This obituary is protected by copyright by MacCoubrey Funeral Home Limited. Proudly serving Northumberland County in the province of Ontario, Canada. All rights reserved.
John de Visser passed away peacefully at the age of 92 in Cobourg, Ontario. He was born in Veghel, North Brabant, The Netherlands and emigrated to Canada in 1952, after serving in the Dutch army during World War II. He was the eldest of ten children and returned to The Netherlands often to visit his parents and siblings.
In his youth, he sketched but within a few years of arriving in Canada, his creativity took the form of photographs. He travelled extensively throughout most of Canada and abroad taking photographs of people, places, and things. His work appeared in Macleans, The Star Weekly, Chatelaine, Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Esquire, National Geographic, and many other publications. With significant photographic contributions to the 1967 book “Canada, A Year in the Land”, his career changed direction and he began focusing his craft on books. He was the sole photographic author of over 60 books and co-author of numerous others. His work earned him awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications (CAPIC), one man shows, participation in photography exhibits as an exhibitor and sometimes as a judge. He also served on the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Council.
Predeceased by his parents, Sebastian, and Christina (Van Hout) de Visser, his sisters Hanny, Carla and Louise and his brothers Gerard and Sebastian.
He will be missed by his children, Carole (Dave), Joanne (David) and John, his grandchildren, Dylan, Matthew, Erin and Callum, his sisters, Maria, Thea, Christine and Nancky and numerous nieces and nephews.
Thank you to his doctor and friend, Dr. M. Azzopardi and the amazing staff at both the Cobourg Retirement Residence and the Northumberland Hills Hospital.
Details of any commemorations will be communicated at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests contributions in John’s memory be made to one of the following two artistic charities. VIBE Arts is dedicated to providing arts education and professional artistic mentorship to the next generation of creatives. Gallery TPW is a leading artist-run centre dedicated to exhibiting underrepresented artistic and curatorial practices that push the boundaries of lens-based work.
Donations can be made online at the following links or sent through the mail to the address listed on their websites.
John attended Tuesday morning men's coffee sessions at the Dutch Oven in Cobourg until Covid-19 intervened and circumstances led him into a retirement residence. The coffee klatch is no more and many of its members had to leave ahead of him. We got to hear John’s anecdotes from a life on the road, recording changing landscapes and patterns of settlement through his photography. His gentle, good-humoured presence will remain alive in those who knew him.
Our sympathy to John’s family. We are very sorry for your loss.
My sincere condolences to John’s family. I am sorry for your loss. Estelle
We were so sorry to hear of John's passing. His artistic endeavours will live on!