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March 11, 1953 ~ December 9, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old
John Edwards came into this world in March 1953, born to his parents John (Jack) and Jean Edwards in Chilliwack B.C., The third child, and brother of Joanne, Mike and Sharon. Partner of Joan Huiberts, proud father of Jackson Edwards, and grandfather of Bernie, Sebastian, and Brooklyn.
John was a quiet, independent child who loved to build forts, fish for Steelhead in the Vedder River, and play soccer. He graduated from Sardis High in 1971 and enrolled in BCIT. forestry for one year, This course gave him the opportunity to work as a forest technician which funded his many forays around the world, starting with a cross-Canada road trip. Later he travelled to Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq just to name a few.
In 1977, John visited his sister and father in Kootenay Bay, and purchased a small acreage on the Riondel Rd. Having never built a house, he decided to visit a friend in Tofino to contemplate his building plans. He crossed on the early evening ferry and was heading to the coast when he spotted a sign for the Kokanee Park Nature House and felt an unexplained desire to visit it then and there. This is when he met Joan, his life partner of 46 years. Upon returning from the coast he bought a book on log building and built his first house. Over the next 9 years he worked as a first aid man on the oil rigs, an apprentice carpenter, a forestry technician, a tree-planter, and the newspaper editor for Kwantlen College where he was taking a journalism course. Upon graduating, he moved back to the Kootenays and purchased the local newspaper. These busy, productive years readied him for the next phase of his life. It was now time to settle down as baby Jackson was on his way. While working on the Kootenay Lk. Review he noticed an ad on the back page for the sale of the Wedgwood Manor. Without hesitation he called his sister, Joanne, and asked her if she would like to be a partner in this new adventure. In the spring of 1985 when Jackson was 2.5 months old, John, Joan, and Joanne purchased the Wedgwood Manor and began the long, arduous task of renovating it. In the midst of all of this activity John enjoyed spending time with his son Jackson, and took delight in watching him flourish. Three years later, Joan and John opened the Wedgwood Manor Country Inn. During the next 20 years, John became a master renovator, a gourmet breakfast chef, a systems troubleshooter, and an all around handy-man.
Despite his busy life he contributed to the Eastshore community in many ways. He began the task of converting the Crawford Bay Park field from sawdust to grass, creating the existing soccer field for Sunday soccer, which became his passion. John along with 4 other volunteers started the Starbelly Jam Festival . In addition he volunteered for 20 years on the Hall and Parks board, and for 24 years he was the Eastshore director of the Nelson and District Credit Union, He also volunteered as a writer(another passion of his), for the Mainstreet Newspaper. John's easy-going nature, quiet confidence, and patience made him a much in demand volunteer for many community organizations.
When the Wedgwood Manor sold in 2004 he had time to pursue his interest in motorcycling, which included a memorable trip to Lake Havasu with his son Jackson. Retirement gave him more time for hiking, canoeing, travelling and of course soccer.
In March 2020, John was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia, and 3 years later with A.L.S. However, both of these devastating diseases did not extinguish his bright flame. He remained calm and peaceful, with a ready bright smile for his many visitors. On Dec 9th he died peacefully, at home, in his sleep. John was well-looked after by his loving family, amazing friends, community nurses and paramedic, and by the incredible support of the B.C ALS society.
Johnny will be missed by many for his enthusiasm, intelligence and bright smile.
John's Celebration of Life will be held on May 26th, at the Crawford Bay Park, at 11:00. This will be followed by a soccer game.