A long time Vernon Pioneer, our Dad and Grandpa passed away in a State of Grace with God, peacefully and painlessly on Wed., the 4th of October.
At the age of 6, a young Johnny Dedora watched his Father, William Dedora, a CPR section foreman attempt to cross the picket line during the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. William was attacked by five picketers and when the dust settled, only William Dedora was standing….
Dad never looked back from that point on in his life. By working four jobs, at age 17, he purchased a home near Mount Royal in Calgary for his family. By age 18, he owned a new 1931 Plymouth and during the height of the Depression escaped to Chestermere Lake to pursue his passion…. Sailing.
A stint in Chicago, during the World’s Fair, earned Dad his Refrigeration Degree and a contract with Palm Dairies in Calgary. Operating the first refrigerated truck into BC, brought Dad to Vernon and the Okanagan Valley. He still remembered giving free ice cream to the likes of Alvin Poggemiller and his friends. Dad fell in love with Vernon and the Valley.
More importantly, John Victor Dedora fell in love with Eileen Margaret Conroy, our Mom, his wife of over 60 years. Together, they opened “Johnny’s Grill” next door to the Bank of Montreal. With Mom’s support, Dad had his dream sailboat, “The Lady Eileen” built in Kelowna with an official launching broadcast live on CKOV. W.A.C. Bennett named Dad’s boat (a Shelley Class 30 foot sloop) the Social Credit One and later decreed, after the bridge was built, that the draw span would be lifted whenever Johnny Dedora wanted through!
In 1955, Dad went into the Real Estate and Insurance business as an Agent and Mom eventually became one of his top selling real estate sales women. Retiring in 1978, Dad and Mom spent the next 18 years in Palm Desert and on Okanagan Lake. Sailing, dancing, family gatherings, entertaining friends, telling jokes and stories (the ones Mom had heard a hundred times), watching his four wonderful grandchildren grow, Elise and Taylor ( Rick and Liz Nixon), Mary and William (Patrick and Susan), visiting with his Calgary family, the Mikulaks, and with all of Mom’s relatives, rounded out Dad’s life.
Dad was actively involved with the Vernon Community. Being able to speak four languages, he was of great assistance to many newcomers to the area. The Vernon Yacht Club was “spawned” in Johnny’s Grill over coffee and Dad was a Past Commodore. An Executive
Director of the BC Restaurant Association, President of the Okanagan Mainline Real
Director of the Insurance Agents Association of BC, and Honorary Life Member of the Knights of
Columbus, a Charter Member of St. James
Catholic School, the Vernon Men’s Club, the
Kiwanis Club, the Royal Canadian Legion, and his never ending business support to Minor Hockey and countless charities kept him occupied when he was not sailing or going dancing with Mom.
Dad’s “in-laws”, John and Bernice Armstrong, Ralph and Mary Evans, Margaret Conroy and the “hordes” of Californian, Albertan, and British
Columbian nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews, have all called to lament his
passing and to express their love of Dad, his jokes and stories, and his boundless energy for life.
Please join us, as Dad wanted it, for prayers, Tues., Oct. 10th at 6:00 p.m. and
for a Mass of Christian Burial conducted by
Father Martin at 10:00 a.m. on Wed., Oct. 11th., all to be held at St. James Catholic Church.
Interment to follow at Pleasant Valley Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation.
Respectfully, Brian, Rick, Patrick (Susan), Anne, Elise (Glenn), Taylor, Mary (Brij), and