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Discussion: Sad News- Jack Lee

in: Orienteering; General

Oct 8, 2015 12:43 AM # 
Sadly Jack Lee passed away this afternoon. Jack was a good friend of many of us in the North American orienteering community. He began orienteering 50 years ago and introduced many of us to the sport. A fine, gentle and patient man. He will be missed.
Oct 8, 2015 1:10 AM # 
We are very sorry to hear about Jack. He was a life-long supporter of orienteering and fine gentleman. We enjoyed many fine conversations with him over the years.
Oct 8, 2015 1:31 AM # 
Thanks Jim. Sad to hear.
Oct 8, 2015 4:38 AM # 
Jack was introduced to orienteering by Sass Peepre and quickly formed the Hamilton Orienteering Association in 1966. He then introduced and grew the sport in Hamilton, the surrounding Golden Horseshoe region, to Ontario and Canada. He also was instrumental in assisting the development of some American clubs as well.

Jack taught orienteering in his Phys Ed classes in Hamilton and in the mid 70's started the Hamilton Schools Race. That race has grown bigger and stronger every year and the 40th annual race earlier this year had over 1100 kids. Jack was a volunteer this year and most of those 40 years the race has been hosted. Together with Jim Gilchrist he wrote a book on how to teach orienteering in schools and started a kids program in Hamilton in the 80's. These would form the backbone of Adventure Running Kids today. Earlier this year I enjoyed many a great chat with Jack as he watched one of his great grandchildren getting muddy and orienteering at ARK. This is your legacy I told him. Indeed the foundation and awareness of the sport he built here in Hamilton is why the sport has always been strong in the city and Golden Horseshoe. His gentleness, supportiveness and passion inspired so very many - whether it was volunteers, athletes, coaches and officials.

On a personal level I owe a lot of my life's adventures to Jack. He will be greatly missed.
Oct 8, 2015 10:03 AM # 
Sad to hear indeed.

Jack was one of the first Canadian orienteers that I got to know when he was bringing a few juniors to a junior camp at O-ringen in 1974. I was an instructor at that camp and later came to meet him also in Canada on many occasions in the ensuing years. Probably 30+ years since I last met him but I hear he has been involved in orienteering locally even in the past few years.

@Hammer: Wasn´t the club´s name Hamilton Kings Foresters - at least in the mid-70ies??
Oct 8, 2015 12:31 PM # 
Yes Hamilton Orienteering Association changed its name to Hamilton King's Foresters in 1969. The club was named after its first map - King's Forest. That map was surveyed and drawn by Jack Lee.

**There is a funny story about the HKF/HOA origins. Jack told me in the 90's that it would be a lot of fun to have a race from Hamilton's east end Redhill Valley (King's Forest) to the Dundas Valley in the west end (he made the first DV map too). In 2009 to celebrate 40 years of HKF orienteering club we did that race as part of the Raid the Hammer. Jack helped by making the map of the Jolley Cut that linked the existing maps along the escarpment of the city. We invited Jack up to talk at the race briefing and thanked him for 40 years of O in Hamilton. Then while waiting for teams to get on the buses to the start Jack quietly told me (while grinning and chuckling at the same time) that O started in Hamilton in 1966 with the HOA. So it was a celebration of 43 years instead! ;-)
Oct 8, 2015 1:32 PM # 
I met Jack in 2004 at the Canadian Orienteering Champs, where he joined a relay team with me and Eddie. He was a great teammate and a really nice, kind man. It was a pleasure to see him and chat with him at O events for years after that. He will be missed.
Oct 8, 2015 4:22 PM # 
Yes, Jack was a wonderful person. This is sad news indeed.
Oct 9, 2015 2:52 PM # 
Jack’s Celebration of life will be Saturday, Oct 17th at the Hamilton Conservation Headquarters on Mineral Springs Rd in Ancaster.
It will be an informal Open House format from 2-5 pm.
Casual wear is suggested as it is hoped that people will take a walk on the trails in the surrounding area in memory of Jack.
Oct 9, 2015 10:14 PM # 
Not Jack! Our personal association goes way back. I knew him before I met him. I mean back in early 1972 Orienteering Ontario put out a book to celebrate their first five years. Of the twelve credited writers Jack was the last of them still active in Canadian orienteering. Through that winter of '72 I got to know orienteering and Jack by reading and re-reading that book. I studied the inserted map, the one Jack produced for the 1970 Ontario Champs and I took to heart his article on the importance of public relations, particularly relations with landowners. Even before I met him I knew Jack to be meticulous, thorough and one who makes a good first impression and leaves a positive lasting impression.
For more than 40 years it was a pleasure to see Jack at orienteering events or to serve with him on a Board or teaching at a leadership clinic.
If there is a Heaven Jack will soon have it mapped, will have the Highest permission to hold an event and all the controls will be in the right place waiting for us.
Oct 10, 2015 1:52 PM # 
A life well lived.
Oct 11, 2015 11:22 PM # 
so sorry to hear this - enjoyed some great conversations with him
Oct 12, 2015 11:34 PM # 
Sorry to hear about Jack's passing. A great member of the Canadian orienteering family. He will be missed.
Oct 14, 2015 7:18 AM # 
Sad to hear about this. When I first started mapping in the Dundas Valley Jack and Lorraine let me stay in their house and treated me like their lost son. I would just like to say thank you for everything. The memories will live on.
Oct 14, 2015 11:58 AM # 
Did you know that over 15,000 students have participated in the annual Hamilton School's orienteering race since it was started by Jack Lee 40 years ago?
Oct 14, 2015 4:10 PM # 
When I was about 20, I spent a couple of weeks with Jack and Lorraine in Vernon while I did some mapping there. Jack was fascinated by the hi-tech way I mapped (mylar over an orthophoto and then scanned into OCAD) since he had made so many maps over the years starting from just a blank sheet of paper. I will miss our great chats at orienteering events.
Oct 19, 2015 4:52 PM # 
...oh my! Very sad! Always loved chatting with Jack. So sorry to hear and so sorry I've been away from AP to have missed this posting and therefore this past weekend's open house.

This discussion thread is closed.