John WILLOW

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Service Information
H.W. Wallace Cremation and Burial Centre
5285 Polkey Road
Duncan, BC
V9L 6W3
(250)-701-0001
Obituary

WILLOW, John April 26, 1923 - May 30, 2012 After a long and amazingly eventful life, John passed away with his wife Jean at his side at the Cerwydden Care Centre in Duncan. John also leaves behind his children John, Stanley (and his wife Terry) and Barbara, his five grandchildren Robyn, Mathew, Siobhan, Evan and Jason, his brother-in-law John and niece Jess in England, and many friends, including his best friend since childhood, Zbigniew Kaminski in Poland. John was born to Alexander and Hieronima Wielowieyski in Wielka Wola, Poland. After his war exploits, John immigrated to Canada in 1949. With little money to his name, he farmed for a few years in Ontario before moving out West. John worked hard to establish himself; first working for a logging company along the BC coast, and then buying and running a restaurant with his mother in Vancouver. Eventually in 1962, he returned to his chosen profession as an engineering hull draftsman with the Department of National Defence in Esquimalt. In his spare time, John started up a business making detailed architectural scale models, most notably of the University of Victoria. John was a fighter. He fought passionately for what he believed in, especially the environment. In 1969, he was a founding member and leader of a dedicated group of young British Columbians focused on protecting the magnificent forests and lakes of the Nitinat Triangle along the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. This renegade group called themselves the "Sierra Club of Western Canada" and they were successful in their campaign to gain park status for Nitinat. An avid hiker, camper and canoeist, John's favourite hobby was photography. His love of film making led him to make several movies, two of which were shown on CBC's Klahanie in the mid-70's. After moving to the Cowichan Valley in the 90's with Jean, John took up the challenge of re-establishing blue-bee populations up and down Vancouver Island. The family is very grateful for the medical help and support given this last year by Dr. Tom Rimmer, the care of the nurses at the Cowichan District Hospital and, in John's final months, the compassion and care provided by the great staff at Cerwydden. At John's request there will be no funeral. Instead, family and friends will gather later in the summer to celebrate John's life, re-tell his stories and remember his smile. In lieu of flowers, donations to the David Suzuki Foundation 219-2211 West 4th Ave. Vancouver, BC V6K 4S2 would be most appreciated. Online condolences may be offered at www.hwwallacecbc.com "> www.hwwallacecbc.com
Published in Victoria Times Colonist on June 6, 2012
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