October 23, 1940 – November 20, 2020
John was born in Fort St. John, British Columbia on October 23rd, 1940 and departed from this life on November 20th, 2020 in Lake Country, British Columbia at the age of 80 years.
He spent his early years on the family farm in the Two Rivers district. In 1946, the family moved to a farm near Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan. John began his education at Bar Hill School. He later attended Radville Christian College and Western Christian College for his high school years, completing his schooling in 1958.
John worked at a variety of jobs over the next few years, including working with his father on the family farm near Fairlight, Saskatchewan. In 1964, he settled on work in the oil drilling industry, beginning that career in the Estevan, Saskatchewan area.
During those years he met and married Diane Holstein in 1965. His only child, Margaret Marie was born in 1966. John and Diane eventually divorced. John’s oil career developed quickly and he soon graduated to become a driller. This provided many work opportunities in North America and the world. He spent several years drilling in Iran, Iraq and Libya in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
In the early 1980’s he met Marion. They married in 1983 and established their residence in Kelowna, and later on Lake Okanagan in Lake Country, British Columbia. In the early 1980’s, John had established his own drilling engineering consulting company in Leduc, Alberta, specializing in horizontal drilling of oil wells. He was able to maintain a comfortable work schedule of his choosing until the decline of the energy industry in the 21st century brought about a marked decline in drilling activity.
John is survived by his daughter, Margaret (Scott) Riel and his granddaughter, Victoria. He will be lovingly remembered by his siblings: Verner (Linda); Tom (Mariette); Viggo (Nancy); Bill (Wendy); Marie (Daniel) Worden; his foster brother Jim (Carol) Whitney along with their children and grandchildren.
He will also be forever cherished by Marion’s children: Judy Halliday; Lorraine (Terry) Tuckwood; Howard (Penny); Gail (John) Middleton; Kari (Stan) Natsuhara; Lori (Tim Fontaine) Ketola; daughter-in-law, Gail Ketola along with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
John was predeceased by his former wife, Diane; his 2nd wife, Marion; Marion’s son, Richard and by his parents, Sven & Elly Ulrich.
In respecting John’s wishes, he was cremated and a celebration of his life will take place at a later date once the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.
As an expression of sympathy, those who wish to do so may send donations in memory of John to the Canadian Cancer Society or to the charity of your choice.
Cremation arrangements have been made with Bethel Funeral Chapel Ltd.,
5605 27th Street, Vernon, B.C. V1T 8Z5 (250) 542-1187 Obituary
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