John Davies
John Davies
John Davies
John Davies

Obituary of John Leslie Davies

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We lost our beloved Welsh Valentine, John Leslie Davies, on February 22nd, 2024, six days after his 91st birthday on February 14.

Les, or JL, was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle and friend.

A man of grace and manners, he had an athletic and imposing presence but carried himself with a certain gentleness. (earning the nickname gentle giant). He was a man of intelligence, integrity and humility. He had a great sense of humour and a quick wit. He had a passion for his family, soccer (sports of all kinds) and his profession of geology.

Les was born in Ilanelly, Wales, the baby in a large family.

At the age of 16, after his mother died suddenly, he left Wales and came to Canada to live with his sister and her husband in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

What followed was a remarkable story of resilience and perseverance.

After graduating from Pictou Academy, he attended Mount Allison where he was a star on the Rugby team.

He later earned a Master's degree at the University of New Brunswick and then his PhD at Carleton University.

In the midst of his studies, he met and married Gwyneth Harris. They settled in Bathurst and raised five children, Bronwyn (Danny), David (Lisa), Myfanwy (Andy), Megan (Jim) and Carys (Darren).

As a father in a sometimes-chaotic household, he was a tutor, chauffeur, mediator, cheerleader, and listener. He always had a quiet word of encouragement and a non-judgemental and empathetic ear. He had a special relationship with each of his children.

A talented writer and scientist, he was a civil servant for many years, including more than 17 years as the regional geologist in Bathurst. He was known for his pioneering work on the geology and geochemistry of the Bathurst-Miramichi area.

He was especially proud of his work creating geological maps of New Brunswick, two of which adorned the walls of the nursing home room in his final years of life. His maps and work set standards still recognized in the mining industry.

Les enjoyed many happy days at the Gowan Brae Golf Course in Bathurst and served as the club’s president. He also volunteered his time as an elder for the First United Church and with various Home and School associations.

His 12 grandchildren (Marchell (Andrew) Mali (Ben) Rhiainn (Miguel) Carly (Anthony) Bryn, Garan, Sydney, Wynn, Aneira, Rees, Coel (Brittney) and Rhayne (Garret) knew him as Dadcu, Welsh for grandfather, and he made each one, and his great grandchildren to follow, feel like they were the most amazing creatures. He loved and cherished them.

In later life, Les’ resilience revealed itself again with many health challenges.

Through it all, his face would always light up when he saw his loved ones. 

His soft grey-blue eyes would sparkle as he asked, “How are things with you?” And his parting words would be something like “Drive carefully.” 

 John Leslie Davies, leaves behind a proud but broken-hearted family, one so thankful for his 91 years. 

 His was a life well lived–leaving a legacy of light, love, and resilience.


Late Fragment

 And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?

 I did.

 And what did you want?

To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth

Raymond Carver


As per Les’ wishes, there will be no visitation or service at this time. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

Donations can be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


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John Davies

In Loving Memory

John Davies

1933 - 2024

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