We Remember

Woodworth, John Newton

January 1, 1970 — January 1, 1970

John was born July 25, 1924 in Vancouver to K.D. and Violet (Woolner) Woodworth. His older sisters, Mary and Nan, and younger brother Noel, so loved, are now deceased.

When John was 8, his mother died in their home at Manhattan Point, Kelowna. His father, who’d also lost his job and savings that same week of the Depression, moved his family into tents on Soldier Settlement land in Oliver. John fished every creek in those dry hills. He loved their rustle of grass, the meadowlark’s call, and their smells of sage and cottonwood sap. In town, he loved the inky clatter of the newspaper printing. He took his typewriter into the Air Force at age 18. A Coastal Command pilot in World War Two, he came back to marry Nancy Bruce in 1946.

John studied at UBC and became a registered architect in 1952, establishing his own firm in Kelowna, and serving the Okanagan until his retirement.  He was interested in all the arts, particularly music and theatre, and designed the Kelowna Community Theatre and the Eric Harvie Theatre at the Banff Centre. His books include The Remodeling Game.

He was a Man of the Community always available and willing to help with projects that would benefit Kelowna, the Okanagan and indeed, all of BC. Parks he and his friends worked so hard to preserve include Cathedral Mountain, Okanagan Mountain, and Brandt’s Creek.

The Canadian government recognized his community service by making him a Member of the Order of Canada in 1990. His endless untiring enthusiasm and work established the Alexander Mackenzie Voyageur Route from Sea to Sea to Sea in 1995. The fullness of John’s life meant that over the years he received many awards but chief among his satisfactions was his joy in his family and friends.

John died September 8, 2012 at the Village of Smith Creek in West Kelowna. He is survived by wife Nancy, by daughter Robin (Bob) and grandsons Mike (Erin) and Dan (Ronnie)
plus great-grandchildren Emily and Sarah, and by daughter Carol (Luc) and grandchildren Jeanie (Mark), Heather (Cam) and Robert. We thank the Village of Smith Creek, the Webber staff, and Dr. Wickstrom for their compassionate care.

John Woodworth’s Celebration of Life is at 1 pm Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 at the Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, BC V1Y 5V8, 250-860-7077. In lieu of flowers, we suggest a donation to the Nature Trust of BC or charity of your choice.

1 pm Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012

Springfield Funeral Home

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We suggest a donation to the Nature Trust of BC or charity of your choice.


Service Information

Service Details

The service for Woodworth, John Newton is scheduled for 1 pm Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 . Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

Address & Contact for Service Location:

Springfield Funeral Home

2020 Springfield Road Kelowna, BC


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Funeral Pointers:



  • Greg & Pat Stevens says:

    Nancy and Family
    Pat and I were very sorry to learn of John’s passing. Our deepest sympathy.

    Greg Stevens
    Kelowna 1967-1971
    and now in Sidney BC

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Thank you Greg and Pat. It’s wonderful to hear from old friends and I appreciate so much your thinking of me. Sincerely Nancy

  • Freda and Bert Webb says:

    Nancy, We were so sorry to hear of John’s passing. Our sincerest condolences to you and your family.

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Dear Freda and Bert,
      Thank you so much for thinking of me and the girls at this time. I value so much the warm friendship that John and I had with you two, and I hope all is well with you.
      Love Nancy

  • Jacqueline says:

    Dear Nancy,
    We enjoyed John’s great interest in active living at the KCES program. He inspired many. He always had a smile on his face and a great story to share of one of his life adventures. He will be missed, Jacqueline (KCES instuctor)

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Thank you Jacqueline, it’s good to hear from you. John really enjoyed KCES, and it was a sad day when he could no longer go. We both enjoyed the morning sessions and all the happy get togethers. Sincerely Nancy

  • Steve Ulrich says:

    Dear Nancy and Family, it is with a sad heart that I send this condolence but please know my prayers are with you and the family at this time. I am forever grateful to John for his mentoring of me and his trusting me with his architectural practice in 1984. I remember fondly his jovial spirit and his attention to detail in all things. I learned a great deal from him of life and architecture. Blessings, Steve Ulrich

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Dear: Steve,
      My daughters and I really appreciate hearing from you and your kind words about John.
      Sincerely Nancy

  • Pat and Ron Reiter says:

    Dear Nancy,
    How sorry we were to hear of John’s death – the most famous member of Poplar Point. I loved to talk with John and laugh about different things that we had in common as I took “Oreo” for a walk in the mornings. To look down his steep bank to the little A-frame below and remember the beach…remember how my son and his friends shot the windows out of John’s floatplane … (too young to know that it wasn’t just a “prank”) and how we made him give up his favourite toy to the second-hand shop for the first payment on the windows and a lesson of learning. Lovely memories Nancy, and a wonderful guy that I will remember always. Love Pat and Ron Sorry we will be in Windsor, Ont. and will not be there to say “cherrio” to John…

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Dear: Pat and Ron,
      We go back a long time together and your story of the mishap with John’s windows in the plane brings back memories of many happy times. Thanks so much for your thinking of me and the girls.
      Sincerely Nancy

  • Pat and Ron Reiter says:

    Nancy, to add to the above, September 22nd is my twin sister’s and my birthday and we will be celebrating in Windsor, Ont with my sailor brother ..and will have a drink to John and to you. Love Pat….

