March 25, 1929 – October 19, 2020
On October 19th John passed away peacefully at home with his wife and family by his side after a lengthy battle with dementia.
Predeceased by his parents, Sybil & Bert Gosnell, brothers Richard and Bert, sisters Annie, Joan, Phyllis, Evelyn and stepsons David and Ron Nash.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years Helen, sister Winnie, children Joe (Kelly)Rhodes, Cathy (Bob) Mcubbin, step-children, Elaine (Norm) Raynard, Deb (Ron) George, Andy (Cindy) Nash, Kate Blackburn, 20 grandchildren, 43 great grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren.
Born in Enderby, BC, where he completed both elementary and high school, at an early age he showed a gift of being able to play music by ear. Although it was a luxury that his family could little afford his mother made sure to get him some piano lessons and that sent him on his way to being involved in music throughout the rest of his life.
In his late teens he played in a small band called the Okanoganers traveling from dance to dance in the region, a hobby he would continue through the rest of his life, playing for many years with his great friend Len Painter in the Melody Lads here in the valley.
After graduation he made a decision to join the army and did a two-year stint at Shiloh base close to Brandon, Manitoba. From all accounts it wasn’t his favorite place in Canada and had his own unique way of describing his time there to us.
After returning home to Enderby, his family made the decision to move to Vancouver, where he worked at a sawmill for a couple of years. Looking for work eventually led him to the Island where he found work, first building the Crofton Pulp Mill and later as an oiler and then as a pipefitter where he stayed until his retirement in the early 90’s due to health problems.
John’s retirement days were spent at the home he loved and had built with his wife on Telegraph Rd. His time was spent tending to the gardens (including the hair-raising grass cutting expeditions on the hill), enjoying family gatherings by the pool and the infamous shuffleboard tournaments and parties with family and “the gang”. He always told us that the only way he was going to be leaving that house was feet first in a hearse.
Unfortunately, as his health deteriorated, the hard decision was made to move to a smaller place where things would be more manageable, making the move to a condo in Duncan 3 years ago.
In keeping with the current health recommendations and an abundance of caution around Covid, the family is planning a Celebration of Life sometime in the future when it’s safe to do so.
The family would like to offer special thanks to Dr. Bass, the Palliative care team, the nurses, the care aides and our sister Kate Blackburn who helped us keep his final days comfortable and at home with his family, exactly where he wanted to be.
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