June 29, 2015


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Jets captain Lars-Erik Sjoberg leads a parade down Portage Avenue on May 5, 1976, after the team won its first Avco Cup.
On May 28 1978, crowds lined Portage Avenue in celebration.
Bobby Hull chats with fan at victory parade.
On May 22, 1979, Jets captain Lars-Erik Sjoberg rode with the Avco Cup for the team's third victory parade on Portage Avenue.
Jets captain Lars Erik Sjoberg with  Chicken Delight Jets Mascot  on City Hall balcony on May 22, 1979.
Willie Lindstrom was in the first Avco Cup parade on Portage Avenue on May 5, 1976.
Jets GM John Ferguson, with hand on Avco Cup, is flanked by his team at City Hall celebration.
Norm Beaudin holds the Avco Cup on Main Street during May 5, 1976 parade.
Jets and their many fans celebrate third Avco Cup victory at City Hall.
Fans line parade route on May 23, 1978.
On May 23, 1978, Lars-Erik Sjoberg holds Avco Cup which was broken during celebration the night before.
Fans turned out in droves to City Hall on May 23, 1978 to celebrate second Avco Cup.
Fans at  victory parade for the Jets second Avco Cup.
Bobby Hull reaches out during  first Avco Cup victory parade on May 28, 1976.
Assistant coach Bill Sutherland and head coach Tom McVie on Memorial Boulevard on May 22, 1979.
A young fan gets a handshake during Jets first victory parade on May 5, 1976.
Jets GM John Ferguson and Marc Cloutier during  third Avco Cup victory parade.
The Trizec tower was still under construction at the time of the Jets third victory parade.
Jets captain Lars-Erik Sjoberg leads a parade down Portage Avenue on May 5, 1976, after the team won its first Avco Cup. -
On May 28 1978, crowds lined Portage Avenue in celebration. -
Bobby Hull chats with fan at victory parade. -
On May 22, 1979, Jets captain Lars-Erik Sjoberg rode with the Avco Cup for the team's third victory parade on Portage Avenue. -
Jets captain Lars Erik Sjoberg with Chicken Delight Jets Mascot on City Hall balcony on May 22, 1979. -
Willie Lindstrom was in the first Avco Cup parade on Portage Avenue on May 5, 1976. -
Jets GM John Ferguson, with hand on Avco Cup, is flanked by his team at City Hall celebration. -
Norm Beaudin holds the Avco Cup on Main Street during May 5, 1976 parade. -
Jets and their many fans celebrate third Avco Cup victory at City Hall. -
Fans line parade route on May 23, 1978. -
On May 23, 1978, Lars-Erik Sjoberg holds Avco Cup which was broken during celebration the night before. -
Fans turned out in droves to City Hall on May 23, 1978 to celebrate second Avco Cup. -
Fans at victory parade for the Jets second Avco Cup. -
Bobby Hull reaches out during first Avco Cup victory parade on May 28, 1976. -
Assistant coach Bill Sutherland and head coach Tom McVie on Memorial Boulevard on May 22, 1979. -
A young fan gets a handshake during Jets first victory parade on May 5, 1976. -
Jets GM John Ferguson and Marc Cloutier during third Avco Cup victory parade. -
The Trizec tower was still under construction at the time of the Jets third victory parade. -
 Anders Hedberg holds Jets second Avco Cup trophy.
Jets defenseman Barry Long takes out Soviet Red Army player in front of goalie Joe Daley on Dec. 12, 1977.
Mats Lindh wears apparatus to protect his broken jaw playing against  Calgary Cowboys.
Jets goalie Joe Daley and captain Lars-Erik Sjoberg flank the Avco Cup on May 20, 1978, after winning it for the second time.
Jets goalie Joe Daley in game on March 12, 1976.
Jets captain Lars-Erik Sjoberg carries the team's second Avco Cup in victory skate around Winnipeg Arena on May 20, 1978.
Joe Daley makes a save on May 20, 1978.
Gordie Howe shakes hands with exhausted Jets goalie Joe Daley on May 20, 1978.
Bobby Hull in a March 29, 1977 game against Houston.
Terry Ruskoski carries Avco Cup, celebrating the team's third victory.
New England Whalers Gordie Howe in playoff game takes on Jets goalie #30 Markus Mattsson
May 20 1978: Jets bench left to right - Lars-Erik Sjoberg, Dave Dunn, Ted Green.
The Jets played Finland on March 25 1979
On Dec. 20, 1977, the Jets took on the Soviet Red Army in a hard-hitting game. Barry Long and Ted Green collide with a Russian player.
Celebrating second Avco Cup victory on May 20,1978. Left on shoulders is Terry Ruskowski , right, Lyle Moffat,  in Jets dressing room.
Jets coach Tom McVie celebrates third Avco Cup championship.
Jets celebrate their third Avco Cup. In centre of picture is goalie Joe Daley, Peter Sullivan #10 and Kent Nilson with Avco Cup.
Jets battle Birmingham Bulls on April 15, 1979.
Jets #15 Anders Hedberg in action against New England.
Jet Lars-Erik Sjoberg faces Wayne Gretzky in playoff game on May 20, 1978.
Terry Ruskowski  and teammate celebrate Jets third Avco Cup victory.
