Archdeacon John McMulkin, former dean of Saskatchewan and director of the Anglican Foundation, died May 8 in Georgetown, Ont., of heart failure. He was 81.
During his tenure at the foundation, from 1979 to 1990, “he was instrumental in promoting planned giving and the good that you can do for the church after your death. People came to him and asked about it and planned giving started to really grow after that,” said June Moyle, executive assistant of the foundation, who worked with Mr. McMulkin over the course of his term.
“He was very caring, very much of a teacher and extremely patient. He was well-loved,” she recalled. In an e-mail to staff at the national office of the Anglican Church of Canada in Toronto, communications director Vianney (Sam) Carriere fondly remembered Mr. McMulkin as “a wine lover and a fine conversationalist.” Mr. Carriere also recalled that Mr. McMulkin loved newspapers, especially letters to the editor.
Born in Toronto, Mr. McMulkin earned an honours B.A. in philosophy in 1949 at the University of Toronto. He and his wife Ruth were married in 1950 and he was ordained deacon in 1954. In 1955, he earned a bachelor of sacred theology and licentiate in theology degrees and was ordained a priest.
He served four parishes in the Hamilton, Ont.-based diocese of Niagara – Christ Church, Flamborough; St. Patrick’s, Guelph; St. George’s, Georgetown and St. John the Evangelist, Hamilton – and was also a canon of Christ’s Church Cathedral in Hamilton.
In 1970, the McMulkins moved to Prince Albert, Sask., see city of the diocese of Saskatchewan, where he was dean of the diocese and rector of St. Alban’s Cathedral. He also served as bishop’s commissary and close advisor to then-bishop Vicars Short and was closely involved in many ecumenical initiatives. In 1979, the family moved to Toronto when Mr. McMulkin took up his position at the foundation. He retired in 1990.
An obituary on the diocese of Saskatchewan Web site described Mr. McMulkin as “a compassionate priest with a strong sense of justice,” adding that as “a well-organized, systematic and tireless home visitor, his parish flourished under him.”
It also noted that “with his cheerful wife Ruth, who was an invaluable partner in his ministry, the McMulkins enjoyed a lively home with their four teenagers, Charles, Katherine, Stephen and Hillary.”
His death notice in the Globe and Mail newspaper read: “John McMulkin spent his life as a loving servant of God and his family. In that service was his fulfillment and joy.” He is survived by Ruth, his four children and three grandchildren.