John Fredrick (Si) Sinninger late of Abbotsford, passed away on October 21, 2003 at 2:30 a.m. at MSA Hospital at the age of 84.
He was born December 1, 1918 at the Little Horseguard District, near Alhambra, Alta. His mother and father were pioneers in the area, arriving in 1910.
He was a retired Military Engineer, having served in the Canadian Forces. At the outset of the Second World War, he joined the Canadian Army Active Service Force with the 78th Battery RCA in Red Deer, Alta. and later transferred to the Royal Canadian Engineers on posting to the 2CW Mortar Company RCE as a platoon Sergeant.
He served overseas with 1 Field Park Company RCE, 2nd Canadian Division and was promoted to the rank of Company Sergeant Major. He landed in France on D plus 1.
He served with 1 Field Park Company through France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany until the cessation of hostilities. He was mentioned in dispatches and received a special citation from Field Marshal Montgomery for his exemplary service above and beyond the call of duty. After the Second World War, he returned to Calgary with 13 Field Company RCE, and was posted to A & T Staff Alberta Area.
He was responsible for organizing and setting up Engineer Militia Units throughout Alberta. In 1947 he was posted to 23 Field Company RCE at Camp Chilliwack, B.C. He was that unit’s first post war Company Sergeant Major. In May 1948 he was promoted to RSM (SMI) of Training Wing, Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering (RCSME) and in 1950 was appointed RSM of RCSME and Camp Chilliwack.
He was selected for Canada’s top position of RSM of The Royal Military College, Kingston, Ont., and served in that position from July 1, 1958 to July 1, 1961.
He was commissioned in the rank of Captain on July 1, 1961 and posted back to Camp Chilliwack, B.C. He was promoted to the rank of Major on July 1, 1963 and as a Field Officer, Commanded Recruit Training Squadron and later Field Engineer Squadron at RCSME.
He earned his Paratroop Wings in 1948 and attended many military courses. He retired from the Canadian Army in 1970. An auditorium at CFB Chilliwack was named Sininger Hall in honour of his outstanding and dedicated service to the Royal Canadian Engineers. He was the founding member and organized the Royal Canadian Engineer (retired) Sapper Association, Chilliwack.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Hope; daughter Patricia of Princeton; his son Dwayne of Abbotsford; son Daryle of Calgary, Alta.; and Margaret of Winnipeg, Man. A sister Evelyn MacDonald of Rocky Mountain House, Alta.; a brother Charles of Greene, N.Y.; 14 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 15 in Abbotsford.
At his request there will be no funeral. The family requests no flowers or donations to any organization on his behalf.
There will be a Celebration of Si’s Life at the Rhombus Hotel in Chilliwack on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2003 at 1 p.m.