April 18 1934 – March 20 2010
John Emil Gilkin passed away on March 20, 2010, at Overlander Residential Care Facility. He had been in poor health for the past 2 years.
He is survived by his wife, a very dear friend, Shirley, of Campbell River; his daughter, Debra Stewart of Vancouver (3 children: Rebecca, Abigail & Paul); sons: George of Quadra Island (5 children: Sheena, Christopher, Robin, Angeline, & Joelle); John of Campbell River (4 children” Brendan, Jamie, John & Adam); Robert (Kyounghwa) of Vancouver (1 child: Jade Ocean); and 6 great-grandchildren.
Predeceased by 2 daughters: May (Georgie Girl): 3 children: Robin, John Emil, & Christopher; and Rebecca Janine.
Also predeceased by 2 brothers: Robert (Bob) and Martin (Bud) and 1 sister: Isabelle.
John was born in Coombs BC in 1934. He spent the first 47 years of his life on Vancouver Island where he grew up, got married, and had a family. He was a dedicated employee of BC Telecommunications (Van. Isle) for 30 years.
In 1981 John moved to Barriere to help his sister set up her home on East Barriere Lake Road. He called Barriere ‘home’ until 2008 when illness put him in hospital and eventually Overlander.
John was an avid outdoorsman – his passion being fishing. He spent many a day from dawn ’til dusk at KM13 N. Barriere Lake, and never came home empty-handed. He taught many of us amateurs the ‘right way’ to bait our hooks and cast out our lines.
John had a great sense of humour – always had a joke to tell or a story to share. He loved the simple things in life – chatting with friends, taking the dog for a run, walking along back roads, picking berries, wildflowers, and picnics by the lake.
Although separated for many years, Shirley says “I am thankful for these past few years: getting to know and love John again, and for his being in touch with our children. Our youngest son, Robert, was at his Dad’s bedside in his final hours. He had spent the night with his wife and daughter Jade beside him and waited while the angels prepared to ease his father’s pain and carry him away. My deepest regard for Ron and Heather DeFelice, their family and friends for loving John and making him so much a part of their lives.”
George visited his Dad 2 weeks before his passing. They spent a couple of days reminiscing, telling jokes and just enjoying each other’s company. George writes of his Dad, “Each time my father spoke to me of Barriere, North Lake, fishing the Thompson, or hunting in the local mountains, and more importantly the people, I could feel the warmth of a new history in his life. I’d like to thank the people of Barriere and Kamloops, and friends from the past who were part of my Dad’s earth walk. May we all wish him well on his next walk. ‘claco-claco” (thank you – thank you).” George Alec Gilkin (Kwaawiina) (Raven)
Robert writes: “My father, my Dad, my closest friend…. Our days together in this life will be remembered and carried close to my heart until I, too, journey to the place I pray has found you. To walk beside you, as when I was 3 or 4 years of age, anticipating each day your return home and so pleased to be by your side. I knew then how much I loved you and understood that love even more as the years came and went. there is a great love of your spirit that still grows in my heart. This love I share with my family as I pray one day they too will share with their children and so on.”
Debra says “Meet you at the fishing hole, Daddy.” She loved to go fishing with her dad when she was a young girl. She was “daddy’s little tomboy”.
A special thank you to Dr. Thomasse, Cathy and the staff at Overlander (Orchard Grove), for all your loving care and support, and to Deb, John’s “favourite” nurse, who always took the time to sit and chat with him before bedtime.
As per John’s wishes, there will be no service.
In John’s memory, a donation may be made to Overlander Residential Care, 953 Southhill St., Kamloops, BC V2B7Z9.
Cremation arrangements were entrusted to North Thompson Funeral Services, Box 859, Barriere BC, V0E1E0, tel: 250-672-1999.