March 12, 2019
Peacefully on March 12, 2019, John passed away surrounded by family at the Red Deer Regional Hospital. He was predeceased by his parents, Eric and Isabel; and sister, Shirley. John will be lovingly remembered by his brother Lawson, wife of 61 years Anna; daughter Sharon (Paul); sons John (Karen), Patrick (Peggy) and Michael; grandchildren Patricia, Michael, Shannon, Erin, John (JJ) and Nicolas.
John was born and raised in Montreal, and developed a love for animals working on farms in Vermont. John attended Ontario Veterinary College, and during his college years also trained as an Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. Upon graduation in 1954, John moved west to practice first in Ryley, then established the Red Deer Veterinary Clinic and retired in 2015 after 61 years in practice. John was a lifelong member of the Anglican Church, and St. Leonard’s on the Hill in Red Deer serving for a time as a member of the choir, and more recently a member of the church council. John was a Knight Commander and Officer of Merit of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus, and Commander Brother of the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John.
John enjoyed a long history of community service serving on the Red Deer Recreation Board, Red Deer Police Commission, Westerner Exhibition Association Board of Directors, founding Chairman of the St. John Ambulance Central Alberta Advisory Board, the St. John Council of Alberta, City of Red Deer College Arts Centre Founding Committee, Founder and Past Chair of the Royal Canadian Legion Musical Remembrance, and Vice-Chair of the Royal Commonwealth Society. John also served as President of the Edmonton Branch of the Naval Officers Associate of Canada, as National Director of the Naval Officers Association of Canada, a Life Trustee and National Councilor of the Canadian Naval Memorial Trust, and a Life Member of the Royal Canadian Legion. John was a Director and President of the Red Deer Rustlers Jr. A Hockey Club, and served as coach and manager for many of his son’s hockey teams from Peewee and Bantam through to Juvenile and Junior.
John had a long list of honors and awards including the Canada 125 Medal, Canada 125 Exceptional Volunteer Award, Exceptional Service Award from the Naval Officers of Canada, Golden Jubilee Medal, Diamond Jubilee Medal, Alberta Centennial Medal, Honorary Companion of the University of Guelph, Honor Roll Member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Founding Member and Honorary Member of the Red Deer and District Kennel Club, and was Alberta Veterinarian of the Year (2014).
John established Cenalta Farms in 1967, first as a Standardbred horse farm driving most of his own horses on the prairie circuit and later became a cow/calf producer.
John enjoyed seeing his children and grandchildren grow up, visiting with them and hearing about their accomplishments. His favorite time was Sunday dinner with family and friends, and sharing evolving stories of days gone by.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 18th at 1 pm at St. Leonard’s on the Hill, 4241-44th Street Red Deer.
The family is sincerely grateful to Dr. Metcalfe and the staff of the Red Deer Regional Hospital for their care in Dad’s last year.
Memorial donations can be made to St. Leonard’s on the Hill or the Red Deer Regional Hospital Foundation. Condolences can be left for the family at www.eventidefuneralchapels.com.
Eventide Funeral Home & Crematorium