John George Evin passed away peacefully the morning of April 13 at St John Hospice in Vancouver, with his wife Carol at his side. John was born in Brilliant, BC on January 7, 1929, second son of George and Helen Evin and brother to George and Andrew. John was born to sing and to drive. As a youth he was an avid member of the Doukhobor men’s choir and a talented musician, later cutting 78 rpm Russian recordings with good friends Fred, Frank & Ruby under the Tovarischi label.
John went to work early in the Kelowna orchards, the Cominco foundry, in logging camps, on the Waldie Brothers tug boat, on the SS Elko for Captain Sutherland on the Arrow Lakes, as a wiper in the Nelson roundhouse and, after passing his exam, transferred to Farron to work as a fireman on the pusher engines between Castlegar and Grand Forks.
John met and married Betty Abrossimoff in 1952 and together they raised 4 children, Christine, John Jr., Sally and Karen in Robson, alongside his parents and brothers. Their combined 12 children grew up surrounded by family and gatherings always included singing & dancing with accordions & guitars ablaze.
John’s career followed in his Father’s footsteps when he started his own company Valkyr Trucking Ltd. As owner-operator, manager of a fleet of Kenworths and self taught mechanic, he hauled logs off the mountains at Deer Park for the next 30 years. If he wasn’t fixing trucks on weekends, he was hauling extra loads. The family would picnic at the log dump, wait to hear the horn & jake brake, and then paddle into the bay to catch a ride on the waves when Dad dumped the load. We had our own wave pool, long before its time, and there was never a shortage of jumbo inner tubes. He was hired by the City of Castlegar to haul in the enormous laminated arches for the roof of the Arena (now the Old Arena) and relocated a 2-story house for Ed Lewis, the barber and then Fire Chief, quite the tricky endeavors he always said. His tales of coming off the mountain in winter with a full load of logs, on icy, narrow, switchbacks would later pale by comparison to negotiating his gravel truck through rush hour traffic in downtown Vancouver. But John could manoeuvre, with unparalleled finesse, all things motorized…from motorcycles to logging trucks & heavy equipment and his personal favorite, the Cadillac.
In the 1980s work took John to the Coquihalla Highway project and others in Burnaby, on Vancouver Island and for the City of Vancouver. It was here he met and, in 1999 married, Carol Toussaint and finally retired his keys to everything except his Cadillac. John and Carol enjoyed 17 years together in the hustle & bustle of Yaletown, while adventuring all around BC, the USA, Caribbean & South America. They shared much love & laughter and Carol kept John youthful beyond his years. With unwavering love and devotion, she guided him through his final journey.
John was predeceased by parents George and Helen, brother George, ex-wife Betty and Great Grand Nephew Joshua. He is lovingly remembered by his wife Carol and sister-in-law Rosann, children Christine & Phil Datchkoff, John Evin, Sally & Arnie Davison, and Karen & Doug Knowler. His Pot of Gold overflows with Granddaughters Lisa & Luke Lucht and Jennifer & Jeffrey Craig, Grandsons Jeremy & Travis Davison and Zackary & Jesse Knowler and Great Granddaughter Anika Lucht. Also left to remember John are his brother Andrew & Vera Evin, many nephews & nieces and some great lifelong friends.
John was laid to rest at Park Memorial Cemetery in Castlegar, under the care of Vancouver Memorial Services and Castlegar Funeral Chapel. The family extends tremendous thanks to Dr. Vincent Tong for his exceptional care and attention of John and to the doctors and staff of St. Paul’s Hospital and St. John Hospice for their warm and compassionate care in his final weeks. With love we thank our family and friends for your kind expressions of sympathy and support in our loss.
John loved to kid around and he told the same stories over and over. We will miss that. Vechnaya Pameet, John, Dad, Deda, and know that you will Keep on Truckin’ down the highway in our hearts, always.