John passed away suddenly on April 11, 2016 at the age of 85 at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital in Trail, BC where he had been recovering from surgery to repair a broken hip.
John was born on December 13, 1930 in Ethelbert, MB, the fourth of five children and the second son born to Roy and Elizabeth Bell. The family consisted of Florence, Jean, Henry who passed away very young, John and Alan (Craig).
His early school years were spent in Garland, MB but the family moved to Boissevain, MB in later years. John met his future wife, Velma Irene Taylor, while playing in a band at a country dance. They were married in 1951 and moved to Elkhorn where he worked at the newspaper running their linotype machine. It was here they started their family and Judy and Susan were born.
At this point John’s adventurous spirit took over and he took a job at the News of the North in Yellowknife. It was in Yellowknife where their three sons, Dayna, Gerald and John (Joe) were born.
John thrived in the northern environment and became very involved in the community. He was a member of the Elks for many years, was elected to town council for several terms and acted as president of the PC party in the NWT. In addition, he also served in the army reserves and as a volunteer firefighter. He loved his time in the North and willingly gave of his time and abilities to his chosen home.
From Yellowknife, the family moved to Hanna, AB where John took a job working in the local newspaper, the Hanna Herald. This job only lasted a couple of years as the expansion the owner had planned did not work out.
He again headed north for work taking a job with Byers Transport in Yellowknife as a manager but this time the rest of the family stayed down south. Eventually John transferred to the Sherwood Park terminal with Byers and the family moved to Sherwood Park where they lived for about 30 years.
John will be lovingly missed by his children, Judy (Gary) Burgemeister, Susan (Douglas) Bartlett, Dayna (Cheryl Whittleton), Gerald (Mauri) and John (Samantha), his sisters Florence Barefoot and Jean Hauk, sister-in-law Jean McBride, sixteen grandchildren and eleven great grandchildren.
He is predeceased by his wife, Velma Irene, his parents Roy and Elizabeth, his in-laws Thomas and Gladys Taylor, his brothers Henry and Alan, brothers-in-law Andrew Taylor, Clifford Taylor, Beverly (Bud) Taylor, Harold Taylor, Marvin Meyers, Verne McBride, Al Hauk and Bob Barefoot, sisters-in-law Veronica Bell, Frances Taylor, Grace Taylor, Doreen Taylor and Olive Meyers.
Services were held at Glenwood Funeral Home in Sherwood Park on April 23 where John was laid to rest beside Velma, together again. For the full eulogy and information or to send condolences, please go to www.glenwoodmemorial.com