John passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 27, 2004 after a brief battle with cancer that he fought courageously and with dignity.
He will be missed tremendously by his daughter Janet, son-in-law Keith, and grandsons Kevin and Ian Dunbar of Victoria, BC; his son Dr. J. David Symons of Park City UT; many nieces and nephews; and numerous friends throughout the Lower Mainland.
He now has moved on to be with his beloved wife Vi who predeceased him in 1999.
John was born in 1920 in Vancouver, attended Kitsilano High School, and was a member of the acclaimed Kitsilano Boys Band. It was this affiliation early in life that nurtured his love of the trumpet, fostered development of many lifelong friends, and stimulated participation in music for the rest of his years. His music provided happy memories for himself, his wife, children, grandchildren, and others.
Whether playing at the Kitsilano Showboat with the Kits Boys Band, marching with the H.M.C.S. Discovery Naval Reserve Band in parades, accompanying the Circus with the Gizeh Temple Shrine Band, or entertaining Seniors with the Chilliwack Community Band — John was in his element.
While music may have been John’s passion, Vi was his one true love. After spotting her in West Point Grey, the two married in 1946. They provided each other with companionship, friendship, and love for 53 years. They complemented each other so well — at the bridge table; while trailering at Cultus Lake; vacationing on Gabriola Island; at various social functions, and at all major events in the lives of their children and grandchildren.
When Vi passed in 1999, John ventured forward in a brave manner that would have made Vi — and certainly did make us — very proud. As a husband, John’s unwavering commitment and love for Vi was a strong role model for his family. As a father, he supported his children with humour, love, and attention. He always took a genuine interest in their daily lives and was a willing participant at all events — big and small. As a grandfather, he was always willing to “share” sage advice, celebrate accomplishments, attend events, and just be “there” for his dearly loved grandsons. As a neighbour, John was always ready — paint brush in hand — to tackle touch up paint jobs that required attention around his building, and was an enthusiastic taster at the potluck suppers.
We wish to express our heartfelt thanks to his friends at the Spadina Regency whose support, friendship, and culinary expertise were greatly valued by John.
We will miss John’s big blue eyes, keen wit, great sense of humour, warm hugs, willing smile, positive outlook on life, companionship during a walk in the park, and his conversation during “happy hour.” Dad, thank you for everything you have done for us — we will remember you and love you always.
A Masonic Memorial Service will be held on Wednesday, July 28th at 1 pm at the Chapel of Woodlawn Mt. Cheam Funeral Home, 45865 Hocking Ave., Chilliwack BC. Reception to follow at the Masonic Hall, 45905 Hocking Ave., Chilliwack.
A donation to the charity of your choice may be made in lieu of flowers.