-founding and being a committee member for our annual Friendship Golf tournament.

John and his wife Carol also thought beyond today, to ensure people could get the help they needed in the future; they included House of Friendship in their Wills.

For Carol, seeing how John continued to think of the needs of others, even as he was dying, was just a further expression of his character.

“He thought, ‘why die with a fortune, when it can be helping charities or your family?’” said Carol. “It was just another part of him being generous.”

For Trevor, the fact that his parents plan to leave a gift in their Will to House of Friendship means that his dad’s generous spirit will live on, and continue to have an impact on the community.

“It showed us what was important to him, what mattered,” said Trevor. “And, maybe, by doing this, it will encourage others to be doing it too.”

 To learn more about leaving a gift in your Will to House of Friendship, visit www.houseoffriendship.org/Wills.

Posted on: October 8th, 2021

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