{ "" }
Share John's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
LEGAARDEN, Cdr. John Thomas
(Royal Canadian Navy, Retired)
Peacefully at home, surrounded by his family and loyal companion Maudie, in the early morning hours of Monday, February 17, 2014, aged 70 years. Beloved son of the late Lars Legaarden and Anna (McLeod) Legaarden. He will be deeply missed by his loving wife Wendy, his adoringly proud daughters Thea, Kristi, Kelly and Terri (Peter), and his many extended family and friends. The family wishes to thank Dr. Shamji, the staff of 6 West at the Ottawa General Hospital, as well as the wonderful home care team including all of his doctors, nurses and PSWs, most notably Anatoli (Tony), Allison, June, Kristen, Kathleen, and Shari. A visitation, service and celebration of his life will be held Monday, February 24th at HMCS Bytown Officers' Mess, 78 Lisgar Street, Ottawa starting at 1pm (elevator access available and parking is available across the road at City Hall). If you wish to make a donation in memory of John please consider the Esophageal Cancer Awareness association. 1-800-601-0613 or directly to Esophageal Cancer Research via (Notification e-mail address;

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ottawa Citizen from Feb. 20 to Feb. 22, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
38 entries
February 14, 2019
John and I sailed together. Sometimes we had a drink together. He was my diving officer when I was a ship's diver and we shared some interesting diving experiences. Not the least of which were night dives in Norwegian Fjords. He saved my butt more than once when my exuberance got the better of me. He was my friend and I still miss him.
Flemming Hansen
February 15, 2015
I will always remember John and smile.
kate hall
February 27, 2014
My sincere condolences. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Kurt Goebel
February 25, 2014
John, you were a great friend. We had some memorable times together. You will be missed. Bon voyage.
Flemming Hansen
February 25, 2014
I was very sorry to learn of John's passing. My sincere condolences to the entire family. I met John driving the special needs school bus for Our Lady of Peace school. I'm sorry I didn't get to know John more; he was a kind man.
Claude Goyette
February 25, 2014
Wendy and Family: It was a Shock to receive your email with the sad news of John's passing.. Our thoughts and prayers are with you
Neil and Wanda
Neil Legaarden
February 25, 2014
Wendy and family - Syndi and I were very surprised and sad to hear of John's passing. As you know, we have many, many fine memories, I as a fellow cadet, and we both as John leant us his car for our honeymoon, back in those 'good old days'. My dad also died from the same cancer - our thoughts are with you, and as one of the writers said - remember all those good times.
Dave and Syndi
David McDougall
February 25, 2014
The Lyons family would like to pass on our sincere condolences to John's extended family. John had the Legaarden family sense of humour and love of life.
February 24, 2014
Kristi and family. We were saddened to hear John had passed away and know how difficult a time this must be for all of you. John , as we remember him from our younger years was so full of life, and fun to be around. He was a part of all of our Lyons family childhood memories and always will be. We have lost touch with you in recent years and would love to hear from you.
Karen Lyons
February 24, 2014
You were one of the good guys John, always nice to be around. Though we have all but lost touch, my memory of you will be forever strong. Farewell John.
Dave Blaney
February 24, 2014
To John's family,
I was a fellow cadet and haven't had any contact since 1970, when I left the navy and moved to the US. The memories I have are fond ones of a fun loving guy with a very ready smile, easy going and well respected for being his own man. May God give you peace as you grieve.
Lynn Caple
February 24, 2014
To Wendy and the girls: I am deeply saddened by John's passing. As a cancer survivor (twice over), it never ceases to amaze me how this insidious disease can do what it does.
Wendy---keep a stiff upper lip. I will be lighting a luminary for John at the 2014 "Relay for Life" here in Belleville.

John Brewster
February 24, 2014
The DE class at Our Lady of Peace School wishes to send condolences to John's family, we are so very sorry for your loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Steve, Kathy, Jennifer and Lori.
Lori Cameron
February 23, 2014
Wendy and the girls, our heartfelt sympathies go out to you at this time. You are all in our thoughts, as is John.
Penny & Matt
February 23, 2014
Dear Wendy, Thea, Kristi, Terri, and Kelly
Remember the good times
That should keep you busy for a while.
John had a way of lighting up a room
with his great smile.

