John passed away unexpectedly at his home on June 5, 2011.
He was predeceased by his father Harry Strachan, his mother Doris Strachan (Thompson), brother-in-law Fred Uppenborn and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. John is survived by his son Seamus Andrew, daughter Erin Doris Kathleen Martin (Jay), sisters Betty Uppenborn and May Bilash (Terry), and brother Robert (Margaret). He is also survived by nieces Dodie Ovington (Allan), Laurel Aikiw (Michael), Deldee Higgins-Noble (Ray), Wendie Spelay (Laurie), Shelly Curtis, Lisa Abley, Tara Bilash, Brenda Bilash, and nephew Randy Strachan, as well as numerous great nieces and nephews.
John was born in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan, where he also completed high school. He received his diploma in Resource Management at SIAST, Sask. after two years of study, and his BA in Geography at the Carleton University in Ottawa.
He worked as a park warden for 12 years at Jasper National Park; a job that he enjoyed immensely, and one that took him to many other countries on behalf of the Park.
He was also very involved with Emergency Preparedness Canada, and at the time of his retirement, he was a senior policy annalist/advisor.
John enjoyed art, and was a creative writer. Over the years he produced a number of columns for the Star/Journal newspaper – Rural Rambles, Ups and Downs, and most recently Chinook Cove Men’s Golf Report. A Star/Journal reader’s favourite was John’s cartoons which always represented rural life and the humour that can be found there. He was a talented and respected cartoonist, and at the time of his passing he was doing the illustrations for a book as per the request of the author.
He was an active member of the Legion, the Church of St. Paul, the Chinook Cove Golf Club, and Barriere Hospice where he was very much appreciated for his caring and dedication.
Special times for John were taking trips and exploring with Betty.
John loved playing his guitar and/or banjo, and getting together with friends Paul Faessler, Mickey Kinlock, Debbie Dana and many others. He was a regular musician at the Barriere Seniors Hall, Church of St. Paul, Fall Fair and numerous other community functions. John was always ready to donate his time to sing a song and bring a smile to someone’s face, to give a kind word, or to lend a helping hand.
John loved the outdoors. He loved to fish, and was a golf enthusiast, making many trips with family and friends to golf tournaments in the United States, and even travelled to historic golf courses in Scotland.
Last summer John went skydiving in Kamloops with a friend; after which his first comment was “absolutely awesome!”. He loved to ski, and he loved his convertible and speed. He was easy to recognize as he zipped by in his “silver bullet”, giving a cheery smile or wave to friends as he sped on by.
John was a true gentleman, and his compassion and caring for his community will be long remembered.
He loved his two children with a passion, and the thrill of his life was seeing his daughter Erin wed to Jay Martin last September 18, in Ottawa. John topped the special evening off dancing with Erin (to a very long Eagle’s song!)
His funeral service will be on June 14, at 2:30pm at the Senior’s Centre in Barriere, B.C., Rev. Graham Brownmiller officiating. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution can donate to the Barriere Hospice Society or to the charity of their choice. Funeral arrangements made by North Thompson Funeral Services,4638 Barriere Town Road, Barriere, B.C., V0E 1E0, 250-672-1999.