John West
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WEST, John March 16, 1949 to May 17, 2017 John West, beloved husband to Bonnie Stacy, died peacefully at home on May 17, 2017, surrounded by family and close friends. John was a wonderful and loving son to Barbara and Bill West, brother to Elizabeth and Kathleen, uncle to Niya, Kieran, and Liam, great-uncle to Addae and Alexander, and stepfather to Sean. John, dynamic and larger-than-life, was devoted and loyal to his family and wide circle of friends. He had a strong sense of place and an intense passion and respect for the people, the maritime history, and the architecture of the BC coast. This marked his life in a community where he firmly planted his roots. John's family and wide community will greatly miss his delicious meals; conversation and storytelling around a large and welcoming table; his wide-ranging accounts of traditional boats on the BC Coast to ships in the western Pacific; spirited discussions of politics, religion, the monarchy, and history. Most of all, they will miss his spirit, warmth, kindness, trustworthiness, helpfulness, humour, intelligence, and his love for his family and circle of friends. John had a deep and abiding love of the sea and boats, dating back to his first eight foot Sabot which, at the age of six or seven, he navigated single handed across Haro Strait towards San Juan Island. As a boy, he sailed in Vado, the five metre keelboat that he built with his father. As an adult, he explored the BC coast in his many boats: Far West, a restored 12 metre troller; Gabrielle II, a 48 foot Knut Reimers' yawl; Astrocyte, a 50 foot William Garden circumnavigator sloop; Scaup, a Monk troller cruiser; and Kwasun, a Laurent Giles designed Salar 40 which he transported across North America from Rhode Island before he had it meticulously restored. John had a vast knowledge of maritime heritage and had a profound impact on its preservation in BC; he was described as "a walking, or floating encyclopedia when it comes to classic boats. The man at the helm of the Victoria Classic Boat Festival had a passion for the past." John was one of the founders of the Festival in 1977 and served as chair from 1998 until 2005 and later as judging coordinator, imparting his deep knowledge of classic vessels. John was a driving force of the Festival and had a significant role in its enduring success. John was a staunch supporter of the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, serving as a trustee, a board member, and as chair of the board. Through his work there, he was one of the people instrumental in the ongoing restoration of Dorothy, the historically important Gaff cutter, built and launched in Victoria Harbour in 1897. John was at his happiest when he was sailing and exploring the BC coastline. Whether tied up at a dock or anchored, John would always find a boat that he knew the heritage of, and with gin in hand, he would head off to meet and chat with the "captain" of the boat. John's first professional calling was on the TEV Princess Marguerite, which ultimately took him to Northern British Columbia and later as chief engineer at Bapco Paint in Victoria. Most of John's professional life was in real estate where he brought his prodigious knowledge of local history and architecture, his refined and exacting eye, and his great enjoyment of people to the profession. John spent the better part of his forty-year real-estate career at Newport Realty. John said he felt blessed to have worked with a wonderful crew for whom he had such tremendous admiration. John was a devoted and active member of the St. Barnabas Anglican Church family. He served on the Parish Council for many years and participated in numerous church functions. His egg-salad sandwiches for the Sunday lunches will be missed. A sincere thank you to all the people who supported John and Bonnie in the past few months: everyone in the BC Cancer Agency, in particular Dr. Saltman and his assistant Dena, and Dr. Pai; our family physicians, Drs. Innes and Walton; the parishioners at St. Barnabas Anglican Church and, in particular, Fathers John Hannen and Travis O'Brian; and friends Bill W., Bill N., Conrad, Jim, Hasse, Jamie, Erica, and Holly. We want to express our profound appreciation for our goddaughter, Amanda, and her husband, Gabe. We would also like to express our thanks to the numerous friends in John and Bonnie's world who have provided constant love and support. The funeral will take place at Christ Church Cathedral, 930 Burdett Ave., Victoria, on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 1:00 PM. A reception will follow at the Inn at Laurel Point, 680 Montreal St., at 4:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the BC Cancer Agency and/or The Maritime Museum of BC (634 Humbolt St., Victoria, BC V8W 1A4) in the name of John West.

