John passed away peacefully at the Victoria Hospice on Jan. 14, 2024, at 90 years of age. Left to celebrate and remember his amazing life is wife Pat (Trish) Corak of 58 years, beloved daughter Lisa Corak and beloved son Mark Corak, and son in law Ron Bruszkowski. Much loved “Dodi” to granddaughter Ember and grandson Mathias. Predeceased by his father Peter Corak, mother Kate Corak (nee Brkljacic), sister Elsie Crncic and brother Walter Corak, and loved by many relatives and friends across North America, Australia and Croatia.

Celebrating an amazing man. Born in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, John was a resourceful youth growing up after the depression in Vancouver.  He had numerous stories about how he could earn himself a nickel.  Even more stories followed of his life in the former Yugoslavia when they went to rebuild the country after the war. After returning to Canada and as a young man he tried logging and fishing, and even steel working with even more stories both tragic and amazing before settling at Kenworth Trucks as a heavy-duty truck mechanic.  His trip to Europe is full of engaging stories including many about the old black VW.  He and his buddy had to spend all their money prior to leaving Europe so they bought a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary and crossed the Atlantic to New York. He then taught himself how to build a house for his new family and it stands to this day on Grant Street. His last workdays were with the School Board where children belovingly called him Mr. Smiley. We hold these many stories in our hearts, and we will miss them.

John was an incredible father and grandfather, a guiding light. A man who knew how to work hard for what he wanted, a provider in so many ways for his family.  A man who loved unconditionally, and who always remembered what was important in life…us.  A man who told everyone his grandkids were champions, so proud of all of us. We are proud of you dad, your amazing stories and how you loved us is your legacy. Thank you for being an inspiration, you live on in our hearts.

Grateful thanks to the staff and volunteers at Victoria Hospice, and all his caregivers and medical teams. In lieu of flowers, donations to Victoria Hospice gratefully appreciated.

Condolences may be offered to the family below

McCall Gardens

  • Carol and Larry Keith

    We feel extremely fortunate to have known John for almost 21 years, and over those many years we got to know him quite well. He truly was “Mr. Smiley”…and what a dynamite smile he had. John was a kind and generous gentleman, as well as a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. He was also much admired by us, especially the way he persevered with his major health issues during the latter years of his life, and yet we never heard him complain. We thought we knew a lot about him until we read his obituary, and only then did we realize that he genuinely lived a very impressive and fascinating life. We send our deepest and most heartfelt condolences. With much love to Pat and family, Carol and Larry

  • Lisa

    Love you

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