Dr. John ‘Jack’ Watson Pickering was born in Blenheim on the 1st of September, 1916. His parents were Wesley G. Pickering and the former Vera M. Johnston. (Dr. Pickering’s maternal grandfather’s first name was Watson.) His father was a shopkeeper in the Town of Blenheim. Dr. Pickering had a brother named Frederick Herbert Pickering who was born in 1918. Frederick died on the 21st of October, 1919 and he was buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Blenheim. According to the 1921 census Dr. Pickering was living with his parents on Hall Street in Blenheim. His father died when Dr. Pickering was 11 years old. His mother was remarried to Archibald Ernest Sinclair.
Dr. Pickering attended Blenheim Public School and Blenheim High School. He continued his education and graduated M.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario in 1941. Sadly his mother died of cancer on the 1st of November, 1938 at the age of 46 and did not live to see him graduate from medical school.
Dr. Pickering married Mary Jean MacDonald. She was born in Ottawa on the 10th of March, 1914. Mrs. Pickering was the 2nd of 4 children born to Wilfred Patrick MacDonald and the former Lillian May Durning. Her father was a bank manager and her siblings were; Phyllis Evelyn MacDonald, Leo Carlton MacDonald and J. Graham MacDonald.
After his graduation from medical school, Dr. and Mrs. Pickering moved to British Columbia. While living in B.C., Dr. Pickering enlisted in the Canadian Army on the 11th of November, 1945. He served oversea’s during World War II, with the British Columbia Dragoons.
In the early part of 1946, Dr. Pickering was practicing medicine in Duart.
Dr. and Mrs. Pickering were the parents of 4 children, 3 daughters and a son, Mary Jean, Randi, John and Susan.
In the latter part of 1946, Dr. and Mrs. Pickering purchased 7 Chatham Street South in Blenheim, from Dr. Charles T. Gray, who was a dentist. Dr. Pickering’s medical practice was located on the ground floor of the residence. Dr. Pickering sold his medical practice to Dr. Howard Judson Rees on the 3rd of July, 1956. Dr. and Mrs. Pickering moved to Oshawa, where Dr. Pickering continued to practice medicine.
Dr. Pickering died on the 28th of June, 1968. At the time of his death he was on vacation in Truro, Nova Scotia. Mrs. Pickering died on the 12th of May, 2010. Dr. and Mrs. Pickering were buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Blenheim as were Dr. Pickering’s baby brother Frederick, his father and his mother.
*The webmaster thanks Nan Barnett and the Heritage Center in Blenheim for their assistance.
**Dr. Pickering appears on the ‘Gathering Our Heroes’ website.
***Dr. Howard Judson Rees also appears on the Chatham-Kent Physician Tribute website.