June 24, 1942 – November 2, 2019
It is with great sadness, but with peace of mind, that we announce the passing of our beloved husband and father on November 2, 2019.
John’s life started in Foam Lake, SK. before his parents moved to a farm in Marquette, MB. Coming from a home with Ukrainian parents, John learned to speak English when he started elementary school in Meadow Lea. Although he attended High School in Warren, John didn’t really need schooling as he was a natural at fixing and building things on his own (with or without plans).
After his school years, he worked for many companies before becoming a mechanic and opening his own service station. John and Lynne were married in November of 1966 and settled down in Stony Mountain, MB to start a family and where John worked at the maximum security federal penitentiary.
Seven years and two children later he discovered Vancouver Island, BC and decided that was the place he wanted to be. John put the house up for sale, quit his job, packed his family into a 22 foot travel trailer and headed to the West Coast where he would live in the Chemainus area for over 40 years.
It didn’t take long before he was hired by BC Forrest Products. He started at the bottom and worked his way up to being the manager of Fiber Supply. He was well liked and respected by his crew for being a fair manager who had his crew’s best interest at heart. This was also true for the baseball and hockey teams he coached over the years. After retiring John liked to keep busy; morning coffee with his old farts club, puttering about in his yard or shop, helping neighbors who needed something built or fixed, napping with his cat or his son’s dog and spending time with his family.
John liked people and people liked him. Much like his father he liked to talk to people. John knew everyone in town and everyone knew John. Even though his front lawn was the size of a postage stamp it took him two hours to mow the grass as he had to talk with everyone who walked by. Like his mother, John was non-judgemental. It didn’t matter who you were, you were worth his time and friendship. Also like his parents, he was proud of his Ukrainian heritage and was always prepared for each holiday with cabbage rolls and perogies. If you talked cabbage rolls with John you would have heard the secret to his success was to lick them to make them stick together. John was lighthearted and loved to joke and tease with all he knew, you never knew when to take him seriously. Did he really lick the cabbage rolls to make them stick? Was his family too poor to afford to give him a middle name? We will never know! All joking aside, in serious moments you could always count on John to lighten the mood. There was no one else like him.
He is predeceased by his father Metro, mother Mary, brothers Bill, Nick & Paul and is survived by Lynne, his wife of 53 years, children Barb & Steve, his little buddy Sam the cat, brother Peter (Pauline), sister Verna Poole (Jim) as well as many nephews and nieces.
We will be celebrating John’s life on Sunday November 17, 2019 at the Chemainus Senior’s Centre at 1 o’clock. In lieu of flowers please keep John’s spirit alive by committing a random act of kindness or by making a donation to your local food bank.
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