Jets #2 Lyle Moffat gets a  glove in the face from Indianapolis Racer goalie in a March 9, 1978 game.
Jets take a victory lap to celebrate third Avco Cup.
WHA referees in game against the Birmingham Bulls
Players drink from the cup in the dressing room after third Avco Cup victory.
Jets celebrate third Avco Cup victory.
Jets goalie Joe Daley make save against Quebec in a Jan.18,1978 game.
Fans stream on to  the ice looking for sticks after Jets third Avco Cup victory.
Team owner Ben Haskin with  Jets second AVCO Cup.
Kim Clackson celebrates goal in the final WHA game against Edmonton in 1979.
Bobby Hull gives Peter Sullivan a look during playoff action against New England on May 20, 1978.
On May 20, 1978 #15 Anders Hedberg celebrates goal with Ulf Nillsson and Lars-Erik Sjoberg as Winnipeg fans go wild.
 Winnipeg Jets player Mats Lindh with apparatus to protect his broken jaw in a Jan. 21, 1976 game against Calgary.
The Jets took on Phoenix on Oct. 30, 1974, with the help of their mascot.
Young Jets fans show off souvenir pucks.
Jets backup goalie Curt Larsons does between-period promo in October 1976 with University of Manitoba  women hockey players.
Fans celebrate Jets third Avco Cup victory on May 20, 1979.
In 1974, cigarette companies could still advertise at sporting events.
This young fan showed up with a home-made flashing hat when the Jets played the Soviet Union on Jan. 6, 1977.
Fans enjoyed the game against the Soviet Union on Jan 6 1977.
Anders Hedberg holds Jets second Avco Cup trophy. -
Jets defenseman Barry Long takes out Soviet Red Army player in front of goalie Joe Daley on Dec. 12, 1977. -
Mats Lindh wears apparatus to protect his broken jaw playing against Calgary Cowboys. -
Jets goalie Joe Daley and captain Lars-Erik Sjoberg flank the Avco Cup on May 20, 1978, after winning it for the second time. -
Jets goalie Joe Daley in game on March 12, 1976. -
Jets captain Lars-Erik Sjoberg carries the team's second Avco Cup in victory skate around Winnipeg Arena on May 20, 1978. -
Joe Daley makes a save on May 20, 1978. -
Gordie Howe shakes hands with exhausted Jets goalie Joe Daley on May 20, 1978. -
Bobby Hull in a March 29, 1977 game against Houston. -
Terry Ruskoski carries Avco Cup, celebrating the team's third victory. -
New England Whalers Gordie Howe in playoff game takes on Jets goalie #30 Markus Mattsson -
May 20 1978: Jets bench left to right - Lars-Erik Sjoberg, Dave Dunn, Ted Green. -
-
The Jets played Finland on March 25 1979 -
On Dec. 20, 1977, the Jets took on the Soviet Red Army in a hard-hitting game. Barry Long and Ted Green collide with a Russian player. -
Celebrating second Avco Cup victory on May 20,1978. Left on shoulders is Terry Ruskowski , right, Lyle Moffat, in Jets dressing room. -
Jets coach Tom McVie celebrates third Avco Cup championship. -
Jets celebrate their third Avco Cup. In centre of picture is goalie Joe Daley, Peter Sullivan #10 and Kent Nilson with Avco Cup. -
Jets battle Birmingham Bulls on April 15, 1979. -
Jets #15 Anders Hedberg in action against New England. -
Jet Lars-Erik Sjoberg faces Wayne Gretzky in playoff game on May 20, 1978. -
Terry Ruskowski and teammate celebrate Jets third Avco Cup victory. -
Jets #2 Lyle Moffat gets a glove in the face from Indianapolis Racer goalie in a March 9, 1978 game. -
Jets take a victory lap to celebrate third Avco Cup. -
WHA referees in game against the Birmingham Bulls -
Players drink from the cup in the dressing room after third Avco Cup victory. -
Jets celebrate third Avco Cup victory. -
Jets goalie Joe Daley make save against Quebec in a Jan.18,1978 game. -
Fans stream on to the ice looking for sticks after Jets third Avco Cup victory. -
Team owner Ben Haskin with Jets second AVCO Cup. -
Kim Clackson celebrates goal in the final WHA game against Edmonton in 1979. -
Bobby Hull gives Peter Sullivan a look during playoff action against New England on May 20, 1978. -
On May 20, 1978 #15 Anders Hedberg celebrates goal with Ulf Nillsson and Lars-Erik Sjoberg as Winnipeg fans go wild. -
Winnipeg Jets player Mats Lindh with apparatus to protect his broken jaw in a Jan. 21, 1976 game against Calgary. -
The Jets took on Phoenix on Oct. 30, 1974, with the help of their mascot. -
Young Jets fans show off souvenir pucks. -
Jets backup goalie Curt Larsons does between-period promo in October 1976 with University of Manitoba women hockey players. -
Fans celebrate Jets third Avco Cup victory on May 20, 1979. -
In 1974, cigarette companies could still advertise at sporting events. -
This young fan showed up with a home-made flashing hat when the Jets played the Soviet Union on Jan. 6, 1977. -
Fans enjoyed the game against the Soviet Union on Jan 6 1977. -

