John Ambrose (Jack) Doris (d. 2023)

There’s political service…and then there’s Jack Doris.

First elected as a separate school board trustee in 1966, Jack Doris sought a Peterborough city council seat the following year, won election, and ultimately served Peterborough residents for 45 years – the longest serving council member in the city’s history. That incredible run was comprised of 39 years representing Monaghan Ward residents and another six years as mayor from 1991 through 1997.

Born and raised in Keene, young Jack found himself in Peterborough at age 13 when opportunities in the city triggered a family move. A superb athlete, he excelled at hockey and softball, his prowess as a left-handed pitcher earning him the lifelong nickname of ‘Lefty.’ Entering the workforce at a young age, he worked 40 years for General Electric, initially as a fitter/welder before retiring in 1990 from his position as shop operations department manager.

Doris met his beloved Sheila (Grady) in 1950 on a blind date at Club Aragon where they danced the night away to the Bobby Kinsmen Orchestra. They married the following year, embarking on a remarkable 72-year life journey together that ultimately blessed them with six daughters, 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Long before the lure of politics grabbed hold, in 1953 Doris, along with others, explored the co-operative housing concept. Those involved worked their respective jobs by day, studied the building trades at night and subsequently built each other’s homes. By July 1956, no fewer than 41 families had moved into their new homes located in what became known as The Greenhill Subdivision.

Upon his retirement from politics in 2014, Jack’s outstanding service to the city and its residents saw him awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the key to the City of Peterborough, the Mayor’s Civic Award, and Homegrown Homes’ Lifetime Achievement Award for Community Betterment.

Having displayed, through his words and actions, the highest standards of integrity, Jack Doris – upon his passing this past March at age 92, was widely, and fondly remembered for his compassion for the less fortunate and those in need. Whatever one’s station in life, Jack Doris had your back, listening and responding with genuine interest and empathy, offering encouragement and hope for better days ahead.

His greeting was always thus, with an outstretch hand and a smile: “Hello, I’m Jack Doris. How can I help?”

Jack Doris died March 4th, 2023 in his 93rd year.


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