We Remember

SINCLAIR, John McDermott

October 24, 1930 — June 18, 2020

On Thursday, June 18, 2020, John McDermott Sinclair, loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend passed away at the age of 89 after a short decline in health. John was born in Innisfail, Alberta to Frances Irwin (née Bell) Sinclair and John Chambers Sinclair on October 24, 1930. He spent his childhood and youth in Vancouver, B.C. attending St. George’s School and then King Edward High School where he loved being a ‘jock’ and a valued member of the football team. At 18, John joined the Canadian Military as a young sapper and moved to Petawawa, Ontario where he met his lifelong friend Gene Tanner. It was Gene who introduced John to his future wife Doreen Lillian Tunnoch, and who served as his best man when John and Doreen were married on September 27, 1952. Together the couple raised two daughters, Lynn and Jo-Anne.

John spent 30 amazing years with the military, from youthful days mapping Canada’s north when surveying parties travelled by horseback and lived in tents, to hitting the books and studying for his command. After being commissioned from the ranks, John fully embraced the life of an officer and a gentleman. John and Doreen spent precious time on exchange in Bendigo, Australia with the Australian Army Survey Corps where they made many dear friends who remained part of their lives even after their return to Canada in 1978. The family settled in Regina, Saskatchewan to be near John’s brother Billy and his family, and both Doreen and John worked in the oil patch before finally retiring to Kelowna, B.C. in 1992.

John’s biggest passions in life were family and friends, and his actions were guided by loyalty and love. He was an inveterate hugger and hand squeezer, hoster of dinner parties, player of golf, watcher of football, reader of mysteries, admirer of military service and supporter of veterans, and appreciator of good tipples accompanied by lively discussion. John put loyalty to family, friends, and issues that were important to him above all else. He showed his family what love is and how to love, and he gave that love to the very end.

John was predeceased by his beloved younger brother Billy Sinclair. He is survived by his wife of almost 70 years, Doreen, his daughter Lynn Sinclair (grandchildren Kelly and Conor Sinclair Smith, and their father Ron Smith), his daughter Jo-Anne Sinclair and husband Bryan Mekechuk (grandchildren Nik and Kate Mekechuk), his niece Chris Tunnoch and nephew Bobby Tunnoch, and his sister-in-law Myrna Sinclair (nephew Scott Sinclair and niece Laura Sinclair).

Doreen, Lynn, and Jo-Anne would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to Dr. Grant Chamberlain, and the nurses, caregivers and support staff at Interior Health Central Okanagan Hospice House who over the past few weeks provided John with such wonderful care, and who were so kind to and supportive of the family during their vigil.

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

In lieu of flowers, donations would be deeply appreciated to the Royal Canadian Legion, www.legion.ca.

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Royal Canadian Legion Link: www.legion.ca




  • Lora Sinclair says:

    Uncle John was a wonderful man…he will be greatly missed. I have many nice memories of his visits. Love to Auntie Doddie, Lynn & Joey, and friends.

  • Gail & Bud Magrath says:

    Doddie, Lynn, Joey and all – our condolences on your loss of the “big guy”. We grieve with you & will miss our friend of many years as we remember all the good times our families have shared over the last many years.

  • Jim and Lucile Ellard says:

    Doreen, We know that John will be on that big golf course in the sky with a big smile on his face. We so enjoyed our times with you and John. and our thoughts are with you at this time. Jim and Lucile

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