John William Newcombe, 85, of Centreville, passed away peacefully at home on January 1, 2023. Born March 14, 1937, he was the son of the late William Ephraim and Margaret (Burbidge) Newcombe of Upper Dyke.
Farming was in John’s family, but it became clear early on that it wasn’t his calling. He worked a series of jobs, such as a baggage handler, highway crew, and the attendant at Blanchard’s Service Station. After moving West in his Morris Mini Minor to work for a railroad, he started teaching language at night to newcomers to Canada; it was then he realized that teaching was his passion. After attending Mount Allison University and Acadia University, John started teaching at Cornwallis District High School in Canning in 1965. Over his decades-long career as a teacher, he taught hundreds of students History, Economics, and Geography. If you or someone you knew grew up in the Canning area, chances are you were aware of Mr. Newcombe’s whip-smart humour and his upfront feedback. He went above and beyond to teach his students real life skills such as saving money – someone once jokingly asked him the cost of peanut butter, and he responded, “which label and where are you shopping?”
John was active in sports such as curling, hockey, and golf; was an avid baseball fan; enjoyed gardening; and was a staunch opponent in local games of bridge. After his retirement, he opened Newcomb House Bed & Breakfast in Upper Dyke, catering to tourists interested in learning more about the places he called home. He had a history of helping other people, and was active in many charities and organizations such as the Liberal Party, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army the Canard United Church; and the Fieldwood Heritage Society. John also spent much time charting his family’s genealogy to share with the family that came after him so they would always know the integral role they played in Kings County and beyond.
John is remembered by sons, Ian (Andrea) of Upper Dyke, and Scott (Cynthia) of Cambridge; daughter, Lesley Bauer (Michael) of Wisconsin, USA; best friend and companion, Sandra Bishop of Centerville; and brother, Thornton (Connie) of Wolfville. He is remembered as “Gumpy” by his grandchildren, Rachel (Ben Filipkowski), William, James, Katlyn, Leah, and Kaylee; and was a favourite uncle to many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by beloved wife, Patricia (nee Langille); son, Bruce; and sister, Ellison Hartling.
John’s family would like to thank Dr. Michael Sinclair and the VON for their support, and Cheryl and Joy, his wonderful caregivers.
“You only live once, but if you live it right, once is enough…” Mae West
As per John’s request cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation or service. A private burial with immediate family will take place at a later date. Memorial donations in John’s memory may be made to the VON or the Canadian Red Cross. Arrangements have been entrusted to Serenity Funeral Home, 34 Coldbrook Village Park Dr., Coldbrook, NS, B4R 1B9 (902-679-2822).