October 5, 1921 to October 9, 2008
Born in Vancouver. Grandson of Chemainus pioneer Thomas George Askew and brideship passenger Isobelle Julia Curtis. Apprenticed as a shipwright and loftsman to his father. Built sternwheelers at Fort McMurray for the Manhattan Project, river boats and barges at Tete Jaune and Dease Lake for the the Alaska Highway Project. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Royal Canadian Navy, 1939 to 1946. Worked in various Vancouver shipyards. Owner of Askew Marine Services, Sidney. Rotary International in Sidney (President), Brentwood Bay, !00 Mile and Courtenay. District Board for 12 years. District representative to establish C.I.D.A. in Ottawa. Coordinated Rotary Exchange Programs. Hosted many exchange students. Perfect attendance for over 30 years. Paul Harris Fellow. Organizing first president of Comox Probus Club. Royal Canadian Legion, Courtenay. Summer resident until last year at his hand-crafted cabin in the Cariboo. Lover of black labradors, Purdy’s chocolates, Old Sam rum, the Liberals, the “old” Leeward, berry-picking, bridge.
Predeceased by his mother Agnes, neé Martin, in 1921, his father George Askew in 1953 and his brother Frank Askew in 1991. Survived by his wife of 62 years, Wendy, neé Ashfield, daughter Kathryn Askew and her husband Frank Burden, granddaughters Penelope Gotto (Carlos Strachan), Jillian Gotto (Mark Munn) and their father John Gotto (Doris Smith), his brother-in-law Frank Ashfield and sister-in-law Mary Thody. His niece Margaret Askew (John Gillis) and nephew Rodger Askew (Charlene, neé Dion) played a special part in his life. He will be fondly remembered by Eva Jean Rome, Barbara Bonner and other relatives and friends in Vancouver, Victoria, Courtenay and at Canim Lake.
Grateful thanks to the angels of Home Support, Dr. Kevin Swanson and the nursing team at VIHA who cared for John through thick and thin this last year. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs staff and Greg at the Modern Family Pharmacy were brilliant. John was truly blessed. A celebration will occur at the Courtenay Legion on Saturday, October 25, at 1:00, refreshments to follow. Donations may be made to the Poppy Fund.
“Do not go gently into that dark night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”