He was revered by his photographers, respected for his low-key bravery during a long cancer battle and not above some competitive mischief in his day.

Longtime Winnipeg Free Press photo editor Jon Thordarson died Saturday at the age of 59.

Free Press photo editor Jon Thordarson takes a break after completing a long-distance bicycle run in 2007.

PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA

Free Press photo editor Jon Thordarson takes a break after completing a long-distance bicycle run in 2007.

"Not many people know that five years ago, Jon's doctors told him he had three months to live. Good thing he didn't listen. He fought for each and every day, and did it without complaining," said Free Press humour columnist Doug Speirs, a very close friend. "Whenever I started whining too much, he'd look at me and say, 'You're not made of sugar!' "

Thordarson began his newspaper career as a copyboy at the Winnipeg Tribune in the early 1970s, quickly becoming one of that paper's photojournalists..

He took many of the iconic photos of the Winnipeg Jets, then with the World Hockey Association.

In the late 1970s, when the Jets won the Avco Cup, Thordarson snapped THE photo of famous hockey duo Ulf Nilsson and Anders Hedberg hoisting the trophy over their heads in victory. Then, he plucked the cup out of their hands so no other media could replicate the shot.

"Photographers can be divided up into shooters and thinkers, the shooter being instinctive, aware, deciding instantaneously, and the thinker being deliberate and planning," said photographer Ken Gigliotti. "Most are one or the other. The great ones are both. Jon was both."

When the Tribune folded in 1980, Thordarson worked briefly at the Hamilton Spectator before the Winnipeg Sun offered him a job.

The Free Press poached Thordarson from the Sun in 1989, making him photo editor.

Thordarson was known for nurturing local talent and offering breaks to Winnipeg shooters vying with hundreds of others across Canada for a rare staff job. He coached some of the country's best photographers.

During his nearly 40 years in newspapers, Thordarson also navigated tremendous technical changes -- from the days of rolling film and developing it on metal reels in a darkroom to the modern digital era.

"That's a lot of stuff to have on your shoulders," said photographer Joe Bryksa. "Jon always grasped the technology. Never was he scared of that."

Thordarson was known for always pushing to get the best picture published and supporting his photographers, but he also never let them get away with saying they couldn't make a picture work.

"He used to call us all the time and he had this phrase -- 'I've got a page oner for you,' " laughed Bryksa. "We'd just cringe because it was always a terrible assignment."

Friends say he adored his two old Labrador dogs and was obsessed with cycling -- he competed in a mountain bike race to Lake Winnipeg two summers ago with only one lung. And, any event remotely related to Thordarson's beloved Iceland always earned a photo assignment.

And he was a prankster, especially in his early days at the Trib. Pat Flynn, who started his career with Thordarson at the Tribune, was once awakened on a Saturday morning by a gaggle of people on his front lawn wanting to buy a fictional black Camero on sale for cheap. Thordarson had put a fake ad in the classifieds section, to get revenge on Flynn for sending him out to a fake four-alarm fire at 4 a.m.

"I'd look out the back door and people would be standing around looking for the car," said Flynn. "All weekend."

Thordarson leaves behind his wife Janice and his five children -- Erik, Lara, Elin, Karl and Kryn.

Plans for a celebration of Thordarson's life are underway.

maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

Words of tribute

Jon was a man of great honour and integrity. He was generous to a fault; kind, stubborn, smart and above all, much loved. He will be sorely missed.
-- Margo Goodhand, Winnipeg Free Press editor

Knowingly or not, he taught me about more than just photography in the newspaper business. Through conversations ranging from his love for cycling to stepping in dog poop in the middle of the night, he taught me how to balance work and personal life and keep a sense of humour through it all.
-- Mike Aporius, Free Press photographer

He was a great guy to go on an assignment with, always aware of what was going on around him. He'd pick up on stuff you might have missed.
-- Pat Flynn, former Free Press deputy editor and longtime friend

I greatly admired him. There was a quality about him that made him a good friend. He was honest and earnest and you knew when you spoke to him that he understood you.
-- Atli Asmundsson, Consul General for Iceland and longtime friend

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 15, 2010 A4

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