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Published in Victoria Times Colonist from May 20 to May 22, 2017.
Memories & Condolences
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34 entries
May 23, 2018
Just happened upon this as I was looking up "olde" friends. I had the pleasure to work with John for many yrs in the "biz". As I was waiting to secure a teaching job in Victoria after relocating from Edmonton in '76, I took out my R.E. licence and embarked on a 32 yr career where I was a colleague of John's at Bayshore, Cedric Steele, Boorman's and Newport. I loved John's sense of humour, his candid remarks and his professionalism. We always had a good laugh. I wasn't a "boater" but he didn't hold that against me...:). In moving away from Victoria upon retirement in '08, I unfortunately lost contact with John and I am sad for that. My very late but heartfelt condolences to all the family.
Jeff Pollitt
August 19, 2017
John's grandmother and my grandfather were siblings, so I know and remember John from family gatherings held over the years. We also enjoyed exchanging emails on the subject of family history.
At one family gathering, John invited us back to his boat, along with my mother and his father (who were cousins). He was always able to shed light on family members, and tell stories that I had never heard before, some of which were quite funny! I will miss his keen wit and sense of humour, and his ability to engage in so many diverse subjects.
John, himself, was one of the more fascinating family members that I had ever had the pleasure of meeting. I send my condolences to his family and friends.
Raymond Reitsma
June 19, 2017
Bonnie and family, I will miss chatting with John at the office and around. He was a true gentleman and sailor. I am sorry to have missed his service, I heard it was beautiful. With love Laurie Anne Faulkner.
June 8, 2017
They say the average person has five truly good friends in life if they are lucky. John was not only one of mine, but the best friend this life has given me. I was able to share life with him for 32 years. We had some great adventures. He had a flare for life that was unique and admirable. A gentleman, someone to rely on, someone to trust, someone to go to for advice because he listened, someone who always lifted your spirits. Who do I turn to now that john has left us when I need my spirits lifted? I always believed that however long John lived he would get more from life than me if I lived longer. His knowledge, generosity, cooking, laughter, pure joy of being alive were always things I admired and could never copy. Now he is gone and we are left to yes, remember him, but also to find a void in our lives that won't be easily filled. Three weeks after his passing I still find myself teary eyed when I think too much about him. If only he had taught me how to live life like he did I would be a richer man for it. I am optimistic that somehow he did and my life will improve even without his guidance. Thank you for everything you gave me John.
Ian Poyntz
June 6, 2017
John has been a family friend for almost 40 years, and helped more than one of use find homes in Victoria. I will always remember his great sense of humour, his laugh, his poodles, his love of classic cars and boats, and his fondness for a shared drink. Our condolences on your loss.
Leslie Hurtig
June 2, 2017
Only socialized with John a few times. When with him I felt I had known him for a long spell! He made me laugh and he laughed with me!
Look out wherever he is!
D and F Morgan
David Morgan
June 1, 2017
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripend grain.
I am the gentle Autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there I did not die.
-Mary Elizabeth Frye
Fair Winds, John West
You were the Victoria Classic Boat Festival
And so much more to all of us who knew you.

Greg Gilbert WINIFRED
Greg Gilbert
May 31, 2017
Thinking of you at this very sad time and grateful for the friendship we had we John, Michael and Dolores Todd
May 30, 2017
I am so very privileged and excited to have been part of your extraordinary world. What a guy. You lite up the room when you entered and your laugh was unforgettable. What can I say but thanks for being who you were, a friend and mentor to all that passed your way. You will be very missed. Give them hell In Heaven Johnnie. I know you can. With much respect and love. Lee Price RIP
May 29, 2017
Deepest sincere condolences to John's family and friends.
Nanna Nielsen
May 29, 2017
Bonnie, our hearts go out to you and your family.
Deepest condolences,
Julie and Patrick
Julie Lawson
May 27, 2017
I'm very sorry to hear this news. John was one of the first people my wife and I met when we moved onto Whereaway, a W. Garden sloop. John had Astrocyte (another Garden classic) and we were in awe. I saw John here and there around the docks over the years and he was always a friendly, knowledgeable fellow willing to shoot the breeze about boats.

He was a regular customer at Finest at Sea, where I work, so I always looked forward to a bit of his intelligent conversation then.

