Music 03

John Cortens


John Paul Cortens (1960-2021) died peacefully with his wife and 5 children by his side at Health Sciences Center, Winnipeg. Beloved husband and father, John is survived by his wife Dympna, and children Henry, Simon, Leo (Gretchen), Joseph, and Helen, and his mother Byrnece, his brothers Philip, Michael (Wendy), David (Julie), Andrew (Caroline), sister in law Heather, brother in law Tat-Liang (Gillian), parents in law Michael and Rita Issigonis, brothers in law John (Sandy) and Kimon Issigonis, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife Tat-Siang, his father John Vincent, brother Peter, sister Cathy, and his late wife's parents Maria Assunta Cheam and Dr. Eng See Cheam.

John was born in Kenora, Ontario, and some years later the family relocated to Dryden, Ontario, where his father, Jack, opened an accounting practice. Many happy memories while growing up included spending summers at the family's camp on Coney Island, Ontario. John often recounted his sailing and swimming lessons, and his summer delivering papers on the island. He remembers delivering all of the papers, and then jumping in the lake to swim home. He also spoke of some trying times, including the tragic death of his only sister, Cathy, when she was 9 years old. John remembered his sister walking him home from school and taking care of him. 

Working on the pipeline, and at his dad's accounting office were his summer jobs. When he moved to Winnipeg, he was so pleased to live at one time or another, with a brother or two. While he lived in residence at the University of Manitoba, he met his first wife, Tat-Siang. They married in 1987, and went on to raise 3 beautiful boys, Henry, Simon, and Leo. Other family members were dogs named Fido and Mousie, and cats named Micio and Jolie. John had fond memories of two-family trips to Italy to see Tat-Siang's family. John became an excellent cook as a result of learning from Tat-Siang, her nonna, and watching many cooking shows. 

In 2010, John and his children and family were devastated when his wife of 23 years died after suffering a short time from cancer.

John was devoted to his family, God and His Church, and sought beauty all around him, in everything. He was extremely pleased when the dioceses of Winnipeg and St. Boniface appointed St. Ann's Parish in Winnipeg with a Latin Mass in 2011. He practiced and sang with a schola, and eventually led and taught many eager students the rubrics of the Mass, and John seemed to know the Liber Usualis inside out. So many of his 'students' admired and appreciated his dedication and tireless efforts in sharing his knowledge.

Singing in a Gregorian chant schola led him to meet his second wife, Dympna. They married in 2012, and were thrilled when Joseph, and then Helen, arrived. Joseph will miss playing piano with his dad, Helen will miss digging with dad in the garden, and the children will miss dad reading to them both at night, and with such energy and diction!

John suffered greatly and especially in his last month on this earth, but we his family are so pleased that he was anointed with the Sacrament of the sick, and received the Apostolic pardon, and we pray he can enter the heavenly kingdom to enjoy eternal happiness and intercede for those of us left behind. 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

The service will be live streamed on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 at 10:30am.  You may access it by going to Korban Funeral Chapel's website homepage ( and clicking on the Facebook icon on the top left hand corner which will redirect you to the Korban Funeral Chapel Facebook page.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Cortens, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for John

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