John Horvat was a loving husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother and friend. He met the love of his life his wife Joan whom he would soon wed and the two of them would spend the remainder of their time together living in the community of Bothwell, raising their three children and remaining best friends to the end. John treated everyone the same, beloved ones and strangers alike, and greeted everyone with a huge smile while uttering his most famous words "Gooday Turkey". He spoke these words with such loving compassion it was like receiving a warm blanket on a cold winter's night. John battled cancer in his last years before succumbing to the disease in 2010. John fought his battle with cancer valiantly, like the true fighter he was. They say in order to be a great fighter you have to have heart and John's heart was the size of the very rinks he so often visited. Despite being ill and in pain he always mustered up the courage to go support all of his grandchildren playing hockey, hardly missing a game. He also kept his promise to his loving wife "Jo" and continued each week to take her on a date night usually at the nearest Wendy's; a favorite of both. It was a time they both cherished together talking, laughing and enjoying the life and bond they had built together over the years.
John loved three things most in life; his family, children and the game of hockey. With Gooday Let's Play all three once again come together to continue the legacy that is John Horvat. John's eldest son Ron who founded this organization continues to devote his time into the game of hockey coaching several teams at various levels. Ron a former Western Jr. B MVP moved abroad to play hockey in Scotland where he set records that will likely never be broken. Now Ron is giving even more back to the game by working endlessly to create a non-profit organization his father would be so proud of. His middle child Tim who was also named Western Jr. B MVP and even ended up playing for his favorite Jr. A franchise the London Knights, an organization that also drafted both his son's. Tim has played a vital part in getting this organization started, talking with minor hockey organizations directly, reaching out to local businesses and getting the word out to people in all communities affected by Gooday Let's Play. John's youngest child, his daughter Tracy, played women's hockey and was a pioneer in developing the women's hockey leagues as we know them today. Tracy continues to be involved in women's hockey as a coach and mother and strives to make sure the leagues, along with the players, continue to develop and grow properly. Her support and help with Gooday Let's Play is greatly appreciated. John was extremely proud of all three of his children both on and off the ice and something tells me that still hasn't changed.
To the people in these communities and their surrounding areas in Southwestern Ontario we would like to thank you for your support and in the words of an amazing human being whom we lost too soon we say onto you...
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