DUNSWORTH, John Francis


With broken hearts, we announce the death of John Francis Dunsworth on October 16th, 2017. John passed away peacefully with his family by his side after a brief illness. Born on April 12th, 1946 in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, he was the eldest son of Frank and Frances Dunsworth (Hewey). A born performer, John discovered a love for acting while attending Guelph University in Ontario. He brought this passion home to Nova Scotia, where he opened an alternative theatre called Pier One, and later a casting agency, Filmworks. John worked tirelessly to create opportunities for local performers and was instrumental in bringing a thriving film industry to Nova Scotia. With endless energy and enthusiasm, John worked as an actor and director until his sudden passing. He is best known for his work on television, but he revelled in playing interesting theatrical roles onstage. John spent his 71 years enjoying life to the fullest while creating a sanctuary for his family in beautiful Southwest Cove. On June 21st, 1974, John married his true love Elizabeth (Bates) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The love between them was palpable throughout their many years together and John’s devotion to his family remains a source of inspiration. John was brilliantly clever and naturally gifted in everything he did, whether it was beating you in a game of scrabble, sailing across the bay, painting a masterpiece, writing a poem, doing stonework on the waterfront, offering help, or solving any problem laid before him. He brought kindness and laughter into the lives of everyone he touched. John is survived by his beloved wife Elizabeth; four children, Sarah (Ben Nickerson), Geoffrey (Robyn Riley), Zoë (Nick Hansen-MacDonald), and Molly; his grandson Joseph and granddaughters Ella and Mary. He is also survived by siblings Edward (Barbara), Joanne (John), Jeffrey (Laura), Jackie, Janet (Peter), William and Robert (Ingrid), and many adored nieces and nephews. John was predeceased by sister Beth, brother Philip, and nephew Luke. In lieu of flowers, please spend time with your family in John’s memory. Anyone wishing to make a donation in John’s memory may consider a donation to the QEII Health Sciences Foundation Designated to the NICU - 6th floor of The Centennial Building. A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Online condolences can be made to

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