I will always remember him
and smile.
Take care and love to all of you.
I wish I could be there.
kate hall
February 23, 2014
Keep good memories in you heart to help you through the difficult times. Stay strong, our hearts are with you...
Rolly and Pauline Hammond
February 22, 2014
Wendy and girls. I can never fully find the words to say how much John meant to me, not only as a cousin but as a mentor and a guide in my career. My time spent with John and you built a love of life and an enjoyment of the finer things it has to offer. He is greatly missed but never forgotten. Fair winds and following seas to a true sailor and magnificent spirit. Lars, Eve and the family
February 22, 2014
Dear Wendy and Family: We are very sorry to learn of John's passing. John was a fine naval officer from whom I learnt from and had to pleasure to work with. Please accept our sincere condolences from Judith and I.
Bill Poole
February 22, 2014
Wendy and family. Our thought sir are with you at this very sad time. Please know that John brought a lot of joy, fun and a feeling of being important. Know he is now looking down on you always no matter where you are. He will be missed, but not forgotten.
Elva, Brian and Rita Legaarden, Regina, Sk.
John Legaarden
February 21, 2014
Dear Wendy and family,
John was a true and loyal friend, a fine naval officer, an excellent XO; and of course, an outstanding Dad and husband. It was a privilege to have known and served with him. Ellie and I send our most sincere condolences to you and the family. You are in our prayers.
Roly and Ellie Burton
Roland Burton
February 21, 2014
John was a friend, a mentor and one of the finest officers I have had the pleasure to work with. Please accept my sincere condolences.
Joe Sipos
February 21, 2014
Dear Wendy, Thea, Kristi, Kelly and Terri - words cannot say, but I like to think of the party up there with John joining Mum and Andrea, Joy and Gunnar, and Dad looking on. That party will rock!!
Pru Harrold
February 21, 2014
Dear Wendy, Thea, Kristi, Kelly and Terri
My sincere condolences.
John was a great shipmate and a good friend over the years. We had some wonderful times and escapades in the sweepers and later in 257 and 265. It is so sad but now he will be at peace.
Michael Young
February 21, 2014
Wendy, I am so sad to hear this. You and your family are in our thoughts. John was a fantastic person and was so much fun to work with. I'm so sorry.
Una Beaudry
February 21, 2014
Wendy and Family.

I too had the pleasure of sailing with John as my XO on HMCS Ottawa in the eraly '80s. He was a prince of a man and always had such a great sense of humour. My most sincere condolences to you all.
Paul Prudhomme
February 21, 2014
So sorry for your loss,love from Elisabeth in Norway.
February 21, 2014
Dear Wendy and family!
Thinking of all of you. So sorry to see John is gone!
Love from Norway. Ranveig.
February 20, 2014
LCdr LEGAARDEN during the crossing the line ceremony on HMCS Ottawa 229 - Eastlant 84
My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. I was a young Ordinary Seaman when he was XO on HMCS Ottawa 229. I remember him well - a great man and a great officer.
Garry Weir
February 20, 2014
So sorry to hear of your loss. Blessings.
Phillip Rody
February 20, 2014
Dear Wendy and Family,

Kathy and I were very sad to hear of John's passing. May the great memories you created as a family keep John's spirit with you to endure the difficult days ahead.
Dan Gallina
February 20, 2014
Dear Wendy and family, I am so sorry for your loss and would like you to know that my thoughts are with you.
John was my very first operational XO and I remember him with fondness. One of my favourite memories was sitting on the flag deck of HMCS Ottawa with him one night, under the awning, watching a thunder and lightening storm rage around us in Thunder Bay. It was a spectacular sight and I reflect on that moment often.
May peace be with you.
Dan Chervenka
February 20, 2014
Hi Wendy, Kelly, Terri, Kristi and Thea: So sorry...take good care, Love Laura and the Boys
Laura Young
February 20, 2014
Dear Wendy, Thea, Kristi Kelly and Terri.
I am so sorry to hear about John's passing. You guys have been part of my family all my life and I cannot remember a time when we were not involved with the Legaardens. I wanted to pass on my condolences and thoughts and prayers to you all. I will always remember going to Eagle Head with John to help him "fix up" the house by the sea (which did not have a roof by the way) and being treated like an adult for the first time in my life. John was more like an Uncle than just a family friend. I will miss him forever.
Love Doug
Doug Young
February 20, 2014
Dear Wendy and Family

We were so very sorry to hear of John's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Betsy and Mike Amberley
February 20, 2014
Dear Thea and Family,
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Wishing you comfort, peace and love during this sad time.
Best wishes,
Maggie Fitzgerald
February 20, 2014
I have not seen J. T. since 1967. I remember him with warm regard. I wish you all the best in his absence.
E. B. Baker Lcdr (retired)
Barry Baker
February 20, 2014
Wendy and family,

I am very sorry to hear of John's passing. My deepest sympathies go out to you all during this difficult time.
Shawn Davies
February 20, 2014
He will be so missed! He will be in good company with my Dad.. Lot's of Hugs and Love from Sam, Lon & Kaius
Samantha Ladell
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences