Memorable Manitobans: John Everett “Chicken Jack” Denbow (1947-2005)
Born at Souris on 31 July 1947, he was the son of Luvia Eileen Biglow (1923-2001) and Albert Cleveland Denbow (1925-1975). When he was a child, the family moved to Brandon, where he attended school. He started working in Winnipeg at a young age, becoming the manager of a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet at the age of 15.
Following that, he owned a Chicken Chef franchise for a while, then struck out on his own with a series of independent restaurants called Chicken Jack’s in Souris, Shoal Lake, Killarney, Rivers, Dauphin, and Elgin, and was highly regarded by both his customers, and by his employees, many of them the youth from the local community. He served two terms as a Souris Town Councillor, and then Mayor from October 1998 until his death. He was also involved with the Conservative Party, provincially and federally.
He was an influential member of many committees over the years and was known for his strong commitment to whatever project he was involved with. He served as a board member for, among others, McKenzie Seeds, Souris Health District, Souris Glenwood Cemetery, Victoria Park Lodge, and Little River Rockfest. Known for his strong personality, he was regarded as a man who was not afraid to take risks, and who took his failures with sense of humour and no apologies. With his wife Sandra and their two children and grandchildren, he enjoyed boating, fishing, and four-wheeling at Thomas Lake.
He died at Winnipeg on 11 August 2005 and was buried in the Souris Glenwood Cemetery.
“Farewell to Jack,” Brandon Sun, 17 August 2005.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 2 September 2005.
John Jack Everett Denbow, Denbow Family Tree, Ancestry.
This page was prepared by Lois Braun.
Page revised: 17 December 2021