John Carley Simandl passed away with his family by his side on March 8, 2018.
Our dear John was diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer in October 2017. We had just returned from a family vacation to Maui, unaware of the devastating news that would crash through our door when we returned home.
He remained optimistic and determined from the start that he would beat this, but this disease is not caring or selective and took him from his family and friends much too soon. John was born in Windsor Ontario on April 21, 1954 and was the 2nd oldest of 5 children (Steve, Dave, Jim and Jane) to Jim Sr. and Anita. He became a Journeyman Carpenter in his 20’s. This led to various related positions within the construction trade.
John met Sue in April of 1981 and their lives were forever changed. They were meant to be. His sarcastic, dry humour and love of good music sealed the deal. He loved skiing, so of course Sue learned to ski as well. They have two beautiful daughters that meant the world to John; Elaine (Vijay) and Hillary (Ian). They left Ontario in 1993 when the girls were just 2 and 4 and ventured to their new forever home in Westbank, B.C. He had always had a curiosity about motorcycles and so with the simple phrase that Sue uttered to him in 2002 “well then, why not check it out” off he went to discover his passion. He loved everything to do with motorcycling, the lines of a great bike, the smell of the garage, – I mean “bike room” – fitted with their 3 bikes. He became an instructor at KDSC in 2007 to share his enthusiastic love of riding with others. When he worked in Kelowna, rather than ride the 20 minutes home directly, he would head up Westside Rd. to Vernon and back just to get some road time in. He loved motorcycling, so of course Sue learned to ride as well. As he advanced in his motorcycle training, his goal was to race on a track and get his “pucks” down. He did indeed accomplish that in September 2017 at a track in Oregon just before his diagnosis.
John and Sue retired together in February 2016 to enjoy their time in good health. Cancer had another agenda. We as a family will miss him more than we can express and are so appreciative of the many supportive, wonderful friends and family that have enriched our lives. He did not want a service or fuss and would simply remind friends and family to enjoy the time you have, try new things that you are drawn towards, and enjoy a cold Becks beer, Jim Beam Honey on ice, and a good cigar when you get together while cranking up the Mark Knopfler or Steely Dan tunes. We are forever grateful for the compassionate care provided by the staff at the Cancer Lodge, Dr. Peter Warren, and the exceptionally warm embrace provided by all at Hospice House. If you would be interested in donating in John’s honour, we would suggest the Central Okanagan Hospice House, or his charity of choice, Wounded Warriors of Canada.
We love you John and will miss you forever.
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