BELCARZ, John. Passed away at the Montreal General Hospital on October
20, 2003 at the age of fifty-one, after a brave battle with cancer, surrounded by
family and friends. Beloved husband of Mary; loving father of Mark and Paul, dear
brother of Terry Gartler, and brother-in-law of Bob Gartler, and wonderful uncle
of Jennifer and James. Will be greatly missed by extended family and many friends.
Arnold Amber Montreal Newspaper Guild Alan Hustak Jim Cole Scott Edmonds Percy Hatfield
"Blessed are the peacemakers"
John Richard Belcarz
1952 ~ 2003
Memories & Tributes
from friends, family, colleagues
Director, TNG Canada/CWA
to TNG Canada Locals: English | Français
(TNG Canada Local 30111)
News Release / Communiqué
leader brought fairness, dignity to table
Local 30085 Saint John NB
John was a great friend and a great person. No matter how busy, he had time for my
questions. Any time I had a problem he listened and would give his advice. Usually
he had the right answer to the question. Our loss will be felt for years to come
both in Montreal and TNG Canada. He is gone but never will be forgotten.
Vice-president Canada West
John was our friend, our colleague and often a voice of reason when we needed one.
He didn't let even the most trying of circumstances extend his patience beyond the
breaking point. He offered valued counsel and represented those who elected him with
all his skill and energy.
Even through his illness, John continued to put the interests of others ahead of his own. Those of us who had hoped he was recovering are saddened and somewhat stunned by the loss of a gentle man with great strength. I think it will take many years before we stop expecting to hear his voice at our gatherings.
Vice-president Canada East
John Belcarz. What a guy.
John wasn't one of those "what you see is what you get" guys, because John was multi-layered, multi-talented and greatly admired. John had friends in the newspaper business in New York City, Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Denver and San Fransisco. Newspaper people looked to him for advice from Victoria to Regina, Sudbury to Ottawa, and Fredericton, and many points in between. John brought a common-sense approach to heated debates and a voice of reason to muddled and complicated issues.
As much as he fought for the working men and women at The Montreal Gazette, he also inspired others at smaller papers to defend their rights and principles based on the Gazette experience.
John was a friend to many, and had a wonderful sense of humour that endeared him to people who were meeting him for the first time.
We enjoyed many an hour together and he spoke frequently of the love he had for his sons Mark and Paul. We'd chuckle at the similarities in the trials and tribulations of raising them that I was enjoying with my daughter, Lacey. And we'd laugh at the experience we shared when our kids entered a contest at a Guild convention and we were soliciting support for their submissions from among our members. The kids became pen pals for awhile after that and we'd keep each other updated on the progress in their lives.
Mary has lost her best friend. She was always a welcome guest whenever John travelled and became a friend to many of us as well. The union movement removes many activists from their families for short periods of time, but it is time that frequently includes birthdays and anniversaries and special family occasions and John missed some of those. He gave to us at the expense of his family and for that we will be forever grateful.
John Belcarz was the glue that helped hold his Local together, that helped make TNG Canada as strong as it is today, and he cemented many friendships along the way.
We will miss him, we will miss him greatly, and we wish Mary, Mark and Paul strength to get past this, and strength to always remember the contribution he gave so unselfishly to others, to help improve the lives of working men and women in the print and broadcasting industries in Canada and the United States.
He had a smile that could light up a room and a personality that spread warmth and good cheer to those who shared the room with him. He fought for what he believed in and he never gave up. Never.
BELCARZ, John. Passed away at the Montreal General Hospital on October 20, 2003 at the age of fifty-one, after a brave battle with cancer, surrounded by family and friends. Beloved husband of Mary; loving father of Mark and Paul, dear brother of Terry Gartler, and brother-in-law of Bob Gartler, and wonderful uncle of Jennifer and James. Will be greatly missed by extended family and many friends.
Montreal Newspaper Guild