KOOLMAN, John John (Jan) Koolman was born in Sassenheim, Netherlands June 13, 1949. He came to Canada in 1951 with his parents Adriaan and Gezina who predeceased him in 2006 and 2007. John grew up in Sooke and was always fascinated with the sea. He was a deckhand as a teenager, working on tugs and fish boats. In 1974 he married Liz Wickheim and they have a son, Jake and daughter, Katie. John worked at Sooke Marine Industries for several years and then fishing recaptured his interest. In 1981 he and Liz bought the troller Argyle No. 1 which provided a successful life for the family, with Liz, Jake and Katie joining John as deckhands at various times over the years. John was passionate about the fishing industry and for many years was an industry representative to DFO. His concern and perseverance helped bring about significant reform and improvement to Groundfish management. John was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in early August and despite intensive chemotherapy and a strong will, he was unable to conquer it. He died at home in the loving presence of Liz, Jake and Katie on December 27, 2012. John appreciated the frankness and care given by the staff on Bone Marrow/Leukemia ward at Vancouver General, particularly Drs John Shepherd and Maryam Baghbannazary and the compassionate nursing staff. In Sooke, Drs George Urban and Anton Rabien provided tremendous support of John's wish to be cared for at home, with the Palliative Care Team. Special thanks to Michele Atchison, Home Care Nurse. John is also survived by his brothers Herman (Carole) and Adrian (Donna), and sister Rose (Barry), sister-in-law Marg (Mike), brother-in-law Al (Laura), father-in-law Maywell, and many nieces and nephews. A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the Royal Canadian Legion 6726 Eustace Rd, Sooke at 2:00pm. A private graveside service has been held and scattering at sea will take place. In lieu of flowers, please consider becoming a regular Blood Donor. Without the generosity of many blood donors John's life would have been much shorter.
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Published in Victoria Times-Colonist on Jan. 5, 2013