NOWELL; John Andrew
December 1, 1925 – November 17, 2016
Known for his warm heart, his mischievous smile, and his ability to fix anything, John passed away on November 17th, surrounded by the love of his family. John, son of poor homesteaders, was born just before the depression in Newdale, Manitoba, growing up in a two-room cabin. As the second of eight children, he worked on the farm, helped the neighbours, and looked after the little ones. John wasn’t too eager to start school, as they had to walk three miles to school, and because they spoke Ukrainian at home, he had to learn a whole new language. Like so many farm boys, he left school early, and after working for a while, he joined the army in 1944. He was shipped off to Nova Scotia, where he was put to work cleaning up after the second Halifax explosion. It was when he was doing his basic training at what was then called “Camp Chilliwack” that John met the love of his life, Margaret whom he married in 1947. They celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary just before Margaret’s death in 2014. John did not receive much formal schooling, but was clever and curious, he loved to find out how things worked, and was known for his creative thinking. If he didn’t have the part he needed, he figured out how to make one. While working at Base Chilliwack, he put himself through night school, getting his electrical ticket, then certifying as a plumber and a gas fitter. He worked for the Department of National Defense for 32 years, eventually heading up the electrical shop and twice receiving commendations for solving problems those with much more schooling hadn’t been able to figure out. For John, it was important to be a good provider, and in addition to his day job, he had a small contracting business. He valued his family, and was always involved in helping friends and neighbours. John will be greatly missed by all who knew him. John is survived by daughters Marge (Bob) and Jo-Anne (Doug); grandsons Justin, Jason (Heather), Chris, and Nick; and great-grandchildren Anna and Josh. The family would like to thank the caring and compassionate staff of Cascades Lodge. In John’s words “I’m thankful for a place like this where I can spend the rest of my days.” A Memorial Service for John will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday, November 29th at Henderson’s Funeral Home, 45901 Victoria Ave., Chilliwack (reception to follow). If friends so desire, contributions can be made to the Parkinson Society of British Columbia.