We Remember

METCALF, John “Johnny”

May 24, 1938 — September 29, 2021

Johnny Metcalf passed away peacefully at home, with his wife of 62 years by his side, on September 29, 2021. He is survived by his sister Sandra Henriksen of Kingston, ON; his three sons Stacy (Lori) of Kelowna, BC, Glen of Calgary, AB, and Carey (Sharon) of Calgary, AB; five grandchildren Sara (Keith), Megan (Jordan), Melissa (Rodrigo), Kelsey (Dave), and Mark; eight great-grandchildren Abbey, Conner, Breyden, Olivia, Noe, Johanna, Marek, and Dusten. He was predeceased by his parents William H. and Maureen A. (née Miller) and his brother Clifford.

John, born in Nelson, BC, grew up in smaller towns of British Columbia. He even spent a couple of years in Barkerville before it was preserved as a heritage town. One of his earliest jobs was underground in the mines of Elliot Lake, Ontario. This is where, in 1959, he met his wife of 62 years, Helga. As she disapproved of his job’s risk to life, they moved to greater Vancouver, BC where he worked on early, room sized, punch-tape computers. They had three sons here and built their first home (1963) near the Pattullo Bridge. Working as a Mechanical Cash-register & Typewriter Repairman, he was transferred to Belleville, ON, then again Brockville, ON. Rather than a third transfer, John and Helga brought the family back to British Columbia in 1972; they tried out Kelowna and Penticton before settling on his father’s old stomping grounds of the Shuswap area. He was employed by the school district to repair audio & video equipment. They rented a few years as they developed an acre and built their homestead of 35 years on Gardom Lake. In 1984, at the infancy of home & small business computing, John opened his own storefront in Salmon Arm, “Shuswap Micro-tech”.

John had set out on his own at an early age with a grade 8 education; but, he was always keen to learn. He read most of his Encyclopedia Britannica and had subscriptions to National Geographic and Scientific America. He was keenly interested in history, geology, astrophysics and the space program. He “wanted to be an astronaut” before the term was even coined.

John had a “do-it-yourself” philosophy, any renovations or repairs to be done to home, appliance, or auto were always attacked wholeheartedly and without hesitation. Yet, he always found time for the family to do road trips and camping/exploring. He also found time to amass quite the collection of sci-fi novels and delve into the arts. He did a few oil paintings, a three-dimensional moonscape, stamp collecting, wine making, and was a model railroader. John enjoyed his photography and music collection, and liked it all organized and documented. The early home computers were good for that. With improved computing and the internet, John spent a decade amassing quite the genealogy database.

In 2012, John and Helga moved to a condo on Kelowna’s Sutherland Street. There he found engaging conversations and interactions with the strata council, social gatherings, and coffee groups. His insight (injected with wit and humor) shall be missed by his family and many friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the BC Cancer Agency – Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior.

No formal service will be held. Family and friends will honour him, each in their own way.

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

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BC Cancer Agency - Sindi Ahluwalia Hawkins Centre for the Southern Interior Link: bccancer.bc.ca




  • Linda Bond Kusk says:

    Dear Helga and family
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family
    Nothing I can say will take the pain you are feeling away. Pease know you are in my thoughts and prayers always. Johnny will always have a place in my heart. He is free to soar with the eagles. Love always Linda

  • Elaine Gross says:

    My Deepest Condolences here lies a great man who has left a wonderful legacy behind. He was larger than life and lived it to the fullest. Now that he has gone may all the beautiful memories be a blessing to you Helga and Stacy, Glen, Carey and family hugs Elaine

  • Richard and Shirley Rogess says:

    Our sincere condolences to Carey and Family may your dad Rest In Peace

  • Michelle Samp says:

    Our thoughts and love are with you both. What an interesting life well lived. Your dad has left much with you. Love Gerry and Michelle Samp

  • stacy metcalf says:

    Too soon Dad :
    Even at 61 , how does one prepare for the loss of ones mentor and kindred spirit . You (and Mom) raised the three of us splendidly . To be thoughtful of others , open minded and non-judgemental . i hope to never let you down . You always had kind-hearted and interesting friends . i liked them all and all my friends liked you . i am proud of you and credit you for all my better traits . My friend who said “the apple didn’t fall far from the tree” , moved me deeply .
    As a family we enjoyed many a road trip across North America , experiencing an enviable amount of our immense back yard . i shall forever cherish our solving the world problems (or mundane ones) at our numerous fireside camps on our hard fought forest and alpine explorations . Through you , i gained an appreciation of mother nature’s art in every rock , misshapen tree , chipmunk , land formation and mountain peak . Between the two of us , i have our hundreds of photos to reminisce on . Of course in recent years , our forest-service-road camps are equally memorable .
    Thank-you for teaching us astronomy and astrophysics . We spent many a memorable evening with your telescope . Am always conscious of our place in the cosmos . You sat us down at that grainy B&W to watch Neil Armstrong’s “One Small Step” , while taking photos of the TV screen . We rejoiced in the deep space explorations and the shuttle program (and mourned at the two losses) .
    You taught me that hard work is rewarding , anything worthwhile doesn’t come easy and never give up/try again . i always admired your ingenuity on repairing anything and modeled my outlook upon it – nothing is unfixable . You get full credit for my home renovation , model railroad , computer and street-rod hobbies .
    So proud of you Dad . Always sought your blessing/approval . Even henceforth i shall be saying “look at what i did here Dad” , or “look where i got to this time”.
    Yes , Mom is in good hands , and yes , i will “be good” .
    Love you , thank-you , miss you . stacy .

  • Megan Metcalf says:

    Dear Grampa, Where do I even begin as there’s so many thoughts, feelings, and memories spinning around. I will do my best to bring them to words for you.
    I shall start by saying how lucky I have been to have you as my Grampa. Looking back at my life you were at all the holidays, celebrations and at some family camping trips as well. You even were there for my children’s birthdays which means a lot to me. I’m sure Granny had some part in that, but you were there and I’m thankful for all those memories we got to share.
    When I was younger, there were many memories with you at your Gardom Lake home with your shelves full of encyclopedias and other knowledgeable books that as a kid my age, at the time, had no idea what they were about. I did however always admire your paintings; the laundry machine spin splatter, colourful glass bottles and your detailed scenic ones. I can’t forget to mention all the family photos hanging on your walls! It wouldn’t be a visit without hearing you tell us all about our families history and where we came from. There was never a dull moment. You loved your genealogy, you loved your family.
    As I write this, more memories flood my thoughts. How you enjoyed sharing your knowledge with anyone who would listen or by telling us stories about the adventures you had in your life growing up. A few more things that come to mind; was your old tape-spun stereo and listening to the music you played for us or looking through the telescope or your camera with all its big lenses. One last memory to add was how you let us grand kids play on one of your computers. There was always a favourite “putt putt” game or another learning game that I can’t recall the name of right now. Thinking about all of this I have found that some of my interests come from my dad which came from you! so thank you for sharing them with him as he has done with me.
    For now, I will leave it at this as I could go on…Grampa you are missed, but I know you’re always here with us, in our memories. I will cherish them forever, especially how your eyes twinkled when you smiled and the firm pat on the back you’d give me when we hugged.
    I Love You Always, your granddaughter Megan.

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