By Mathieu Yuill
Former CCSAI Communications Manager
John Yuill worked for the CCSAI as a Guest Services Representative at the AWC and was also the distributor for the Courier.
John Frederick Yuill, a retired mechanic, Centennial alumni and the distribution coordinator for this magazine, The Courier, died May 30 at St. Michael’s hospital. He was 77.
The cause was complications after suffering trauma after a fall, his wife, Pat Yuill, said.
John, my father, came to work for The Courier after our previous distribution coordinator moved and we had a hole to fill. He showed up in my office one day with his résumé, a working vehicle and a willingness to pick up the then newspaper before 8 a.m. on distribution day.
Shortly after he began deliveries I started receiving emails and phone calls from people around the college letting me know they had met my father and what a nice man he was. After a few short months I began hearing from my father about these same people; how he had met them, how nice they were and they had become his friends.
This didn’t surprise me. John was intentional about making and keeping good friendships. As a young man he worked in a mine in Elliot Lake, about a five hour drive north of Toronto. For the next 50 years he would make the trek up to Elliot Lake every year or two to visit with the son of the couple who had rented him a room while he was employed at the mine. When I called to tell him the news of my father’s death there was silence, the pause of tears being held back and then simply the words, “He was a good friend.”
Another life-long friend of my father had met him on the bus. Every morning John would take the Pharmacy 67 to work, getting on at the third stop from the top of the line. Another man was always already on the bus. As the friend tells it, one morning my father came and sat next to him and said, “Hi, I’m John, we take the bus together every morning. How are you?”
For a few years my sister lived in Japan. Because of this my father learned to use Skype to speak with her. One evening he typed in “Martin Yuill,” the maiden name of his mother and our last name. A Martin Yuill appeared in the search results with the geographical location listed as South Africa. Two years later, Martin Yuill, a human resources consultant from Johannesburg sat in his kitchen as they laughed together and told stories. The next time I saw Martin was at my father’s funeral.
John Yuill sought friendship without an ulterior motive. He made friends to share his love and his happiness for you as you were. He showed his love for friends with intent and purpose.
In addition to his wife, John Yuill is survived by his two daughters, Amanda Yuill and Cindy Craik and his son, Mathieu Yuill and their families.