John "Jack" Phillip Woolaver

4 August, 19451 April, 2021

WOOLAVER John Phillip “Jack” – Beloved son of John and Marie Woolaver of Digby Nova Scotia. Born in Digby August 4th, 1945. Peacefully passed away Thursday April 1st at the age of 75 under the loving care of the staff of Tideview Terrace. Jack was known for his love for family, musical and culinary skills, and great sense of humour.

Jack was a graduate of Digby Regional High School Class of 1963, where he met his future wife, Diana Harris, of Bear River, Nova Scotia. Together they have two sons, Johny and Chris. He completed several years studying classical piano through a program run by the Western Ontario Conservatory of Music. Jack loved music and played the organ, piano and harmonica, in well-known bands throughout Nova Scotia. He was part of several Digby bands, including “The Spartans” and the “D-Jays.” Any Digby teenager of the 1960s will remember the 1949 Dodge with “D-Jays” on the side.

In 1964, Jack gained a position in the successful management of the Metropolitan chain of department stores in Toronto, where he moved and started his young family. In 1970, he returned home to Nova Scotia to start his own business. He was owner of “Jack’s Esso” service station and also managed the “Digby Discount” food warehouse. For a while, Jack was president of the Digby Curling Club, and was active many community organizations in Digby County.

In 1980, Jack relocated with his family to Alberta, to manage a local All-West grocery store. There he was an active member in the local community of Black Diamond. He was known as “Lobster King” for his contributions to community meals at the town’s hotel and acted the part of Santa Claus for the local children.

Upon his return to Digby in 2003, Jack entered into a loving relationship with his life partner Esther Dunn, where together they fostered his long-time passion for the culinary arts. Jack and Esther worked tirelessly at the Boardwalk Café on the Digby waterfront. They retired together in 2017.

Jack had a way of recognizing the individualism of people he met on his life’s journey. He related to those he knew in a warm, affectionate and personal way. Jack was always willing to engage in conversation about politics, religion, and had an uncanny ability to predict election results. Money was not a motivation for Jack, and he was generous to a fault.

Jack loved and was loved by his large family, including his numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, great nieces and nephews. He could always be trusted to provide a smile, excellent company, and memorable meals for friends and family alike. Jack is survived by his partner Esther (Digby) his sons, Johny (Squamish, BC) and Chris (Phoenix AZ) his grandchildren Ben and Maya (Phoenix AZ), his mother Marie (Digby), his sisters Mary Ann (Smiths Cove NS) and Cheryl (Digby), and his brother Mark (Halifax).

The family wishes to give special thanks to the staff of VON Digby-Clare Home Care, Dr. John Black, Tideview Terrace, and the ALS Society of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick for their support. Internment to be announced at a later date.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John "Jack" Phillip Woolaver

have a memory or condolence to add?

Marilyn Campbell

9 April 2021

May God comfort you, Marie and your family at this difficult time. Sometimes mere words just aren’t enough to take away our grief, so we rely on God for help and strength in our belief. May He uplift you gently, take the sorrow that you bear and comfort all of you with His healing. And may your memories of Jack’s life, well lived, bring you comfort.

Teresa Gallagher

9 April 2021

Jack had a sparkle in his blue
eyes, and a laugh that was infectious if not startling! He could be relied on to brighten a gloomy work day , with a story or song! He could certainly be fun as he filled any room he entered . You are loved Jack.....Teresa G


8 April 2021

my great sadness andlove for an old childhood friend is extended to the entire family. JOHN and I attended school in DIGBY from kto grade 10 I RECALL HIS SMILE whenever he got a correct answer to a questionHIS BEAUTIFUL BIKE was one I envied. JACKIE as I knew him is someone I shall never foreget HE and JOHN BRITTAIN driving about in JOHNS jeep were PAIR.

Sandra and Peter Turnbull

7 April 2021

Our Deepest Sympathy to all of the family. RIP Jack.

Terry Carson

7 April 2021

I am very sad to learn of Jack’s passing and regret that my wife’s two bouts of pneumonia and Covid kept me from coming to see Jack when he became sick.
jack was the best friend anyone could have and he made the life of a very shy me so much better. We drove around in so many different cars from his grandfathers business, played ping pong in his basement ( he never lost), played golf( he never lost even when I accidentally drove a ball in his back), helped him at the trailer park canteen in Smiths Cove and snuck into the dance hall to listen to Dutch Mason. I am sorry that I lived so far away and lost track of Jack for many years but I still have many fond memories. I am glad he had his family by his side during this illness and share some of the grief you must feel. He was my best friend ever.

Eleanor Gidney

6 April 2021

To all of Jack's loved ones, I send my sincere condolences. He was a great guy . I really appreciated his quirky sense of humour and I will miss his friendship. RIP Jack.

Pat O'Neil (Lonergan)

6 April 2021

Very sad to read of the passing of an old friend. I have many fond memories of my friendship with 'Jackie'; he was always able to find the humour in life's trials. His talent and love for music were special gifts that he willingly shared with all. I was happy to read that he had a full and happy life. My condolences to his sisters, Mary Ann and Cheryl, whom I remember from my time living in Digby, and to all of Jackie's family. Sincerely, Pat O'Neil (Lonergan)

Stan Kerr

6 April 2021

Sorry for your loss.
The Kerr family always spent our vacation camping at Smith's Cove. I remember jacks DJays car coming in the campgrounds. Me Stan & sister Debbie hung out with MaryAnne, she ran the canteen. Great memories.

Colleen Collins Pearce

6 April 2021

Mary Ann, my sincere condolences on the loss of your dear brother. You, your Mother and family are in my thoughts and prayers at this sorrowful time.

Laurana Tucker (Theriault)

6 April 2021

To my sister Esther and my friend from Digby High, Cherl..I want to send my condolences for your loss. Jack was a friendly ,,.sweet to my sister guy. Who always welcomed us with a nice conversation when we visited. Esther loved him and he showed her adorable affection. Rest in peace Jack. Esther and your family will miss you.

From the Family