You will be missed by us marine enthusiasts in BC.
Timothy Webster
May 27, 2017
So sorry to hear that my husband's childhood friend and neighbour and our school classmate has passed. We had a last hug only a month ago at a chance meeting. Very grateful for that moment in time. Prayers for strength and peace to John's family.
Fern and Mark Perkins
May 27, 2017
So sorry, Bonnie to hear of John's death. I didn't know John well, but I felt immediately the warmth of his home and table and his passion for life. My last really good political discussion was with John. I know he will be missed by so many.
Barbara Lee
May 26, 2017
What a shock! Compared to so many others I hardly knew you John. But I do remember your vitality, laugh, warm smile and enthusiasm for all things marine, especially the Classic Boat Festival and the Maritime Museum. We are all the poorer for your passing.
Ron Armstrong
May 26, 2017
Very sorry to hear of John's passing. I first knew him when I joined the Board of the Maritime Museum of BC. I used to see him before that on the water or specifically at events like the Classic Boat Festival. His level of knowledge of maritime matters (and especially local and regional aspects) was unsurpassed. He was a great guy to know. He worked so hard for the maritime community and he will be missed.
Paul Crober
May 26, 2017
James and I came to know John so late in the game of life, but he made such an impact with the both of us. He had such a zest for life and was so easy to get to know quickly. You will be sorely missed by both of us and especially by Indie.
Romi Lagadin
May 26, 2017
John - you and your family provided stability, caring and above all a sense of curiosity fun and joy throughout my childhood and adolescence. A wonderful memory. I am sorry you are gone. Sorrier still for the loss to your loved ones. Big hugs to all your family.
Jennifer Gaddes (Young)
May 25, 2017
and just as an were an awesome big cousin with a wonderfully artistic family and we hold you in our hearts forever. I am so grateful we got to know each other later in life and all 'grown up'. blessings
hilary Robertson
May 25, 2017
ahh John. I am so very sorry you have left this earth, but clearly you have left your mark. I recall our early life as cousins and then as adults - meeting again and being surprised at how much we liked each other! Take care, I recall your distinct voice and I wish you safe travels to your next journey on the oceans of life. hugs and much love to all your family - heartbreaking in your much too early passing, Hilary
Hilary Robertson
May 25, 2017
I am a contemporary of John with a similar upbringing so we always understood each others humour and outlook on life. We also had a similar nautical obsession and were both serial boat buyers appreciating the nuances and quality of our latest floating heart's desire.. Any time we met we were able to instantly reconnect and carry on our 50 year old dialogue. Sometime a memory of one of John's pranks crosses my mind and I smile. I am quite sad that our conversations have now ended.
John Robertson
May 25, 2017
I met John at the Maritime Museum of BC. Just after I started working there, he came in and his booming laughter filled the entire floor. What a wonderful raconteur and a great guy. I will miss him, as will so very many others. Thank you for being you, John. It was my pleasure to know you.
Diana Bentley-Ramsden
May 25, 2017
A devoted supporter of all things maritime in and around Victoria, John was for more than twenty-five years a most engaging member of Thermopylae Club. We will keep Bonnie in our thoughts.
Members of the Thermopylae Club
May 24, 2017
I knew John through his association with St. Barnabas. He was a loyal member of the church, and was always generous with his compliments of the music. He will be greatly missed.
Jerry McDonald
May 24, 2017
I knew John through Conrad Meyers. I really liked John and I will miss him. He made a really great gin with bitters.
Richard Noble
May 24, 2017
We will remember John as the wonderful raconteur he was.
Peter, Barbara, Melinda
May 22, 2017
John was always a wonderful friend to me out on the water. I remember each of my encounters with him and visits onboard Scaup. He will be missed by so many.
Dan Rubin
May 21, 2017
Ah John, I read of your passing with tear in my eye. but I will always remember your love of life. Thank you for your friendship. Knowing you was a blessing.
Bill Murphy
May 21, 2017
I got to know John when we were both members of the Victoria Heritage Foundation. His love of heritage architecture was infectious and I learned a lot from him. VHF expeditions on the Scaup were much enjoyed, especially one to D'arcy Island.
Pieta VanDyke
May 21, 2017
John was indeed a Classic in his own way. There will be few like him. It was good to know him as part of the Classic boating community. Rest in peace
Margot and Ulrich Briner
May 20, 2017
John on board the HMCS Oriole 2016
As a dear Real-Estate friend working together since the inception of the Classic Boat Festival for more than 40 years on committees you will be dearly missed by so many people, so glad you just sold my home on Rockland, things will not be the same without you at the Classic Boat Festival. Your strength is to be admired.
Audrey Grimshaw
May 20, 2017
Dear old friend, I am bowed down in heart.
Susan Musgrave
May 20, 2017
John, You made a big impact in my life and I thank you for being such a good friend and mentor. You were a big part of the maritime history of BC and your passion and knowledge will be sorely missed. Any time I spent with you was always positive, humorous and left me with a smile on my face. I will miss you "Old Boy"
Hessel Oerlemans
May 20, 2017
John my friend we celebrate your life. You will forever be a part or life.

Lloyd and Theresa Shugart
Lloyd Shugart
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