Joseph C. Horan passed peacefully at The Ottawa General Hospital on February 24th, 2021, in his 84th year after a long and arduous battle with a series of cancers. Loving father (otac) of Andrea Josephine Horan and Stephen Daniel Horan (Colleen Scott Sullivan), and grandfather (deda) of Riley Josefine Horan. Lifelong friend, sometimes romantic partner and husband, and forever partner-in-parenting, with Gabby. Dear brother of Linda, Dennis, Gerald, Marje, and cousin of Anna Yellich. He is predeceased by his parents Mary C. Horan (nee Kerpan) and Eugene Joseph Horan. Beloved human companion (and social secretary) to Rosie the Wheaten Terrier.
Dad spent his earliest years in a small Croatian block settlement and farming community in Kenaston, Saskatchewan, among his large extended family. While he lived there a short time, dad deeply bonded with the place and its people (Steve and Manda Prpich, Uncle George). His Croatian heritage and these early memories travelled with him throughout his life.
When he was around five, his family moved away from farming and East to Toronto. From the earliest age someone would employ him, dad started working. Delivering groceries every day after school, he paid his tuition to attend De la Salle College “Oaklands”, a private prepatory high school in Toronto. Through hard work and immense discipline, he ascended his circumstances and shifted his horizons for what was possible for his life.
Dad decided on Ryerson Polytechnic for Applied Sciences, as the first stop in his path of higher education. With graduation came the satisfying winnings of an exciting new job, a brand new city (Ottawa), and especially for a young guy, the benefits of a fancy corporate car (with phone!). In Ottawa, he completed a degree in Commerce from the University of Ottawa, while continuing to work fulltime. He enjoyed studying business, human resources particularly, enough to make it a career with Canada’s Public Service.
After 30 odd years, dad retired from the Public Service as Director General of Human Resources at the CRTC. He built his own HR consulting firm, and made many friends in the process. He enjoyed being the Vice-President of the Executive of the Association of Classification and Organization Consultants (ACOC).
Every Spring, dad would take out his tabbed wooden seed box and plan his garden. He took great pride in feeding us vegetables he had grown himself, deftly naming varieties of lettuce and planning ways to hide dreaded zucchini in dishes. Spring was celebrated with wheelbarrow rides, and summer brought trips to pick strawberries. We complained about spending Saturday mornings picking weeds, but we loved the fresh yellow beans.
Not one to steer clear from mischief, Dad had a fondness for telling long jokes set up as misleading personal stories. He kept a collection of them memorized and ready for a lull in conversation, or for anyone who might not yet know better (or perhaps had temporarily forgotten). He loved the protracted set-up, and then the look of confusion on his children’s faces as to how he might actually know a priest, a minister, and a rabbi.
Dad was a really great listener and a loving father. He was also a Cub Scout volunteer, soccer coach, and big brother.
Doviđenja dad. You are forever loved, and will be forever missed.
A memorial service will be held on April 10th, 2021 at 10am, at Beechwood National Memorial Centre (Sacred Space), 280 Beechwood Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario. Due to Covid restrictions, please confirm attendance (in-person or via live-stream) at firstname.lastname@example.org
Interment at Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa. Tributes and condolences may be left on Beechwood’s tribute website.
Donations in memoriam may be made to: St. Leopold Mandic Parish (170 Hinchey Ave, Ottawa), Big Brother Big Sisters of Ottawa, and Bladder Cancer Canada (Ottawa Chapter).
My sincere condolences to your family - I worked for Joe in the late 80s as his assistant at the CRTC and remember him as a wonderful person.
I will attend April 10.
I miss Joe. He was good company
My heartfelt condolences to the Horan family. Joe was a dear friend and will be sadly missed. Although I cannot attend the service, I will be there in spirit.
My condolences to the Horan family. It was a pleasure to work for Mr. Horan. He was always welcoming and so nice to talk with. I’m going to miss him.