330 Smith Street
New Waterford, NS
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Obituary of John Joseph AuCoin- New Victoria
It is with deep sadness and much love that we, the family of John Joseph AuCoin, announce his peaceful passing on Sunday, May 28, 2023 at age 83. John (Johnny) was born November 29, 1939 in New Victoria, Cape Breton, NS to John Anthony AuCoin and Alice (MacKinnon) AuCoin.
The most precious thing in Johnny’s life – what he truly loved most of all - was his family. Above everything, Johnny was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He is survived by his loving soulmate and wife of 59 years, Lois (McMahon) AuCoin; children, Lynda (Arthur) MacDonald, John (Christy) AuCoin; brothers, Melvin (Jackie) AuCoin, Stevie AuCoin; sisters, Collena (Eric) Chipman, Elaine (Lawrence) McNeil; grandchildren, Brittany, Brooklyn, Payton, Mitchell, Allison, Lachlan and Anabelle and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his parents; son, Trevor AuCoin; daughter, Laura Campbell; grandson, Joshua Campbell, and sister, Paulette AuCoin. Johnny always said his family was most important to him. He had such love and pride for his children and grandchildren and the feelings were mutual.
Johnny was an avid and talented musician, who loved playing his piano and whose passion was music. He started out playing the fiddle before he began his tenure with the piano at the tender age of 12. While growing up, he and his saxophone and guitar playing brother, Melvin would play together. This is where he showed signs of wanting a career in music. In his early years in music, he played on several local T.V. and radio shows, such as “The Cape Breton Barn Dance” and the “People and Things Show.” After graduating from Cape Breton Business College, he moved to Toronto in 1958 to pursue a career in music. Before long, he had regular gigs in a band playing Honky Tonk piano. Johnny then took up residence in Paducah, Kentucky, while traveling through the states, recording and touring with American rockabilly musician Ray Smith. Johnny missed Canada and moved back to Toronto, where he became the House Band piano player at Toronto's Club Kingsway. He caught the attention of Robert Lawrence Productions which hired him as lead pianist for its television series, Star Route, where he joined Glen Campbell and several other all-star studio musicians. The studio musicians for Star Route backed up many of the biggest names in country music, such as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Loretta Lynn. Johnny credits the experience with Campbell and the others on Star Route as a turning point in his music career that inspired him to continue working as a studio musician. Johnny did a lot of work on his own as well. He recorded albums, such as “Town and Country Keyboard.” It was a compilation of famous piano and country favorites, which included the “Bumble Bee Boogie” and “Tennessee Waltz.” He especially cherished making music with his brother Melvin, and the many musicians he met over the years, calling many of them close friends.
Johnny also worked for Yamaha as a Sales Consultant in the Keyboard division. With Yamaha, he traveled all over the world promoting their instruments. Yet, he still found time to perform with his piano. After that, the road was no longer for him. Johnny and the love of his life, Lois, and children moved back to Cape Breton. He worked at McKnight’s Music store and continued to play piano at various events and concerts. Johnny specifically cherished the years he played with The Three Pianos, with friends Aaron Lewis and Stephen Muise. He freely shared his many musical and artistic talents to ever-pleasing effect, which has left enduring and substantial traces on our grieving hearts. .
During his early years, he devoted a great deal of time to community service and became very involved with the Knights of Columbus, the Royal Canadian Legion, the New Victoria Volunteer Fire Department and also led the restoration of St. Alphonsus Church.
Johnny was a beautiful soul with the kindest heart who welcomed everyone he met with a smile and a joke. His friends and family will remember him as a man with a keen sense of humor, who loved to laugh and took great joy in making others laugh. He was smart, always with a quick-witted joke on hand, making him the life of the party. His life was marked by dedication to family, friends, and community.
Dad, we love you beyond compare. What a legacy you’ve left us all. You truly were one of a kind, Johnny-be-good.
Cremation has taken place. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home, 380 Smith Street, New Waterford, where visitation will be held on Monday, June 5, from 4-7 pm. A Funeral Mass celebrating Johnny’s life will be held on Tuesday, June 6, at 10 a.m. in the Parish Church of St. Leonard, Mount Carmel Avenue, New Waterford with Father Bill Burke officiating. A reception will be held at the Knights of Columbus Hall following the Mass. Donations in his memory may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or a charity of one's choice. Online expressions of sympathy may be sent to the family at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca.
Dad, the Lord saw that you were tired and took you in his arms and guided you to Heaven to an eternal life of peace with those who have gone before you. You will always be loved and never forgotten.