November 12, 1926 - June 7, 2012. Dearly loved husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend.
John was born in Hull, England. As a boy at Newland Homes, he excelled at sports and mischief, and began his lifelong love of music in the Newland Boys Band. In his teens, he was evacuated to the countryside with his school. As the only available lessons were football and typing, he became quite proficient at both. Later, by accident, he was sent to train as a Chartered Accountant, and stayed with that career until far past the usual retirement age.
In 1950, he met the lovely Beryl, uttering the immortal words "Is that it, then?" They were married in 1955, after John was rescued from his terrible digs by his doting mother-in-law Connie. Two years later, John and Beryl (with Connie following a little later) left England for Canada, sight unseen, which turned out to be one of the best things they ever did.
They lived for many happy years in Vancouver with their daughters, spending summer days at Spanish Banks and sharing verbatim reports at the dinner table. John started his own accounting business in the early '70s, establishing an office in the Vancouver Block on Granville Street. He and Beryl worked together there, meeting many diverse and interesting people along the way.
In 1989, they moved to Ladner, where they enjoyed the community and all it had to offer. They travelled back to England a few times, as well as to Hawaii, the US, Australia and Alaska, but enjoyed the beauty of the Lower Mainland the most.
John was a man of many interests and talents. He played the clarinet, the trumpet and, less successfully, the saxophone. He loved the Rockford Files and Clint Eastwood movies, and had probably seen every episode of Seinfeld and Law and Order. Recent happy times included placing in the top five of the Sun Run 80+ category, flying with his friend Al, hiding candy for his grandson to find, and sitting in his gorgeous garden with a beer and a good book. He was probably one of the only 85 year olds to receive an X-Box for Christmas.
Last fall, after a lifetime of good health, John undertook treatment for colon cancer with remarkably good humour and a new-found curiosity about all things medical. He deeply appreciated the excellent care he received at Delta Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, the Fraser Valley Cancer Centre and the Irene Thomas Hospice. He especially wanted to thank his Nurse-Next-Door caregivers Linda, Liv, Kerrie and Cherry, whose skill and delightful company allowed him and Beryl to stay comfortably at home through most of his illness. He also appreciated the recent kindness and support of Dr. Dominic Eustace and dear friends Aileen and Al.
Left with wonderful memories are his wife Beryl, daughters Alison and Barbara, son-in-law Jim, step-grandchildren Tim, Gabby and Jill, grandson Eric, niece Maggie and her family and many treasured friends.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date; friends so wishing may make memorial contributions to Delta Hospital or the Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on June 30, 2012