IRVING, John R September 9, 1920 - October 7, 2013 John passed away peacefully on October 7 in Chemainus, British Columbia. He was 93, the last survivor of a large Calgary family of 5 girls and 3 boys. He is survived by his childhood sweetheart and loving wife of 67 years, Trudy (Gertrude Macmillan), and children Joan (Jim), Kathy (Rob), Barbara (Tim), John (Mary) and Doug (Wendy) as well as 13 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. John graduated from Western Canada High School, Calgary, and attended the University of Washington but left in 1942 to join the Royal Canadian Navy. He served on a mine sweeper and a destroyer, and was aboard ship in Northern Ireland when World War II ended. His naval career was the start of a lifelong love of boating and coastal exploration. John co-founded and managed successful businesses in Calgary and later on Vancouver Island, where he and Trudy moved their young family in 1967. After an early retirement, he took up painting, working first in oils and later in watercolours. He befriended mural painters and totem pole sculptors, among others young and old. Known for his generosity and openness to strangers, John volunteered for many organizations. He especially enjoyed his years as a Cub leader but was also active in the Rotary Club (Calgary), Naval Officers' Association of Vancouver Island, the Chemainus Sketch Club, and Chemainus United Church, which he attended for more than 40 years. It is at this church on October 19 at 2:00 pm that the family will welcome friends to celebrate John's memory and sing a song for a life well lived. In lieu of flowers, you are invited to make a donation to the Salvation Army or the charity of your choice. Trudy and the rest of the family wish to thank the caring staff at the Chemainus Health Care Centre for their smiles and gentle attentiveness with John.
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Published in The Times Colonist from Oct. 15 to Oct. 16, 2013