We Remember

JOHNSON, John Lawrence

September 5, 1931 — September 17, 2023

The time has come to celebrate the life of John Johnson who passed on September 17, 2023. John’s journey began by being born in Kelowna, BC, in 1931, within the warm walls of the Benvoulin Church Manse, where his parents, Harry and Agnes Johnson, resided, and Harry played the organ for the congregation.  As the sixth of seven children, John was part of a lively trio of brothers who engaged in spirited debates, often over the coveted peas at the family dinner table.

The family had Johnson’s Garage on what is now Sutherland Avenue. They soon moved to Harvey Avenue and had Johnson’s Dahlia Farm – the farm was across from an orchard where Orchard Park Mall now stands. John and his brothers played road hockey on Harvey Avenue; can you imagine! John’s “misspent” youth took place on Dilworth Mountain and at Trapper Lake. John graduated from K.S.S. (Kelowna Secondary School) in 1949. While he was a student there, he met Carol Wilson; she became his wife in 1954. John and Carol had three children: Bruce, Valerie, and Terri. The couple remained married for 53 years until Carol’s passing in 2007. When Carol was ailing, John spent hours by her bedside caring for her.

In 2009, John married their longtime friend Jean Bohn (née Bifford) and remained with her until her death in 2017.

John had a strong work ethic. Following various positions in service, mechanics, and construction, he embarked on a long and illustrious career with the Kelowna Fire Department in 1958. By 1977, he became Assistant Fire Chief, and remained in that role until he retired in 1991. His dedicated service as a professional firefighter spanned 29 years, and he received two Exemplary Service medals along the way.

John’s life outside of work was equally busy. He skied, curled, and golfed into his eighties! Additionally, his interests extended to carpentry, fishing, duck hunting, and treasure hunting. He and the family spent summers camping in the Kootenays and at Shuswap lake, where they eventually had a small cabin. John also picked apples every fall, was active in the Capri Rotary Club, gave blood regularly, canvased for Cancer research, and worked on several political campaigns. Most of all he loved gardening and working in the yard and could often be found helping his friends in the Dallas road neighbourhood.

Ever with a twinkle in his eye and a song on his lips, John was full of sage advice, or John-isms!

John will continue on through his three children and three grandchildren: William, Thomas, and Lindsay Hadwell. He is also survived by his older brother Henry, who can now have all the peas!

We will celebrate the life of John on SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2023, at 2:00 PM, at the KELOWNA CURLING CLUB, 551 Recreation Ave, Kelowna, BC.

In lieu of flowers, do something in the spirit of John for a neighbour – fix a chair, prune a rose bush, share your veggies, shovel a drive…
And never forget to keep your stick on the ice!

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2023, at 2:00 PM


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