  • Lynda and Norman Slater says:

    Dear Nancy, Robin and Carol and family: It is with a heavy heart that we send this note to you. Our sincere condolences from our home to yours. WE can not be with you tomorrow but you will be in our thoughts as you have been this past week. What a life John had, he leaves a lasting legacy for our province and the world is a better place because of his hard work and love of nature. I shall think of him tomorrow evening when I look at the brightly lit stars. Hugs and love Lynda and Norman

  • Lynne Lott (nee Jackson) says:

    Nancy, Robin and family, and Carol and family,
    Our condolences from our family to yours on the passing of an amazing man- husband,father,grandfather, and
    neighbour. A man who accomplished so much in his lifetime for the benefit of future generations.
    Robin- my strongest memories of your dad is how he would come quietly into the backyard when we were ‘riding the sawhorses through dangerous territory’ and he would smile and greet you by taking you up into his arms. A loving dad!
    ……Hugs to you all.

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Dear Lynne,
      Your letter brings back the past so memorably. Thank you for reminding me of the time when you and Robin played together. Do you remember the big adventure, when you and Robin went to visit your grandma and got lost? And your big brother Ross went searching for you… Those were the days. If you’re ever in Kelowna come and see me, I would love to see you. Love Nancy

  • Dola and Joe Gilmour says:

    Dear Nancy, Robin and Carol and
    I have always thought of John and Nancy and babysitting Robin and Carol on 15th Avenue. We send you prayers and love.
    Sincerely, Dola(Jackson) and Joe

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Dear Dola and Joe,
      Your letter and Lynne’s have brought up so many happy memories. John and I were very lucky next to the Jacksons. I’ve appreciated it over many years, and still do. Love Nancy

  • Sondra Meis says:

    Dear Nancy, Robin and Carol and families,
    I offer my sincere condolences.
    Our family visits to Kelowna / Poplar Point, while growing up, were so memorable. John’s resourcefulness, integrity, courage, and grace made quite an impression on me. An environmentalist before that term was coined, John sounded the alarm on clear cutting of forests in the interior of B.C. A truly great Canadian! Sondra

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Thank you Sondra. I have so many happy memories of the days our families shared together. You are a dear to think of me and my daughters at this time and I really appreciate your staying in touch. It means a lot. Love Nancy

  • Murli & Sudha Pendharkar says:

    Hello Nancy
    Our heartfelt condolences. As members of Rotary Club of Kelowna, John and I met many times. We had many mutual interests but two that stand out are the Trans-Canada Trail & environment.

    John’s cheerfulness has been etched on my mind.


    Murli Pendharkar

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Dear Murli and Sudha,
      John valued your friendship highly, and it is good to hear from you. I hope things are going well for you and yours. Sincerely Nancy

  • Betty Paige McKay says:

    Dear Mrs.Woodworth, my dear friend Robin(and Bob),Carol and family,

    I just wanted to share my condolences with you all. After all the time I spent with you and your dad,I have only good memories!!! I am so sorry for you all.
    Your dad accomplished a lot in his life. As I see it,his biggest achievement was his wife and two daughters.

    Wow! We did have some fun…We were very lucky to be raised at Poplar Point and have the freedom we had.
    Robin,remember our parents even allowed us to sleep over night at the top of Know Mountain? How cool was that?
    There are so many occasions I could write about…but my favorite one is when we were about 11 yrs old. On
    that particular day your dad became a Hollywood Celebrity in my eyes! On that day, I thought your dad was the most famous person in ALL of Canada!
    As far as I could tell the Abbotsford Air Show was stopped just for him because “HE” was so important!!
    (This story is my favorite because Robin and I were completely obvious to what actually happened.)
    As we approached Abbotsford,there were all kinds of planes in the air. They were below us,above us, beside us!! None of them looked liked Mr Woodworth’s plane either. So many little planes with funny wings; so many big planes and all so close!!! Under us,over us,beside us..they were everywhere!!!
    Next thing I know we were told to land. While landing, I thought Mr. Woodworth was definitely the MOST important person in all of Canada!!
    As we were about to touch down,I also saw the other planes that looked like his.They were already parked.They all were watching Mr.Woodworth land his plane. I knew then and there,”HE” was so important! What other plane like his got to land while the show was on? Mr. Woodworth must have a very special plane too!!
    So as we taxied down the long row of airplanes, Robin and I waved to the people, as if we were in the show, parading the plane past all to see. How wonderful!

    Not until years later when re-telling my version of the story,I found out the truth.I was so sad when Mr. Woodworth explained we were not part of the show!! We were not showing the crowd his special plane. He said: “It just happened we were a bit late!”

    I still think my version is how it really happened and Mr. Woodworth was just to nice to brag. As I knew then and still know today, Mr. Wooodworth was very special! He was a very important person,and a celebrity to all of us.
    Hugs xxoo Betty

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Dear: Betty,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your memory of being at the Abbotsford air show with John in his plane. I hope things are going well with you, and if you’re ever in Kelowna, please come and see me. I’d love it. Love Nancy

  • Elaine Found says:

    Sorry I am so late at sending my condolences,but know I have been thinking about you all. Thee Wonderful Woodworth Family. I was thrilled to meet you all,and had such a great time with you. Much Love and
    Many Hugs for all of you….Love Elaine

  • Bill & Denise Nahirney says:

    Dear Nancy, Robin & Carol,
    Our deepest sypathy on the passing of your husband and father.
    He will be greatly missed.
    Bill & Denise Nahirney

    • Nancy Woodworth says:

      Dear Bill and Denise,
      I’ve just told my helper who is working with me that you Denise are a wonderful woman, I remember you so warmly and I hope everything is going well for you. You were one of the treasures at the University Women’s Club in Kelowna. Love Nancy

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