Born February 8, 1927 in London, England, passed July 9, 2013. Always gracious, always caring, always encouraging with humour and love, there has never been such a selfless man.
John had a brilliant and curious mind which led him to explore art, history, music, and writing. He could quote the great poets by heart, and had read all 12 volumes of Durant’s History of the World so many times that he could quote that too. He was able to remember and sing the Beethoven symphonies. John developed his own creative talents and became a gifted watercolourist and a witty writer.
As a young man John earned an apprenticeship in Chemical Engineering and was involved in the first discoveries of plastics. During the war he spent his summers on his cherished South Downs on a farm, near Pulborough on the River Arun, where he loved growing vegetables and learning all about farming. John’s next adventure was a year working in Persia for the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company where he easily mastered Arabic.
In 1951 John emigrated to Canada. He married his beloved wife, Diane, in 1967, and devoted himself to her and her four children. When John’s love of nature and concern for the environment made him unhappy with his work, he and Diane chose to take their family to the Cariboo in 1971. They homesteaded on a large, beautiful acreage on Lonely Lake where they restored wildlife habitat, and John built their log homes. In the early years they lived like pioneers without power or running water. Travelling daily to 100 Mile House, John began teaching and caring for disabled children. Along the way he studied and earned his degree in Social Work, and ultimately worked for the Ministry of Social Services in charge of adoptions and foster care. He developed a close bond with the First Nations people at Canim Lake because he listened! While supporting Cariboo Chilcotin First Nations in their struggles with the Ministry he often found himself in court defending the rights of a child. He was the first worker to place First Nations foster children into their own culture and environment. Upon John’s retirement he was hired by the Foster Parents’ Association and lovingly continued his favourite work.
In 1994 John and Diane retired to Qualicum Beach. Over the years they made extensive trips to Europe where they explored art, history, and culture. Later John loved their long happy winters in Mexico, finding an affinity with the Mexican people, and enjoying the local birding and environment.
John leaves a loving family and his dear wife to rejoice at an end to suffering. In his memory donations may be made to a charity of your choice. Diane Wardle can be contacted at #210-6089 Uplands Dr., Nanaimo, BC, V9V 1W1.