Villager John Prince, who will be remembered as a skilled storyteller, has lost his battle with terminal brain cancer.
He died Nov. 20 at home with his family by his side. He was 81.
He was born in rural New Brunswick, Canada, moved to Toronto in 1980 and to Virginia in 1991, then to The Villages in 2017.
“John was a creative and marketing director for advertising agencies as well as for his own businesses. Words were his life. He wrote books, ad copy, website content, speeches, branding campaigns, personal histories and short stories for financial institutions, medical and technical corporations, businesses, government and politicians. He also edited, designed and published books and short stories,” according to his obituary on Hallard Press, a private, independent publishing company he founded in The Villages.
Hallard Press provides customized book and story editing, design, and publishing services for independent authors.
Among the writers that Prince coached was Villager Marsha Shearer whose America in Crisis: Essays on the Failed Presidency of Donald J. Trump went on to win the prestigious Gold Medal from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association.
“I’m a writer, but I would likely not have been an author without John Prince. Thanks to the recommendation of another author, I contacted and met with John at my home. We sat at the dining room table—he faced the courtyard garden. He noticed a small flower blooming next to a large statue of Buddha. In a courtyard full of plants, he saw and remarked about that wee detail. With that attention to detail, I knew I had found my editor,” Shearer said. “His kindness and patience made the publishing process a real pleasure. His advice was invaluable. He convinced me to enter my first book in a writing contest. I figured it was good experience even though the likelihood of winning anything was nil. Whenever I spy that Gold Medal on my wall, my first thought is—and will always be—of John Prince.”
Prince also worked as a correspondent for Villages-News.com, where he contributed biographical pieces about the lives of Villagers.
“John was a writer at heart, but he was also an editor. Being an editor is a different skill set, coaching writers while managing their egos under the pressure of driving toward a publication deadline,” said Meta Minton, editor of Villages-News.com. “I loved sitting at Panera with John and talking about the process. He never beat around the bush with me and was always very straight forward. We spoke the same language and I loved that about him.”
Prince is survived by his wife, Wendy (Metcalfe); daughters: Kimberley Prince, Toronto; Caroline Prince, Ottawa; Erica Prince, her husband, Shane Jezowski, and granddaughter, Elle Prince, West Palm Beach, and was loved by many dear friends across Canada and the United States.
The family will hold a celebration of life in The Villages on Feb. 24.