John passed away suddenly on September 8 surrounded by his loving family.  John was predeceased by his parents and his brother.  Grieving John are his beloved wife, Doreen; his sons, Michael and Mark and their wives, Linda and Abra.  Grandpa will also be grievously missed by his wonderful grandchildren, Birch, Clara, Emery and Rourke.  He is also survived by his nephew, Steven Greffen and his niece, Janice Johnson as well as his nephews, Greg and Ward Fanning and Greg Heath.

John was born in Claresholm, AB and grew up on the family farm near Parkland, AB. He received his education at SAIT, the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary.   His professional career began as a draftsman and later as a high school teacher.  Before long his love of art and the creative process took him into architecture.  During this period, his sons were born and later, he returned to farming near Nanton, Alberta.  In 1986, John and his family moved to Victoria.

Once again, art found a place in his life and he spent several years at the Victoria College of Art, first as a student and then as a teacher.  Always a devoted husband and a loving father, he engaged with whatever community he was a part of, giving his time and spirit generously.   He was playful with his children and showed gentleness, humour and a kind spirit in all he did.  His kindness and genuine interest in the world around him was one of John’s hallmarks.

John had an enduring interest in nature in all its forms and expressed it through farming, relationships with animals, an appreciation of birds, and by working in his garden.  Art was a continuing theme for John throughout his life.  John experienced the magic of art in the process and trusted in the outcome when he simply stayed in the moment.

He lived his life the same way, the experience of living and sharing his life leaving him fulfilled and enriching the lives of those around him.  All who were fortunate enough to meet John experienced his gentleness and humour.  His greatest masterpiece was a life well lived, and it is keenly felt and carried forward by those whom he leaves behind.

A service for John will be held in the Sequoia Centre at McCall Gardens, 4665 Falaise Drive on Saturday, September 22 at 2:30 pm.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charitable organization of your choice.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens


  • Lucille McKone
    September 14, 2018

    Dear Doreen and Family,
    Brian and Margot contacted us, to share the news of John’s passing, and immediately our thoughts went out to you all. We were pleased to have shared time with you and John during our visit to Victoria, and as well, at Abra and Mark’s wedding. We truly hope it will comfort you in some small way, knowing we care and are sharing your loss.
    With Deepest Empathy,
    Gerry and Lu

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