March 18, 1927 – January 15, 2019
John passed away peacefully on January 15, 2018 at the age of 91. He is predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Mary Jean (Marritt), his parents Caroline (Davis) and Dr. J.C.R. Edwards, and his brother Robert Edwards.
He is survived by relatives in both BC and Ontario: his daughters Lois Flawse (Randy) and Martha Gingerich (John); grandchildren Liz Brown (Nigel), Andrew Flawse (Shere), David Flawse (Lindsay Clement), Sarah Lenson (Brett), Julia Gingerich (Brendan Purdy) and Emily Gingerich; five great-grandchildren Nathan and Olivia Flawse, and Cordelia, Cedric and Felix Lenson; his brothers Davis (Marjorie), Richard, sister Jane Timmons, and sister-in-law Yettie (Robert); and many nieces and nephews across Canada.
John was born in Toronto, Ontario, spending his early years in Sutton and Newmarket. He graduated from Newmarket High School and the University of Toronto. John began his career with the Ontario Department of Tourism and Information. In 1967, he transitioned to an Ottawa-based assignment with the Canadian Federal Department of Regional Economic Expansion. He began with a focus on the Maritime provinces, followed by moves to Winnipeg and finally finishing his career in Victoria with the Department of Forestry. A highlight of his career included consulting on the establishment of the Resort Municipality of Whistler, combining his passion for skiing and his love for the province of British Columbia. Throughout his life, he remained dedicated to the public service and proud of his contribution to Canada.
John was an avid outdoorsman, gardener, and amateur historian. John and Mary Jean enjoyed exploring, whether it be searching for mushrooms in the local forest, driving through the country, or cruising through coastal waters onboard Dichotomy. Once retired, they traveled throughout North America and internationally.
John was a dedicated leader and committed volunteer throughout his whole life. He served on the Newmarket School Board, the Kiwanis, the board of the Coastal Community Credit Union, and was active in the Comox United Church. He served a volunteer assignment with Canadian Executive Services Overseas, spending six weeks in Lithuania along with Mary Jean. After retirement, he became an active and committed member of the Liberal Party of Canada.
We would like to acknowledge the dedication of our own caregivers, the team at ValleyCare Medical, and the staff at North Island Hospital, Comox Valley. In particular, we would like to thank John Raphael and Vickie Kuruz for providing ongoing care, attention and quality of life. We also wish to thank Dr Hunter and the team at The Views for their support during his final days.
A Celebration of Life will take place at the Filberg Lodge on April 12th from 1pm to 3pm. Please consider donations in John’s memory to Comox United Church and the Comox Valley Hospice Society.