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John Richmond

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John Richmond

July 2, 1930 - October 2, 2023

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John Richmond

July 2, 1930 – October 2, 2023

John Richmond – 93 (something he was continually amazed to hear when talking to anyone about age) passed away at his most recent home in the Northridge neighborhood of Sunridge Place Care Home on Monday October 2, 2023. He caught a bug that he was just not able to recover from and died peacefully during a long stretch of sleeping around the clock.

John was predeceased by his beloved wife Joscelyn of 59 years in 2014 and his daughter Cathy in 2018. John leaves many friends and family to remember him, including his other two children Greg and Pam along with his son in law Doyle and 5 grandchildren:  Peter (Meg), Ryan(Amie) Warren , John and Jaclyn, as well as two great grandchildren:  Wolf and Rex. He also leaves behind Bev Campbell- his companion in travel and adventures.  He was very lucky to be so loved by them all, and they by him.

John was born in Toronto and grew up on Toronto Island. His parents separated and divorced when he was very young. He, his mom, and his older sister Jane stayed on the island and commuted to downtown Toronto to go to school at Jarvis Collegiate School and then university.  After school and summer hours were spent canoeing competitively, vacuuming miles of carpets at the Royal York Hotel where his mom was the resident RN, and dreaming of learning to fly at the Island airport.  His dad was a reporter for the Toronto Star and stayed in his life as well.

After graduating with a certificate in Institutional Management from the University of Toronto – John joined the Hudson Bay Company in approximately 1952 and spent 20 years working his way up from the Edmonton store and then working and running the Groceteria at the HBC in Winnipeg to being transferred  to many of Canada’s major cities ( Edmonton, Winnipeg, Victoria, Calgary, Victoria, Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Calgary) working in Men’s wear.  He ended his career with the HBC being Calgary based in 1972 as the overall national buyer of men’s wear and western buyer for children’s wear when it became obvious that regular (every couple of years) moving and a lot of travel was the way to move up in the ranks, but not the way to have a cohesive and harmonious family life.

John and Joscelyn thought about where they had lived during the HBC years and where they enjoyed living the most. They settled on Duncan BC as they had really enjoyed island life in Victoria and John was able to work for a friend and manage Hudson’s Hardware on Station Street. This worked well for a couple of years and then John really wanted to own and operate his own business. With his HBC contacts he and Joscelyn and family opened John’s Place Men’s Wear at 85 Station Street and built a thriving business for 20 years before retiring.  He kept in touch with other long time HBC retirees and they had a lunch group for anyone on the island and mainland who could get to one central place to meet.

During his years of John’s Place and after retirement John was an active part of the Cowichan Valley community. He served nine years as a City of Duncan Alderman/Councillor, was on the advisory committee to help start The House of Friendship, was on the Board of Directors that ran Duncan Manor for 30 Years+,  he was one of the group that helped facilitate the buying of land for and opening of Cowichan Lodge as well as serving on the Board for 10  years. He was on the CDH Board of Directors for many years as well as being on the Board of Island Savings Credit Union for 20 years. One of his last community service acts was to escort seniors from Duncan Manor to walk or roll over to the Senior’s Centre for coffee one day a week.  He was older than many of them so was able to stay for coffee as well.

All through his life in the Valley he was well known as “that guy who ran down Maple Bay Road” long before jogging became popular.  He was out there with his good runners and a variety of mismatched sports clothing – usually with something reflective in the winter. This was his stress release and thinking time.  He often took longer than average to get home because he would have stopped and chatted when he ran across a neighbor or friend, as well as waving at folks who beeped in recognition as they drove past.  Joscelyn knew how long it would take him to run the 8km from John’s Place to their home in Maple Bay. She generally added 15 – 30 minutes as a regular thing and only worried if he was an hour or more late. Many folks, beeped, waved and on occasion stopped to check that he was okay if he had stopped (for no apparent reason) to look at something, to talk to someone or to fix a shoelace.

John was active in the Kiwanis Club of Duncan and became a lifetime member, he was a founding member of the Probus Clubs in Duncan and enjoyed learning to lawn bowl in his retirement.  He and Joscelyn travelled extensively before and after his retirement.

Bev was a bright light in his life after losing Joscie. She made him smile again and provided companionship and love. They travelled until covid stopped everyone. Bev and Dad had a lot in common and had fun together whatever they did.

John moved out of the family home in Maple Bay after 45 years and moved to a lovely condo in The Riverstone for 7 years before he was unable to manage in his own home even with a lot of help.  John fell and couldn’t get up so spent a month in hospital and against all odds for a 92 year old fellow – made it out of there and found a home at Sunridge for a year. The family all think that his huge stubborn streak and can-do attitude helped him stick to it regardless of his frailties.

John’s family would like to thank all the staff at Sunridge for the last year of John’s care despite the trying times of covid restrictions and staffing issues that hit everyone. All the staff are kind and caring as was evidenced by stories we heard of his great smile, his cheerfulness and his lovely full head of hair that stood out above the head rest of his chair.  We appreciated that staff kept us apprised of what was going on regularly for dad and between our visits.  Many came to say goodbye at the end of their shift in his last days and it was clear that it wasn’t just a job to check on him while he was fading. We’d also like to thank Heidi Bovey for her care and “gym membership” that she provided through her physio visits and the incentive back rubs she gave to get him to do his exercises.

If you’d like to make a donation in his memory, John would love to have it go to the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation – something he volunteered for several years by being on the BOD, selling tickets to the Annual Gala and buying and donating items for the auction.

Donations can be mailed /dropped off at the foundation office at CDH Foundation 101-5822 Garden Street, Duncan BC V9L 3V9  https://donate.cdhfoundation.ca/l1BfLujuP

A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday Nov. 4 at 10 am at H.W. Wallace CBC  2853 Roberts Road, Duncan BC (please note that they have moved recently to this address)

 

 

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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.

From: Sara Gogo
Relation: Next door neighbour

Thinking of you, Pam, Greg and family. I have such nice memories of your dad. He was always friendly and kind and also very interested in what I was doing. A truly lovely man who did so much during his lifetime. Sending condolences to you all.

From: Jack McAully

John was a wonderful neighbour. I truly missed him when he moved to town. I will always remember is kindness.

From: Eileen Wiedeman
Relation: Bosom friends of my late husband, Frank Victor Wiedeman

Thanks for letting me know Pam. Sincere condolences to you and all the family. My husband Frank was a long time friend of Dr. J.C. Godel & wife Marjorie, sister to your mother and both one of the Harper girls. I note John was born July 2 and Frank August 20 of the same year. We were often together and when not living close by, kept in touch with annual Christmas letters which I have kept. No doubt, there will be a happy celebration in heaven. You, Greg and Cathy were blessed with great parents.

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