John was born to Hilda (née Ridout) and Charles Pendray in Victoria, B.C.  After graduating from Mt. View High School, John studied for a year at Victoria College.  Following his college experience, he returned to the family dairy business near Swan Lake to work full time with his father.  Mutual friend Ernie Wellwood introduced John and Joyce.  In 1948 they married and began their partnership of 63 years.

In the mid-1950’s, John and his father moved the farm to the Blenkinsop Valley.  John continued to grow the business, and in time his father retired and his two sons joined him in running the farm.  John devoted a lot of time and effort to the development of the dairy industry in British Columbia.  He spent 30+ years on the Board of Directors for Island Farms Dairy.  He also worked with the B.C. Dairy Foundation and other dairy industry committees.  He served terms on the Saanich Police Board and the local Water Advisory Board.  John was a champion for local products and local businesses long before that was a popular concept.  In the late 1970’s, John and his sons moved the farm to North Saanich.  A high energy and very hard-working individual, John accomplished a lot in his 98+ years.  Aside from achievements in the dairy industry, he was an expert commercial potato grower and won first prize for his ‘Netted Gem’ potatoes at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto.

Over the years, many people contributed to the success of the family farm.  Thank you to all former staff, as well as family members and friends who worked at the farm.

John will be remembered for his savvy business sense, big smile, gregarious nature, hospitality, love of travelling, and of course, his wonderful garden!  He grew delicious vegetables and fruit and gorgeous flowers that he generously shared with family and friends.  John was fond of dogs and found great pleasure in raising Labrador puppies.  After retirement John enjoyed curling, fishing, and going for trips all over the world with Joyce.

We will miss you, John.

John is survived by his daughter-in-law Linda, children Dianne (Joe), Michael (Cheri), Carol, grandchildren Jennifer, Sarah (Michael), Alicia (Steve), Keely, Sean, great grandchildren Braedan, Trevor, Ashley, Owen, Oliver, and Emily, cousins, nieces and nephews.

John was predeceased by his wife Joyce, parents Hilda & Charles Pendray, stepmother Hazel Pendray, siblings Wilf (Marg), Doreen (Frank), and Elaine (Ken), and eldest son David Pendray.

Thank you to all the family members, as well as neighbours, business, club and church friends who phoned and visited John in his home during the past few years when he was less able to go out.  He appreciated each and every one of you!

The family would like to thank the private caregivers who supported John in his home.  Thanks also to the staff at Saanich Peninsula Hospital for their compassionate care for John.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in John’s name to the ALS Society of BC, or other charity of your choice.

A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens

  • John van Dongen

    To the Pendray Family,
    I have enjoyed knowing John for over 45 years even though I’m not from Vancouver Island. I worked with John on the Board of the BC Dairy Foundation throughout all of the 1980s and early 1990s. We always had the best of relationships. I remember in 1980 when he assembled a number of smaller farms into one and built a brand new dairy barn and milking set-up from the ground up. The Pendray farm became a well-established destination for untold numbers of school groups, political gatherings and all manner of other events and visitors. John’s spotless leading edge dairy farm was right next to the airport, close to the ferries and not very far from the Legislature. John was an outstanding farmer and co-op leader. He worked hard for the things he believed in and was relentless in making things better for the farmers on Vancouver Island. It was a privilege to work with him.



  • Ian Vantreight

    John was a good man and good farmer. I considered him one of my highest valued mentors and learned a lot from him on various Boards and Committees we were both on. He will be missed and his legacy will proudly live on.

  • Bruce Smith

    Dear Pendray Family,
    Our hearts and thoughts are with you all
    at this sad time. He was a lovely man.
    hugs from Bruce and Shirley Smith and Family

  • Ron Greene

    I met John because of my interest in the dairies on the island and he consented to be interviewed about the family dairies and Island Farms. Later he invited me to join the Dairy Industry history project. Somewhere along the time I also coached both Dianne and Carol in volleyball which drew John and me a little closer. He was a good man to be with and to work with who I respected very highly and in later years the occasional lunch together was enjoyable. Our condolences to the family on their great loss. Men of John’s calibre do not come along all that often.

  • Gail Latta

    John will long be remembered by his infectious smile which automatically made the recipient of his smile react immediately.
    Blessings to the Pendray family.
    Gail Latta

  • Ted Daly

    My condolences to all of John’s family on his passing. He certainly led a well lived and well loved life. I met John when Sidney Little League was looking for a new home, and he contacted me to offer some of his leased land at the Victoria Airport. The rest is history. The ball fields known as Rotary Park Field of Dreams were built by volunteers and a diamond was named after the Pendray Family. Over the thirty years hence , thousands of boys and girls have played ball at Rotary Park, which would not have been possible without John’s generous offer. I wish all of John’s family many hours of peace with their fond memories of him. May he Rest In Peace.

  • David Smirl

    Wishing you comfort and remembering John’s kind spirit and accomplishments on behalf of our family and especially our mother, the late Muriel Rennie (Pendray). Our heartfelt condolences to the family for your loss. Always remember even when we can’t see them, the stars still shine.

  • Rene M.

    My condolences Carol and Family. A life well lived.

  • Jennifer Viljoen

    John was a much loved member of the family of St Paul’s United Church in Sidney. He attended regularly partaking in Saturday concerts, fellowship time after Sunday service and whenever there were get togethers. He always had a friendly word and lovely smile for everyone before moving on to ring the bell calling all to worship. John will be dearly missed by us all and will be remembered as a true and faithful servant to St Paul’s. May “flights of angels sing thee to thy rest”
    Sincere condolences to the family and Lorna, his faithful caregiver.

  • Cheryl Black

    What a beautiful man John was. He was a central figure in St. Paul’s United Church and he was loved and respected by all. We send our deepest condolences to his family and his faithful caregivers. A light among us has gone out with his death. But as the sun rose on Easter day, just after his death, it was brighter for his light having joined with the eternal light that dawned.
    Rev. Cheryl Black on behalf of St. Paul’s United Church, Sidney

  • Gail Roger

    And the gates of a remarkable generation close. Wishing you love and comfort, from our family to yours.

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