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John Reader

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John Reader

July 27, 1929 - January 12, 2023


John Reader (Ronald John Stafford Reader),93, dedicated and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and friend, passed away peacefully on January 12, 2023 surrounded by his family at home in Cobble Hill, British Columbia.

John was born on July 27, 1929 in Mandeville, Jamaica to parents Reverend Nelson and Janet Reader. He was the middle child to his older sister Joan and younger sister Ruth. In 1947, John immigrated alone to Canada to attend school at Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario. While attending school he played rugby and cricket. After four years at Appleby College, he continued his education, earning a degree in civil engineering from the University of Toronto by doing courses in the evening after work.

While living in Oakville, Ontario, John met his future wife, Margaret McGillivray. They were married in Toronto, Ontario by Margaret’s father on March 13, 1954, and together they had 5 wonderful children. They soon moved to Scarborough, Ontario to begin raising their family and later moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, then Thompson, Manitoba where he took the position of Manager of Northern Affairs for the province of Manitoba. John worked hard to support his family, as a civil engineer, working on projects such as water treatment facilities, bridges, roads, ice roads, and airports and housing projects to name a few. After retiring from his position in Manitoba, John and his wife moved to Surrey, British Columbia onto an acreage with an active fish farm, where his grandchildren have fond memories of waking up early to “help” him feed the fish. Several years ago, John and Margaret moved to Cobble Hill, British Columbia for the beautiful weather. John also enjoyed spending the winters with his wife and friends in Mazatlan, Mexico where he could be found at church, walking the beach, swimming, and most impressively, catching the waves with a Boogie Board.

John loved being outdoors and active his entire life. He was an avid swimmer, setting a long-standing underwater Jamaican swimming record in his youth, to still swimming almost daily in his 90’s.   When John’s children were young, he would take them hunting, camping and on yearly fishing trips for Victoria Day weekend. John enjoyed hunting for many things including moose, deer, ducks, geese and upland game birds. Every fall when John lived in Winnipeg, he would go bird hunting with his friends, bringing home grouse for dinner, though his wife, Margaret, warned the children to watch for leftover buckshot while eating.

John also loved brewing wine, a nice cup of tea, and a good cowboy book, but most importantly he loved his family and friends. He always had a strong devotion to family and made efforts to continue a strong and individual connection with each of his children and their families. In his final hours John imparted wisdom from a lifetime dedicated to family, friends and faith that the relationships we form are the most valuable aspects of our lives and need to be nurtured to keep them strong.

John was a devout Christian throughout his life. He was the embodiment of “be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.” He was always willing to help others, such as when he volunteered as a rescue and recovery scuba diver while living in Ontario. John also volunteered at many different churches. He volunteered as the general contractor for the building of St. Mark’s Anglican Church in White Rock, BC and when another local church heard what he had done, they approached him for help, and he volunteered as the general contractor for their renovation project as well. It was remarkable that he was still giving in a substantial way in his 90’s to the maintenance of The Anglican Church of St. John the Baptist in Cobble Hill.

John will be fondly remembered by his 5 children; Holly (Gord), Steven (Fawn), Brian (Shyanne), David, and Sandi; 9 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and numerous other nieces, nephews, cousins, and dear friends.  He was predeceased shortly by his lifelong wife of 68 years, Margaret Reader.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Anglican Church of St. John the Baptist in Cobble Hill, BC.


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From: H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre

H.W. Wallace Cremation & Burial Centre staff send our condolences to family and friends.

Service Schedule

  Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
February 25, 2023
Beginning at 2:00pm

The Anglican Church of St. John the Baptist
3295 Cobble Hill Road
Cobble Hill, BC Canada V0R 1L6

Refreshments to follow.

3295 Cobble Hill Road
Cobble Hill, BC Canada V0R 1L6

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

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