November 21, 1943 – May 5, 2020
It is with saddened hearts that the family of Wayne David Johnstone announce his sudden passing on May 5, 2020. We had hoped to announce a date for his Celebration of Life now, but still we wait.
Wayne was born in Calgary, Alberta, on November 21, 1943. He spent his early years in Bowness, Alberta. He worked all his high school and university summers for the Canadian Forestry Service, so it just seemed natural for him to join the CFS upon graduating from UBC in 1966. The CFS immediately sent him back to UBC to get his Masters Degree, which he competed in the spring of 1968. He married Bev that summer and moved to Calgary. Wayne had planned to start his PhD in September of 1970, but the leisurely arrival of his twin sons delayed the starting date to mid-October. Upon finishing his course work in October of 1972, Wayne and family moved to Edmonton, the new home of the CFS. Number three son and their first blizzard both arrived in February. Wayne spent eight wonderful years in Sherwood Park, but the news of a new forestry lab opening in BC tempted him to accept a position with the Research Branch of the BC Forest Service in Vernon. He loved his work in forestry research; travelling around the interior of BC establishing research trials, some of which are still maintained today. Life was good for Wayne.
Wayne discovered golf and curling, but his family was his most loved treasure. He coached soccer, timed at swim meets, and cheered his sons on at soccer games, swim meets, basketball games, and cross-country running races. He hosted many a movie night for the swim club. There were always kids in the family room. When the boys moved on to university, curling, golf, and mixed bridge played a bigger role. In 1997, both Sean and Ian married, and for the first time Wayne’s family included daughters who he loved spoiling, and babies who he adored. When he retired in 2002, he started a new career as the first Emeritus Forest Scientist in BC, a position he enjoyed for ten years. When Bev retired from teaching, they began travelling with their friends, visiting many parts of the world and their sons and friends from afar. As Wayne always said, “The best times are those spent with family and friends.”
Wayne will be sorely missed by his wife Bev, his three sons: David, Ian, and Sean, of whom he was so proud, his lovely daughters-in-law: Deanna and Reiko, his four amazing grandkids: Hugh, Graham, Jay and Sara, to whom he was “Gram-pie”, his delightful sisters-in-law: Norma and Avril, beloved nieces: Dawn (Tom), Diane (Bill), Doreen, Andrea (Mike), Karen (Russ) and grand-nieces and nephew: Lindsay, Amanda, and Kyle, as well as Jim Shaw: Wayne’s best friend since Grade 2, affectionately known as Uncle Piggy, Holly and Duke: the two greyhounds to whom he was “Cookie Man”, and many wonderful friends far and near.
The family would like to thank Dr. Ron Long, Dr. Ed Hardy, Bob-the-Nurse, the incredible staff at the VJH Cancer Clinic for their wonderful care, and Michelle Miller who guided our way immediately after Wayne passed away. A heartfelt thank you to all the friends who swooped in and surrounded us with love, kindness, and food during the days and weeks after Wayne’s passing. You kept us from falling apart.
Donations in Wayne’s memory may be made to the McMurtry-Baerg Cancer Centre, Vernon Jubilee Hospital, 2101 – 32nd Street, Vernon, BC, V1T 5L2.
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